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2015 Martha and ARU Graduates DSC03411_e

Martha has served AFPF as Board Member, Board Chair, and Executive Director (1997 – 2014). For these opportunities, she is grateful to Silvana Veltkamp, co-founder of AFPF and URDT. In 1981 Silvana introduced Martha to the work of Robert Fritz. It was Silvana’s plan to have Fritz’s teaching about the creative process become fundamental to the work of African professionals in rural development. 

Martha DolbenAFPF Chair Emeritus 

Martha served the AFPF-URDT partnership for over 35 years in many ways, including as an AFPF Board Member, Board Chair, and Executive Director. In November 2023, she sketched her larger ongoing life’s work as follows:

I am a poet, author, and co-founder with Ingrid Miller of Guesswork Partners Press and the 1060 Women’s Studio, Concord, MA, a center for research and development on behalf of peace, trusted friendship, and the joy of life. We believe that humanity can keep becoming more reliably humane and that the coming forward of the Feminine now, when valued and served, is a great boon to our evolving character and contentment.


My beloved husband Don Dolben provides crucial and immeasurable personal and financial support for the 1060 Women’s Studio. Also, I am indebted to, and give thanks for, my work with women in circles for over 30 years, in the U.S. and at URDT’s Ugandan campus, which has provided friendships and learning essential to the founding of the 1060 Women’s Studio. Furthermore, and importantly, the 1060 Studio is building on and with a surprising opus of scientific, artistic, and literary work coming from Hadi Madjid and his physics partnership of over forty years with John Myers. This is thanks to my collaboration with Hadi of over thirty years, and my collaboration with Ingrid Miller over twelve years, exploring how to apply the gifts of Hadi and John’s science to the domain of human development.


In 2005, Hadi and John published their guesswork proof, thus the name of our press. This proof and other work of theirs has established scientifically that the Unknowable is real and that surprises from the Unknowable are the source and driver of the scientific method. In other words, the scientific method is the way the connected inner and outer worlds – our character and creativity – come to evolve. Whether or not we think of ourselves as scientists, we all use hypothesis and experiment – or guessing and testing – to navigate life. However, for many people – whether professional scientists or not – recognition of the Unknowable and its surprises does not inform their thinking and living. Rather, many proceed unconsciously driven by a compulsion to find final answers and to live by fixed concepts. The extreme violence in our times is fueled greatly by the drive for final answers, with its false promise of power to end our confusion and suffering.


In my ongoing efforts to bring transcendent inspiration and scientific self-reflection more reliably to the human invention of peaceful society, I need to collaborate with others also committed to this effort. At our 1060 Studio, we seek to promulgate friendships and circles that uplift us by developing our abilities to pair with the Unknowable and each other in all our living, learning, and creating. To support this journey, we are publishing poetry, books, and papers, showing artwork, and creating programs. We plan to offer shorter introductory programs and longer circle leader development programs. Eventually, we see chances for local circles around the globe to connect, learn from, and encourage each other, thus strengthening our abilities to advance peace, trusted friendship, and the joy of life.

Martha and Don

Martha Dolben graduated with honors in Music from Middlebury College, continues to study classical piano, treasures time in nature, and adores her strong, loving family and many special friends. Books published by (or coming soon from) Guesswork Partners Press include Martha’s On Behalf of Joy and Who Are We? How Does it Work? and Hadi Madjid’s Forms of Life’s Desires and The Braided Hole.


For more information, please email Martha at


2015 Martha one of the remarkable women of URDT

Martha celebrating with the URDT remarkable women.

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