It is time now, it is time now that we thrive
It is time we lead ourselves into the well
It is time now, and what a time to be alive
In this Great Turning we shall learn to lead with love
In this Great Turning we shall learn to lead with love

-We Shall Be Known, MaMuse

What a time to be alive…

Everything we thought we knew about the world is changing at an unprecedented pace, and the mainstream pop culture vision for our future is undergoing a major disruption.

The reality of this new decade is shaped by massive inequalities, increasingly acute social…

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

On a beautiful Sunday morning, a group of women gather together to connect and share stories. The women gathered are engineers, architects, entrepreneurs, developers, designers, educators, storytellers and community animators, working across different sectors on solving issues such as climate change and inequality, democratizing education, developing innovations in healthcare, and building healthy resilient communities.

This is a Zoom call, and we have gathered from around the world, countries including Germany, Romania, India, Canada and USA. We share a common interest — to tackle some of the world’s mega challenges. …

MAU Crew 1121 on a scouting mission (left to right) Aimee Valliere, Health & Safety Officer, Tarun Bandemegala, Engineer, Janet Biggs, Executive Officer/Crew Journalist, Ksenia Benifand, Commander. Image Source: Mars Academy USA

It’s Sol 17, 2050 on Mars. One of the first batches of settlers have just completed a terrain scouting and surveillance mission, they also finished their engineering check around their habitat. They are now ready to return back:

“EVA Lead to HabCom, permission to enter the airlock. Over.”

“HabCom to EVA Lead, permission granted. You may enter the airlock.”

“EVA Lead to HabCom, acknowledged. We are entering the airlock now. Over.”


“EVA Lead to HabCom, airlock is now secured. Permission to initiate the recompression sequence. Over.”

“HabCom to EVA Lead, permission granted. Initiating the recompression sequence in 3..2..1…”


How might we build global grassroots democracy that enables us to create a future that nurtures us and the planet?

This compelling vision brought together a group of diverse artists, designers, community builders, social scientists, healers, teachers and entrepreneurs, to gather together at the Dream Farm Commons, a beautiful artist run exhibition and project space in downtown Oakland, California.

At a time when the notion of democracy itself seems to be under siege at a global scale, I was intrigued and drawn to join this gathering to rethink democracy as a bottom-up grassroots movement.

The intense 3 day “Collaboration Incubator”…

Ksenia Benifand

Connecting with people through participatory futures & design to enable healthy, equitable, empathy-driven & sustainable planet.

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