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

As Essential Industries Principal, Benjamin offers strategic consulting, professional and executive coaching, editorial, marketing, and communication services, keynote speaking, and workshops.

From his half-decade helping launch Facebook’s Journalism Project globally and his tenure helping transform MTV News to his award-winning PBS documentary, Mister Rogers & Me, forthcoming Friends & Neighbors documentary, You Hear It First 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, a boutique consulting firm specializing in individual and organizational strategy, transformation, communication, and collaboration.

As Essential Industries Principal, Benjamin offers strategic consulting, professional and executive coaching, editorial, marketing, and communication services, keynote speaking, and workshops.

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

Jun 3 2024

A Simple, Radical Act

When my alma mater, Conestoga Senior High School, asked me to speak with students and parents about service and leadership, I figured the small gathering would be a great space to road-test some new ideas. And I decided to go for broke. I would focus my message on parents, lead with the hardest stuff (ie:…
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May 29 2024

A Sort Of Homecoming

In Friends & Neighbors, my father narrates my Iowa origin story thusly: “You were born Saturday morning, September the 4th, and Sunday at two o’clock I left for Maryland.” Mom, Chris, and I followed three weeks later. So when I say I’m from Iowa, it’s factually true. But I was raised in Maryland, Indianapolis, Illinois, Pennsylvania,…
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May 16 2024

Listen to the Friends & Neighbors Premiere Q&A

For a couple of years now, as I’ve been shooting and editing Friends & Neighbors, I imagined the day when the entire cast of helpers would come together to watch the film, and discuss it. That day came last week when we screened Friends & Neighbors for our friends and neighbors at Theater N in…
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May 14 2024

Liane Su: Station To Station

It’s a career begun in the front seat of a Buick Riviera. As a kid growing up on the edge of Orange County, future MTV News producer, Liane Su, commandeered the stereo in her mom’s car, endlessly toggling between: pop, rock, and hip-hop, Wham, Jane’s Addiction and Wu-Tang Clan, on KISS, KROQ, and POWER 106.…
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May 1 2024

Jim Fraenkel: Smells Like Fun

“I will never forget this one day where Nirvana was in the office…” That’s Jim Fraenkel, current EVP of Documentaries and Current at World of Wonder, one-time VP & EP of MTV News, and all-time King of VO, recalling the first days of his career. Where did it go from there? This week, Jim, takes…
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Apr 23 2024

Merle Ginsburg: Marquee Moon

Early MTV was a corporate exercise launched by Big Radio guys with Big Banking money. Still, its hallways were teeming with young artists, writers, rebels, and punks like Music and Fashion Writer and Editor turned RuPaul’s Drag Race co-star, Merle Ginsberg. “My parents were very, very normal, good, hard-working people who watched sitcoms at night,”…
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