Here’s a bit more about me, Ben Ziegler:
The first careers
I started off in the civil engineering and construction fields, including positions with Canadian Pacific Rail, and consulting firms Reid Crowther, and Underwood Mclellan. On-site project management and surveying were my specialty.
Inspired by cyberneticist Stafford Beer, and his book Designing Freedom, I began exploring new professional avenues, in the high-tech sector, all the while completing my university studies (York University, 1984) through evening classes.
For 14 years, I was employed as a consultant by leading international systems integration firms (Accenture, Sierra Systems); serving clients, mostly in the roles of business analyst, project manager and/or facilitator.
I started my own company, Ziegler Consulting, in 2001.
In the late 1990’s, I began taking courses, and accreditation, in conflict resolution at the Justice Institute of BC. In 2002, I began working as a mediator in the BC Court Mediation program. I’ve been involved in the program ever since, and now also provide mentoring services (to new mediators) in that program.
From 2003 – 2006, I worked as a mediator of eBay electronic market place disputes. Mediations were conducted online using a third-party dispute resolution service provider (SquareTrade). My online dispute resolution experience with eBay bridged my interest in technology and mediation; and this adapting of technology for socially-responsible purposes still holds much sway with me.
Most recently, I find myself taking a greater and greater interest in the practice of collaboration; in particular, how individuals, organizations, and communities build consensus, and move forward, in positive ways. My experiences with CESO in the Philippines, and starting up this blog, are both reflections of that interest.
I’m a big fan of taking a ‘systems lens’ to the world. A mash-up of right and left brain thinking, I feel, is the best way forward; in times of uncertainty, and in times requiring creativity and innovation. Story telling is just as important as information management!
As a local volunteer, I’ve recently been active with the Values-Based Business Network, and am a long-time volunteer (some years more active than others!) with my local Restorative Justice community. I can be frequently found at Elder Friendly Community Network, Chamber of Commerce, Social Media Club gatherings, and/or hanging out with neighbours.
Other things I value include time with family, and getting involved in the local music and dance community.
For more on my professional background/interests, visit my profile on LinkedIn.