Oren has been a senior program developer in the fields of education, youth development, and the arts for more than 30 years. He joined Commonweal in 2013 as the chief strategies officer. He works closely with Commonweal President Michael Lerner, developing sustainability and organizational development strategies for future programming. Oren’s program work explores the intersection of dialogue, cognition, creativity, and community. Through work in different communities, he seeks to deepen our exploration of complex issues in our world.
Oren is an experienced youth development program developer and practitioner with a long history working with young people in the Bay Area. He was also a field researcher for the Community Network for Youth Development, studying the correlation between youth development organizational practices and youth development outcomes. In 2002, Oren developed a conference center for the California Endowment’s new center for health providers in downtown Los Angeles. In 2003, Oren co-founded the MMG Foundation, dedicated to Visual Thinking Strategies (VTS) in California public schools. In May 2006, he became executive director of Visual Understanding in Education (VUE), the national organization that implements VTS in the United States and abroad, reaching more than 100,000 students. In 2016 VTS merged into Commonweal to further expand its reach into new communities around the world.