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,” and podcast, "Friends & Neighbors," 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,” and podcast, "Friends & Neighbors," Benjamin's focus is the essential nature of our shared human experience.

Aug 8 2022

Michael Slackman: Planet Sandwich

When I first met Michael Slackman at Columbia University in 2014, he was the epitome of Bronx-born cool: fast-talking, wise-cracking, and whip-smart. A one-time bureau chief in Berlin, Cairo, and Moscow, and current Assistant Managing Editor for International at The New York Times, Slackman led reportage across the newsroom and oversees bureaus around the globe. For…
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Jul 26 2022

Neal Carruth: Radiohead

When I was twelve or so, I fashioned a desk from a cardboard box, placed my mom’s Smith-Corona Super Sterling typewriter on top, tucked a slip of paper marked “Press” in my brother’s fedora and began publication of a neighborhood broadsheet. Little wonder Freakonomics Radio Network’s EVP, Neal Carruth, and I get along like gangbusters.…
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Jun 28 2022

Kirtan Smith: If Not For You

Abbi began pitching me yoga as a means to remedy my stress and marathon-worn body back in early aughts. I demurred; truth was, I thought I’d look clumsy and awkward. But my protesting grew tired, and I relented. Which is when I met Kirtan Smith in a dark yoga studio on Central Park South.  Yes,…
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Jun 22 2022

Samantha Critchell: Meet Me In The Middle

Samantha Critchell and I met on our first day at Syracuse University, two of a few dozen underclassmen somehow placed an old apartment building hastily converted for that year’s overflow of Gen Xers. Through career changes and moves, movie premieres and promotions, Sam’s been a constant. Little wonder, then, as I settle into my new…
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Jun 15 2022

Dennis Scott: Still Feel Like A Kid

Fred Rogers famously said, “The child is in me still… and sometimes not so still.” The same can surely be said for Grammy Winning Songwriter, Producer and Performer, Dennis Scott. Dennis began his career as a seven-year-old Broadway actor, before touring with the ensemble folk group, The New Christy Minstrels. His novelty tune “Captain Kirk’s…
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Jun 7 2022

Mike Joseph: Don’t Give Up

Dominant American culture prefers its men more Harrison Ford than Harry Styles, more Paul Newman than Paul Rudd. More John Wayne than Elton John. Yunno, fists first, feeling later. Bravado. Machismo. Muscles. Strong and silent.  Mine have always been the guys with their hearts on their sleeves, though. They express themselves. They talk about difficult…
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