Benjamin Wagner is a consultant, creative and founder of Essential Industries Incorporated, a boutique consulting firm specializing in individual and organizational strategy, transformation, communication and collaboration.

He collects, develops and shares stories and strategies about transformation, and provides Executive Coaching, Facilitation and Presentation.

From his half-decade helping launch Facebook’s Journalism Project globally and his tenure transforming MTV News, to his award-winning PBS documentary, Mister Rogers & Me, Friends & Neighbors podcast, or recent album, Constellations, Benjamin's focus is the essential nature of our shared human experience.

Benjamin Wagner is a consultant, creative and founder of Essential Industries Incorporated, a boutique consulting firm specializing in individual and organizational strategy, transformation, communication and collaboration.

He collects, develops and shares stories and strategies about transformation, and provides Executive Coaching, Facilitation (workshops, retreats, conferences) and Keynote Speaking (conferences, events, etc).

From his half-decade helping launch Facebook’s Journalism Project globally and his tenure transforming MTV News, to his award-winning PBS documentary, Mister Rogers & Me, Friends & Neighbors podcast, or recent album, Constellations, Benjamin's focus is the essential nature of our shared human experience.

Nov 22 2022

Helpers Wanted

When what I thought was anxiety and depression was diagnosed as PTSD last fall, I suddenly saw trauma and its impact all around me: I noticed how little we talk about it, and remembered Fred Rogers’ oft-repeated mantra, “What’s mentionable is manageable.” And when my friend and neighbor, Senator Sarah McBride, reminded me on our…
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Nov 15 2022

Irving Washington: Purpose Driven

The very first thing outgoing Online News Association CEO, Irving Washington, remembers buying with his own money was a $400 video camera for a local Indianapolis thrift store. “The big camera with VHS,” he tells me, laughing. “The one you put on your shoulder.” For “hours and hours,” Irving would “create shows” and sketch comics…
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Nov 1 2022

Jeff Berner: Out There

Whether as touring guitarist for the avant garde rockers, Psychic TV, or producer for artists like Boy George, Lenny Kaye, Pharoahe Monch, Jeff Berner makes a safe, creative space for those around him to make great art.  “Unless you’re the most self-assured, confident person in your own artistic capability, at some point, you’re going to…
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Oct 25 2022

Wherever You Go

It wasn’t until Friday morning, some 35 years after writing my first song and scarcely eight hours prior to the first on-stage performance of my new album, Constellations, that it occurred to me that songwriting is (for me, anyway) pure alchemy.  What begins in and is typically an expression of sadness and isolation, becomes, with…
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Oct 18 2022

Lily McKown & Hayden Chance

In college, my favorite rock shows were blurry, buzzy, glorified keggers with three-dollar Solo cups, a rickety attic and a winning lineup of bands. By the end of the night, we were all playing together, the audience was onstage, and the bands were in the audience. Singer/songwriter Lily McKown grew up not far from me…
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Oct 10 2022

Tyler, Texas

“Tyler, Texas” was born on the outdoor patio of Pinewood Social, a trendy cocktails and bowling hangout overlooking the Cumberland River, just southeast of downtown Nashville.  It was August, hot, muggy. Maybe 9pm or so. My friend, country music journalist, Annie Reuter, and I were just sitting down after catching a few songs at the…
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