Michael Lerner

Michael Lerner is the president and co-founder of Commonweal, a nonprofit center in Bolinas, California. Commonweal works in health and healing, education and the arts, and environment and justice with more than 40 programs.

His principal work at Commonweal is with the Cancer Help Program, CancerChoices.org, the Omega Resilience Projects, the Collaborative on Health and the Environment, and The New School at Commonweal.

Michael received a MacArthur Prize Fellowship for contributions to public health in 1983. He is co-founder and president emeritus of the Smith Farm Center for Healing and the Arts in Washington, D.C. He is president of the Jenifer Altman Foundation. He is co-founder and chair emeritus of the Health and Environmental Funders Network. He lives with his wife and colleague Sharyle Patton in Bolinas and on Whidbey Island north of Seattle.


Navigating the Polycrisis–Life in Turbulent Times

How can we explain the explosive emergence of global awareness of the polycrisis over the past year, 2022-2023? Three years ago, almost no one had heard of the polycrisis. What happened?

May 1, 2023

Sonoma Cliff

Resilience: Living Beyond Fear With The Coronavirus

The first thing to overcome with the coronavirus is fear. The virus is certainly dangerous. The likelihood is we will need to learn to live with it. A “new normal” will emerge with its own protocols for traveling, meeting, caring for each other, grieving those we lose, and living our lives.

March 9, 2020


Resilience, the Global Challenge, and the Human Predicament

The reason is simple. If we prepare, we stand a better chance of surviving than if we don’t. We need to survive these future shocks—up to and including civilizational collapse—if we are to build a greener and more just world on the other side.

March 25, 2019