Greg Bennick is an American professional speaker, humanitarian activist, and award-winning producer and writer. He has appeared at thousands of events since 1984 as a keynote speaker and entertainer. He speaks on themes related to communication, connection, and managing the unexpected/change to organizations worldwide. His artistic work focuses on projects which explore the depth and range of the human experience, including Flight from Death, a seven-time Best Documentary award-winning film narrated by Gabriel Byrne which uncovers anxiety about mortality as a possible root cause of many of our violent and aggressive behaviors. The film is regularly screened worldwide, most recently on The Discovery Channel in Canada, and was called "One of the most ambitious documentaries ever made" by PBS Australia.
Commercial Speaking career
Greg has spoken to and performed for various groups at conferences, seminars, and universities in over a dozen countries on four continents as a keynote entertainer. He focuses on two main topics: finding new perspectives on change, and also on serving others with the idea of people over profits and how that relates to being present for customers, leadership, and teamwork. He was recognized with an award for being "Best Presenter" in a marketplace for the most effective presentation out of 25 other competitors at a national conference before 3000 people.
In the summer of 2012, Greg began touring as a spoken word artist, unrelated to his commercial speaking work. He focused on small venues, in informal settings, doing 60–90 minutes each night to youth involved in the music community, offering spoken poetry, ideas about having limited time in life and how to maximize that time most effectively, and how to bring our passion in life to those we love and to those who need support most. He logged over 7000 miles around the western United States and spoke to over a thousand people during that time, creating a new avenue for words and ideas to be shared with a population who might otherwise not have heard them.
He spoken in over twenty countries in 2013, including the first ever comprehensive / full spoken word tour of Russia by an American spoken word performer.
In 2014 he will tour the USA, Russia, the UK and Europe.
Greg released the critically acclaimed Flight from Death, a documentary about death anxiety, inspired by the works and writings of cultural anthropologist and social theorist Ernest Becker (1924–1974) with his film partner Patrick Shen. The film began touring film festivals around the world in 2003 and was released on DVD in 2006. The film won seven "Best Documentary" and "Best Feature" awards at film festivals around the world. It has been screened throughout the United States, Canada, Europe, Africa, and Australia and has been used in over a hundred colleges and universities as a means of initiating discussions on aggression and how to curb violence worldwide.
He co-produced The Philosopher Kings (2009). The Philosopher Kings is a film which seeks wisdom in unlikely places from people who are most often marginalized and ignored by society. The subjects of the film are staff members at prestigious colleges from around North America, but at those schools, the filmmakers only interviewed the custodians.
He is also co-producer on "La Source" a documentary about the installation of a permanent and reliable water system for a remote village in Haiti for inhabitants who previously had to drink polluted water locally, or endure a treacherous walk into the mountains and risk injury in order to access clean water.
Greg continues to sing for the Seattle straightedge hardcore band Trial. The band toured the United States four times, Europe once, and released three CD's, including the highly acclaimed "Are These Our Lives" in 1999. A second European tour took place in the fall of 2011. A DVD about the band entitled "Reunion/Retrospective" was released in 2008 on Panic Records. Greg is currently the vocalist for the band Between Earth & Sky, releasing their first record in spring 2011 on Refuse Records from Europe, and on cassette from New Order Records from Germany. The record was recorded in Vancouver BC, Canada. Greg also did guest vocals in the song "The Flight of the Locust" from Italy's Hardcore band To Kill's newest album "Antarctica" and the song "Synesthesia" on the LP from Arizona's "Run With the Hunted". Along with a spoken word track entitled "Surgery without Sutures" on the album "Mediums and Messages" by Utah hardcore band Parallax.He has appeared on numerous other recordings as well as a spoken word artist and guest vocalist.
Between Earth & Sky toured Europe in the summer of 2013, and will be releasing a new record n 2014.
One Hundred For Haiti
In January 2010, the massive earthquake created a dire situation for the people of Haiti. Having the desire to help directly, Greg founded One Hundred For Haiti, a direct action organization that supports relief and development projects in Haiti. Proceeds support Dr. Jacques Denis and his work at the Centre de Sante Saint Martin II, a clinic that serves 60,000 people in the Delmas 4 neighborhood in Port-au-Prince. Valiantly working against overwhelming odds, Dr. Denis has committed himself to giving away all medicine and medical care since the earthquake. Every patient he serves is given the same quality treatment, and the work of One Hundred For Haiti supports that endeavor by providing Dr. Denis with adequate medical supplies to stock the shelves of the clinic, as well as hiring local workers to repair structural damage to the clinic that occurred in the quake.
Additional initiatives pursued by One Hundred for Haiti include support for the children of Kay Angel orphanage in Jacmel Haiti and also support for the villagers of La Source, a rural village near the city of Jacmel, in their efforts to build a school and nursing station in the village. Rural communities were impacted intensely by the quake due to the disruption of supply flow from major cities to outlying areas.
Using social media such as Facebook and Twitter, One Hundred For Haiti was part of a core team that organized a series of international events under the banner of "One Hundred Shows For Haiti" in early 2011. Shows and events were arranged in Leeds UK, Salt Lake City, New York City, Budapest, Seattle, Melbourne Australia, Seoul Korea, Vancouver BC Canada, and many more. Having a network of events happening simultaneously connected a global community to a single cause. Events ranging from concerts, to movie screenings, restaurant promotions and public discussions were held to raise awareness and financial support. Noting the need for all possible support, all events were accepted as long as they were willing to be benefits in support of One Hundred For Haiti and its partner organization Haitian Women for Haitian Refugees. Youth around the world were motivated to join in to support the cause, and the events raised tens of thousands of dollars.
More on the charity can be found at http://www.onehundredforhaiti.org
The Legacy Project
The Legacy Project: Greg, along with his friend Dave Whitson, has led two month-long international study and research trips to explore the roots of human violence. These trips (to Poland in 2007 to study the legacy of the Nazis, and to South Africa in 2008 to study the legacy of apartheid) consisted of a dozen high school students each along with a film crew led by director Patrick Shen documenting the experience of interviewing those affected by, responsible for, and involved with the greatest atrocities known in human history. The official website, listed below, has more information. A book documenting the experience is being written by Bennick and Whitson. The latest trip, to Chile and Argentina was completed in spring 2014 Other possible locations for future trips include a return to Poland, Canada, Latin America, a trip to the Balkans, and possibly Rwanda.
The World Leaders Project
The World Leaders Project: Greg is the co-founder, along with former Skidmore College Psychology Department chairman Sheldon Solomon, of The World Leaders Project. This project started in 2001 with the intent of having face to face meetings with World Leaders to discuss the issue of human violence and determine what could be done about it. A meeting in 2003 with President Bharrat Jagdeo of Guyana was held in Guyana. Other meetings are forthcoming.
- Greg Bennick at the Internet Movie Database
- Greg Bennick official event speaking site
- Words As Weapons official spoken word / interview site
- One Hundred For Haiti official site
- Flight From Death official site
- The Philosopher Kings official site
- Between Earth & Sky official site
- Trial on Facebook
- The official site for The Legacy Project