Walt Roberts

Walt Roberts

Empowering Transformation / Change Leaders, Programs, Coalitions, Networks, Narratives and Movements.

Portland, Oregon (Portland, Oregon Area)
Management Consulting

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Walt Roberts's Overview

  • Founding Partner at Changing The Game: Power, Politics + Participation
  • A Partner at Transformation Systems International
  • On the Board at The Performance Center
  • Helper at InterOccupy.net
  • Leadership Team at Transpartisan Alliance

500+ connections

Walt Roberts' Summary

I'm a co-founder of Changing The Game and the Change Design Lab, a partner with Transformation Systems International and a past board member with The Performance Center.

My work is to empower leaders, campaigns, projects, narratives and movements that seek to change the dysfunctional dynamics underlying power, politics and participation in the US and beyond.

Examples include; Transpartisan Alliance, Living Room Conversations, Coffee Party Movement 2.0, and InterOccupy.net projects.
"Power, properly understood, is the ability to achieve purpose. It is the strength required to bring about social, political, or economic changes. In this sense power is not only desirable but necessary in order to implement the demands of love and justice. One of the greatest problems of history is that the concepts of love and power are usually contrasted as polar opposites. Love is identified with a resignation of power and power with a denial of love. What is needed is a realization that power without love is reckless and abusive and that love without power is sentimental and anemic. Power at its best is love implementing the demands of justice. Justice at its best is power correcting everything that stands against love."
--Martin Luther King, Jr

Specialties: I offer theory of change, integrated strategy, change process design, virtual team tools, and implementation infrastructure for game-changing movements, coalitions, campaigns, virtual networks and programs.

Walt Roberts' Experience

Founding Partner

Changing The Game: Power, Politics + Participation

2010Present (4 years)

We are working to empower efforts to change the dynamics of dysfunctional power, politics and participation in the US and beyond.

Examples include; Living Room Conversations, Coffee Party Movement 2.0, and InterOccupy.net projects.


Our three part mission addresses:

POWER: To empower civic organizations and social movements to inspire individual participation and cooperative action for sustained influence that rises to balance the influence of established power structures.
POLITICS: To enable our public servants to work together effectively creating policies and programs that build healthy, resilient and responsible playing fields for our business, social and governance institutions.
PARTICIPATION: To provide processes, opportunities and pathways for people to engage in purposeful conversations and actions that realize their responsibilities as contributing citizens.

The Change Design Lab’s purpose is to develop high leverage, rapid prototype, action research projects that empower "game changing" initiatives, campaigns and movements.

Privately Held; 11-50 employees; Management Consulting industry

1998Present (16 years)

We work with organizations of all forms to transform to a new level of effectiveness. Our product is performance. We partner with government, business and non-profits to achieve their next level of effectiveness. We also engage with organizations that are more loosely defined such as associations, networks, communities and large scale movements to create greater impact.

We care about each and every person in today's organizations. As such, with all our work, we awaken organizations, leaders, teams and individuals to their own sense of purpose and the capacity to co-create with excellence.

A fundamental characteristic of a TSI team member is the capacity to see the whole as well as the parts. We consistently strive for integration of performance-focused initiatives considering how single initiatives are linked and can be synergistic, rather than competitive, in their contribution to a shared vision.

Our knowledge, approaches, expertise and experiences span a variety of topics and opportunities including:

Transformation Design
Team Performance
Change Agent Performance
Systems Thinking
Generative Group Process & Facilitation
Transformational Movements
Leadership Performance
Individual Performance
Strategic Planning
Performance Management
Measurement/Balanced Scorecard

On the Board

The Performance Center

1997Present (17 years)

Once part of the Oregon University system, TPC is a not for profit organization dedicated to advancing the practical application of transformational change technologies.

The Performance Center is a global community of people joined together by a shared commitment to weave a web of greater good around the world. We focus on providing education to the public that promotes leadership, transformation and breakthrough performance in organizations, communities and society. Through our academic and applied research, we synthesize and integrate the best theory, models and ideas in the quality management, leadership and transformation sciences to form a whole-systems approach to organizational, community and societal transformation.



October 2011August 2012 (11 months) US and Beyond

InterOccupy (IO) is an interactive space for activists looking to organize for global and local social change. By October 2011, the Occupy Movement in the US was in full swing with hundreds of encampments spread across vast distances. The need for a robust communication network became apparent when camps had trouble contacting one another in order to share important information about the suppression of the movement. InterOccupy provided conference call and online communication services to fill that need. InterOccupy also became the Online network hub for OccupySandy.org.

IO is one of many network "hubs" in the massive network of activists seeking to change the world without taking power. IO continues to provide communication and organizing services to those who want a dynamic and interactive space for networking, skill sharing, and coordinating actions that hold accountable the dysfunctional strategies of governments and businesses that do not serve the people.

Leadership Team

Transpartisan Alliance

20082010 (2 years)

Building on the work of Reuniting America, the Transpartisan Alliance is working to transform polarized politics and deeply divided communities into more civil, cooperative and even collaborative working relationships.

Walt Roberts' Projects

  • InterOccupy.net

    • 2011 to Present

    InterOccupy (IO) is an interactive space for activists looking to organize for global and local social change. By October 2011, the Occupy Movement in the US was in full swing with hundreds of encampments spread across vast distances. The need for a robust communication network became apparent when camps had trouble contacting one another in order to share important information about the suppression of the movement. Members of the Movement Building Working Group at Occupy Wall Street decided to hold an open conference call on October 24th, 2011 so that occupiers could share reports from their camps. The following Thursday another call was held with several volunteers eager to take up the challenge of convening the next general call.

    From these general calls, it was clear that participants in the Occupy movement sought to address local issues on a national and global level through open discussions and collaborating on large scale direct actions. In early November, the conference call planning group (spanning between New York, Philadelphia, Kalamazoo, Los Angeles, and Portland) registered the domain name InterOccupy.org, and focused on linking up working groups across the movement and coordinating direct actions. The frenzy of the raids in November overshadowed a lot of the work going on within the movement. By this time, coalitions began forming uniting occupiers on a wide range of social problems from anti-war, college debt, internet freedom, the foreclosure crisis, to getting money out of politics, among many other issues.

    After the raids, IO shifted into overdrive to provide more nuanced communication services. IO devised open protocols for training new participants and enrolling more people in the rapidly expanding network. By December, IO not only provided a space for communication to the displaced communities of occupiers, but also aided in the large-scale coordination for distributed direct actions including the West Coast Port shutdown and more.

  • Coffee Party Movement 2.0 (Transition Project)

    • 2011 to Present

    Changing the Game; Power Politics and Participation and the Change Design Lab partnered with the Coffee Party (March 2011) to conduct a four-month endeavour called CP 2.0 Transition Project.

    “The Coffee Party 2.0 Transition Team is working hard to lay out the strategy and infrastructure for Coffee Party USA to become a “game changing” national organization and movement that can generate action for sustained impact.”

    "To help the Transition Team achieve these significant goals and build a solid foundation for the Coffee Party as both a sustainable organization and a movement, in such a short period of time, the TT hired as consultants Walt Roberts and his team at Changing the Game. Walt has been following and participating in the Coffee Party since the beginning and is an enthusiastic supporter of the Coffee Party movement. Changing the Game collaborated with the Coffee Party at the For the People Summit in January of this year."

  • Living Room Conversations

    • 2010 to Present

    We want civil discourse in the United States to be respectful, constructive, collaborative, solution focused and conducive to empowering healthy communities.

    Individuals, families, faith organizations, clubs, schools, advocacy organizations and legislatures would benefit from promoting more respectful relationships. We dream of respectful conversation becoming the new normal and we hope you will join us in revitalizing this vital piece of American democracy.

    Between December 2010 and June 2011, we conducted a pilot project with 6 Living Room Conversations convened in three states with project team observers – Colorado, California and Washington & 2 Living Room Conversations independently convened without project team observers in New Hampshire and North Carolina. For these first conversations, we chose the topic of energy independence/climate change. Living Room Conversations (LRC) was initiated to test the hypothesis that people could come together through their social networks, as friends and friends of friends and engage in a self-guided structured conversation about a charged political issue. Each conversation had self-identified ‘progressive’ and ‘conservative’ co-hosts. Each host invited two of their friends or family that shared their political worldview to join an evening of conversation. We are thrilled to report that this initial exploration demonstrated that meaningful conversation is not only possible in this context it is in fact, deeply appreciated and for many participants was transformational. Participants expressed surprise that it was possible to “go so deep” with people they did not know and gratitude for the experience. More than half indicated a desire to have more conversations of this nature.

  • Transpartisan Alliance

    • 2009 to Present

    Transpartisan Alliance News
    Joseph McCormick 12/09
    What is the cost of political dis-unity, polarization?
    What are the innovative strategies we can implement to affect a positive shift in our political culture?
    Dear Citizen Leader:
    These are the questions the Transpartisan Alliance team has been asking national leaders of grassroots groups across the spectrum like MoveOn.org, a progressive advocacy organization, and FreedomWorks, a catalyst of the limited government tea parties — see 6 min. video — as well as local leaders around the country.
    This fall the Campaign to Unite U S began planting seeds in Portland, Seattle, Fresno, and the Florida Keys for an alternative to win-lose politics. These house parties and conversation café town halls were an open invitation to an open source, open minded, open hearted, open space conversation about our political future.
    The outcomes of these initial efforts were:
    – Refinement of a concise set of tools for civil dialogue called the Transpartisan Toolbox — listening to understand, recognizing judgments, managing emotional triggers, the art of inquiry, and speaking to be heard.
    – Prototype of a three hour meeting format where participants are lead into a sobering inquiry about the cost of polarization followed by a more up-beat inquiry into the possibility of facilitating political cooperation in their own community.
    – Planting of seeds for the creation of 12 to 15 member Citizen Leader Councils consisting of people with social networks that span their entire community.
    – Planting of seeds for the engagement of diverse community networks in the creation of local Citizen Assemblies – informal institutions of citizenship that support official decision makers with win-win policy options that 80% plus of people can say “Yes!” to.
    Much groundwork has been laid toward this strategy of political culture shift (going back to the leadership retreats of Reuniting America.) ......

  • Dialogue, Deliberation and Decision Making Process Designer

    • 1995 to Present

    The Services I provide:
    * Breakthrough Meetings with Keypad Polling; Overcoming the normal limits of large-group process with the purposeful and expert use of electronic, audience response, keypad polling technology
    * Sourcing Circles and Collaborative Design Services; Bringing transformation, sourcing/presencing, and generative frameworks and processes to the work of any collaborative design team as they co-create any dialogue and deliberation process, event, meeting, summit, change initiative, alliance development and/or coalition building
    * Generative Process Design, Orchestration and Facilitation; Frame, theme, purpose and process design, orchestration and facilitation for strategic planning meetings, conferences, summits, town halls, public hearings, open houses, community meetings and all sorts of large-group dialogue, deliberation and decision making events
    * Transboundary Convening Design; Special services and tools for bringing disparate and divided groups together to find common ground, build bridges and forge unlikely partnerships.
    * Alliance and Coalition Design, Facilitation and Development; Applying generative process services to the creation of more formal and enduring entities.
    * On-Line Networking, Information Sharing and Collaboration Integration; Identifying and implementing the right set of (existing, popular and usually free) internet based spaces, services and tools to work in concert with face to face meetings and vice verse.
    * Integral Forum Design; Connecting, integrating and aligning multiple conveners and conferences over time to make critical connections within and between topic “silos” (all of the previously described services come in to play for this).

  • Complete Communities for Clackamas County

    • 2001 to 2002

    The Complete Communities project was an ambitious public outreach project initiated by the Clackamas County Board of Commissioners with Cogan Owens Cogan as the lead design and delivery firm. The purpose of the project was to identify the shared values, goals and priorities at the county level, and to recognize the unique needs of the cities and rural areas that make up Clackamas County. A Steering Committee of nearly 60 representatives of diverse interests in the County participated in the design of the project and specifically in the development of a comprehensive work plan to engage the community.

    The County was divided into four regions for purposes of organizing civic engagement. The project was comprehensive including: an effective civic engagement strategy incorporating local volunteer facilitators; leveraging meetings of existing organizations, fairs and other routine community gatherings; a media and communications campaign; public opinion research and policy development. More than 100 community discussions were held; information and perceptionnaires were available at spring and summer fairs throughout the County, nearly 2000 people completed perceptionnaires and comment forms; 1,400 were polled in a random-sample survey; and four randomly-selected focus groups were held in urban and rural areas of the County. The project continues today with volunteer citizens, elected officials and agency staff working together to implement recommendations and action plans.

    “Complete Communities for Clackamas County” won the 2002 National Public Education Award from the American Planning Association. The program is considered a best model in community planning.

Walt Roberts' Skills & Expertise

  1. Strategic Planning
  2. Organizational Development
  3. Leadership
  4. Leadership Development
  5. Public Speaking
  6. Systems Thinking
  7. Breakthrough Thinking
  8. Generative Design
  9. Change Catalyst
  10. Activism
  11. Movement Building
  12. Public Engagement
  13. Community Empowerment
  14. Process Design
  15. Message Development
  16. Strategic Communications
  17. Social Media Integration
  18. Coalition Development
  19. Virtual Organizations
  20. Shared Decision Making
  21. High Performance Teams
  22. Transformation Design
  23. Technology Coaching
  24. Team Building Facilitation
  25. Fundraising
  26. Coaching
  27. Workshop Facilitation
  28. Program Management
  29. Change Management
  30. Team Building
  31. Non-profits
  32. Entrepreneurship
  33. Government
  34. Nonprofits

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Walt Roberts' Education

Beloit College

Bachelor of Arts (B.A.), Economics


Walt Roberts' Additional Information


Change, Transformation, Washington Island, Exploring, Thru Hiking / Backpacking, Windsurfing, Thinking, White Water Rafting, Organizing, Watersports, Personal Growth, Kayaking, Motorcycling (Sport Touting), Music, Snow skiing, Sailing, Citizens In Charge Foundation, Liberty Coalition, Open Government Initiative

Groups and Associations:

Walt Roberts' Courses

  • Independent Coursework

    • Personal Transformation and Mastery (EST, Landmark)
    • Integrity Training (Vern Black and Associates)
    • Owning Money Workshop (Focus, an Educational Corporation)
    • Systems Thinking in Action
    • The Natural Step (Sustainability Systems Theory and Application)
    • FLEX, Transformational Leadership
    • Catalyst, Change Agent

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