Bedoeld is: antroposofie in de media. Maar ook: in de persbak van de wijngaard, met voeten getreden. Want antroposofie verwacht uitgewrongen te worden om tot haar werkelijke vrucht door te dringen. Deze weblog proeft de in de media verschijnende antroposofie op haar, veelal heerlijke, smaak, maar laat problemen en controverses niet onbesproken.

donderdag 16 december 2010


Zo, nu heb ik toch eindelijk meer informatie gevonden over de ontwikkelingen bij de Algemene Antroposofische Vereniging in Dornach, Zwitserland. Een week geleden, op 9 december in ‘Tongue-in-cheek’, kwamen die (financiële) problemen hier voor het laatst aan bod. Dat bericht is sindsdien het meest populaire, gezien de bezoekersaantallen, hoewel ik niet heb kunnen achterhalen waar deze belangstelling precies vandaan komt. Die belangstelling is een reden te meer om op zoek te gaan naar aanvullende informatie. Die bleek heel eenvoudig te vinden, deze staat namelijk in het laatste nummer van Anthroposophy Worldwide, No 10 van 3 december 2010. En niet onbelangrijk, er is op internet makkelijk aan te komen, als je de weg maar weet. Gewoonlijk geef ik een link naar de bronnen die ik gebruik, dat doe ik nu maar niet, want ik weet niet hoe openbaar men deze uitgave wil maken. Niet eigenlijk, want ik lees op de website van het Goetheanum:
‘Anthroposophy Worldwide is the main international newsletter of the Anthroposophical Society. It’s a good way to receive:

– international news of the anthroposophical movement
– regular reports from the Goetheanum, reports from the College of the School of Spiritual Science
– international readers’ forum reports from the sections and general secretaries
– interviews with interesting active members

If you would like to receive Anthroposophy Worldwide, please use the order form. When your membership has been confirmed, you will receive your copy. Anthroposophy Worldwide will be sent as a link, so you can download the pdf file, when it is convenient for you (members currently do not pay for this service but donations are welcome!).’
U wilt een hint hoe hier toch aan te komen? Dat kan: ga naar het nieuwsarchief van de Antroposofische Vereniging in Nederland, en zoek daar op het woord ‘Worldwide’. Met een beetje creativiteit kunt u dan het bewuste nummer zelf vinden. – Het is denk ik wel netjes om hier de colofon van dit tijdschrift te geven (alleen in de papieren uitgave te vinden):
‘Anthroposophy Worldwide is published ten times a year. It is distributed by the national Anthroposophical Societies – in some cases augmented by independently edited news and articles. It also appears as a supplement to the weekly publication Das Goetheanum.

– Publisher: General Anthroposophical Society, represented by Paul Mackay
– Editors: Peggy Elliott (responsible for the English edition), Sebastian Jüngel (content and production), Axel Mannigel, Ursula Remund Fink, Michaela Spaar and Hans-Christian Zehnter
– Correspondents/NewsAgency: Jürgen Vater (Sweden), News Network Anthroposophy (NNA).
We expressly wish for active support and collaboration.

To receive Anthroposophy Worldwide, please apply to the Anthroposophical Society in your country. Alternatively, individual subscriptions are available for CHF 30.- (EUR/US $ 20.-) per year from the address below. An e-mail version is available to members of the Anthroposophical Society only at:

Please send address changes to the address on the envelope! Use this address to contact the editors: Wochenschrift Das Goetheanum, Postfach, CH–4143 Dornach1, Switzerland; fax +41 (0)61 706 44 65;’
Nu gaat het dus allemaal om het openingsartikel ‘The Situation at the Goetheanum. Situation, Development and Decisions’, dat door de voltallige Executive Council is ondertekend: Virginia Sease, Paul Mackay, Bodo von Plato, Sergei Prokofieff, Cornelius Pietzner en Seija Zimmermann. Zij schrijven het volgende:
‘Dear Members

At the beginning of November we gave a brief overview of the trials which at the present time are having a deep affect on the spiritual and human essence of the Goetheanum.We outlined the most important budget figures and indicated the possibility of significant changes. Now we would like to take the opportunity to report in more detail about the present situation, the underlying reasons and the decisions made so far.

Figures and Process

Over the past ten years, the overall budget has been on average around 25 Million CHF. It is covered by income from conferences, performances and services, by membership contributions (2010: 4.67 Million CHF), institutional contributions, free and earmarked donations, as well as legacies. However, it has become increasingly difficult to maintain this way of financing without drawing on reserves. In the annual report 2009/2010 and at this year’s Annual General Meeting, Cornelius Pietzner pointed out that the 2010 budget, in comparison to the year before, had to be reduced by 7.9 % (2009: 22,9 Million CHF; 2010: 21,1 Million CHF) and that in 2011 a further 8 to 10 % (ca. 1.7 Million CHF[1]) in reductions have to be found in order to further avoid falling back on reserves. At that time we were already in the middle of a consultation process on necessary changes which included discussions with the Goetheanum co-workers in working groups and meetings. On this basis it became clear over the summer, that the reductions would be larger than expected in order to achieve a balance between income and expenditure, and at the end of September we reached the following decision: We do not want to continue including legacies in the operating budget, we have to count on reduced income (ca. 1,4 Million CHF[2]) and finally we have to allow for the difficult to calculate, but in any case high, exchange rate losses (ca. 800.000 CHF[3]). With this we are faced with total reductions of 3,9 Million CHF[4] for 2011. As we do not presume that there will be an increase in income in the short term, this means a total reduction of expenditures by about one fifth.

Development over the past two decades

How did this situation arise? Not only our times but also our living conditions have changed radically over the past two decades. The situation at the Goetheanum, too, can hardly be compared to what it was 20 years ago. On the one hand, the increasing activity of the Sections since the end of the 80’s has led to a renewed life of meetings, professional conferences and coordinating activity. The School of Spiritual Science became visible, albeit to this day quite modestly. The Goetheanum became multi faceted andmore profession-orientated. Before, members and friends mainly came to a few large conferences, to ‹Faust› and the Mystery Dramas. The large conferences with nearly 1000 participants declined, the smaller conferences increased and a multi-faceted programme became a dominating element of life at the Goetheanum. At the same time local and regional anthroposophical centres in the periphery gained importance; funding had to be found for these centres and co-workers and the Goetheanum ceased to be the main, shared concern of all members. Then, towards the end of the 20th century, the first chapter of an unusually long pioneering phase drew to a close, when, for example, a working career at the Goetheanum and establishing a family were hardly compatible, when wages or salaries of Goetheanumworkers were no issue. Retirement savings, plans for the future and social security of the many coworkers, who had often given everything for the Goetheanum over decades, without planning for their own future, now became part of a structured ‹Human Resources Administration›; regulated, transparent conditions for the increasing activities and departments became necessary. The consequences of this and other developments were that costs increased without an increase in income at the same level.

When Cornelius Pietzner took on the task of Treasurer in 2002, he was able to increase the cost consciousness at the Goetheanum, establish budget accountability and tried to develop contacts to non-anthroposophical trusts and foundations. However, the gap between income and expenditure continued to widen. This situation forced measures which appear under ‹extraordinary income› in the budget. Over the past ten years an annual structural deficit of over 2 Million CHF had to be balanced. We offset this fundamental underfunding of the Goetheanum with reductions and cuts and the decision to separate single activities, such as, for example, the new production of the Mystery Dramas, from the running operations and to budget them as projects with separate funding and significant communication efforts. This structured the problem but did not solve it. The sale of Weleda shares in 2007 closed an income gap of 3 Million CHF. We have discussed this structural deficit over the past two years at the Annual General Meeting and in the relevant annual reports.

Savings and Reduced Income in the 2011 Budget

[1] 1,710 CHF: No further budgeting of “extraordinary income” (Project Donations, income from investments and structural deficit)
[2] 1,350 CHF: Reduced Income
500.000 Legacies
500.000 Free donations and institutional donations
100.000 Membership Fees
200.000 Reduced Income from properties/real estate
50.000 Increased expenditure of technical upkeep of stage
[3] 0,800 CHF: Estimated currency exchange shortfall
[4] 3,860 CHF: Total

The present necessary reductions of nearly 4 Million CHF are of an extent that calls for marked changes in all areas of the Goetheanum with its 200 co-workers, not only in administration and services, but also for the Sections and the Stage. Together with the General Secretaries and a number of Council Members of the Anthroposophical Societies, we were able to discuss the situation over the past months (see report from the General Secretaries’ Conference in this issue and Hartwig Schiller’s report in ‹Mitteilungen aus der anthroposophischen Arbeit in Deutschland›, December 2010). The General Secretaries Ron Dunselman (Netherlands), Esther Gerster (Switzerland), Hartwig Schiller (Germany) and Troels Ussing (Denmark) have become more involved with the consultations outside the regular conference. Final decisions have not been made in all areas, but the following picture arises so far: The Sections of the School of Spiritual Science will reduce their budget so that the work can continue, albeit in a smaller format. The budgets of the Medical Section and the Pedagogical Section are mostly funded by organisations related to their work.

Three of the altogether eleven Sections face deeper changes. The Section for Mathematics and Astronomy headed by Oliver Conradt, will no longer include a research assistant in its budget; Paul Mackay plans to transform the Section for Social Sciences into a platform which will largely be fashioned from the periphery. Seija Zimmermann and Christof Wiechert will in future be the contact persons for the Arts Section; separate administration of the Section will be put on hold for the time being.

The Goetheanum-Stage is no longer able to retain a permanent actor’s company, despite positive work and collaboration on the Mystery Dramas. We hope to be able to continue with their performances until 2013. Stage production will be reduced over the coming years. Carina Schmid’s Eurythmy Ensemble will discontinue in April 2011, independently of the budgetary situation. Margrethe Solstad will then work on the formation of a new Eurythmy Ensemble.

In the Executive Council, Cornelius Pietzner and Paul Mackay are working on the 2011 budget in close collaboration. Following Cornelius Pietzner’s departure at the 2011 Annual General Meeting, Paul Mackay will take on responsibility for finances for the time being. The Finance Administration at the Goetheanum will also be reduced.

The documentation area, which includes the library, the Society’s archive and the art collection, will see a complete renewal, when Uwe Werner hands over responsibility to Johannes Nilo in spring 2011. We will discontinue some of the services. A closer collaboration with Publications should also achieve considerable savings. What were until now independent publishing and communications areas, like the stage events calendar, the bi-annual events preview, the annual report of the General Anthroposophical Society, the studies leaflets, the numerous announcements and advertisements of events, and possibly also the Sections’ annual reports, are all to be included into the weekly publication ‹Das Goetheanum›. This will mean a completely new format for the periodical in 2011.

Finally, staff reductions will bemade in the area Reception and Events Coordination: Services will be reduced in the Stage and Buildings Administration, and synergies between these two areas will lead to further savings. Energy inefficient buildings, such as, for example, the Wood House and the Carpentry Building, will no longer be used during the wintermonths.


We are of course considering the question whether the reduction of activities and the savings on the scale outlined, are the only ways to respond to the present situation, or whether we should not rather concentrate more intensely on perspectives for new initiatives and projects. However, everything has its time. For now, we would like to take the real developments of the past decades seriously, as they are linked to profound developments in our whole global life and working situation, and also to changes in the anthroposophical life. This demands a healthy balance of strength, not least in the relationship between income and expenditure. Even though we now take the overdue consequences from the developments, this does not mean that we have doubts in the future of our Society, the School of Spiritual Science and the Goetheanum.

On this basis, we are taking into account the increasingly difficult spiritual, human and economic demands. We are focussing on three facts in this process. The anthroposophical movement is a spiritual movement and thus individual and mutual experiences, abilities and decisions in this field can not be replaced. The development of an inner culture which reaches into daily life, and the willingness to engage with spiritual issues, will be determined by the freedom of an ethical individualism. Thereby, and this is the second decisive factor, the cooperation between people, indeed between very different people, will play an ever increasing role. Initiatives have been and will be instigated by individuals; however, they increasingly develop through groups, through the chemistry of cooperation in committed teamwork. The Goetheanum of the future will exist out of and for this alchemy of concrete human relationships.

And finally, we recognise how the need for exchange is growing between engagement throughout the world and a focus point that lies outside the periphery of daily work and research activity.

Innovations and spiritual development within Anthroposophy generally, or within vocational and personal spheres, develop or only come to fruition, if they find a larger context. We are working on making the Goetheanum a central place of discovery and research, discourse, development and enquiry for the worldwide, increasingly diverse, anthroposophical movement.

With this in mind, we are grateful to experience the loyal support of many friends who show their concern or become active, often full of ideas and suggestions, in committees like the General Secretaries’ Conference or within the national councils and local groups and in the many informal encounters and discussions which have taken place over the past months. Also the fact that recently two Sections, the Section for Agriculture and the Pedagogical Section, have chosen more than one person responsible thus enabling spiritual cooperation in a special way within the leadership of these Sections, is a signal. Yet, we do not view these changes as an exemplary ideal for all Sections, because they have not arisen out of programmatic conclusions but out of a specific reality. From this way of working the real directions and core areas of the changes at the Goetheanum can become clearer in the coming years.

On Friday 31st December 2010 at 11.15 am, during this year’s Christmas Conference at the Goetheanum, we will present the outlines of the current situation to the members. We will be happy to respond to questions and considerations. And we will also continue to report about further developments in these pages. With grateful appreciation of your support and trust in these times which are difficult not only for our Society, the School of Spiritual Science and the Goetheanum.

Virginia Sease, Paul Mackay, Bodo von Plato, Sergei Prokofieff, Cornelius Pietzner and Seija Zimmermann’

1 opmerking:

barbara2 zei

interessant, was du da aufgetan hast.
und wie immer nett, wenn man merkt, das haushalte aufgestellt werden, in die legate eingeplant werden, die man noch nicht hat.


Over mij

Mijn foto
(Hilversum, 1960) – – Vanaf 2016 hoofdredacteur van ‘Motief, antroposofie in Nederland’, uitgave van de Antroposofische Vereniging in Nederland (redacteur 1999-2005 en 2014-2015) – – Vanaf 2016 redacteur van Antroposofie Magazine – – Vanaf 2007 redacteur van de Stichting Rudolf Steiner Vertalingen, die de Werken en voordrachten van Rudolf Steiner in het Nederlands uitgeeft – – 2012-2014 bestuurslid van de Antroposofische Vereniging in Nederland – – 2009-2013 redacteur van ‘De Digitale Verbreding’, het door de Nederlandse Vereniging van Antroposofische Zorgaanbieders (NVAZ) uitgegeven online tijdschrift – – 2010-2012 lid hoofdredactie van ‘Stroom’, het kwartaaltijdschrift van Antroposana, de landelijke patiëntenvereniging voor antroposofische gezondheidszorg – – 1995-2006 redacteur van het ‘Tijdschrift voor Antroposofische Geneeskunst’ – – 1989-2001 redacteur van ‘de Sampo’, het tijdschrift voor heilpedagogie en sociaaltherapie, uitgegeven door het Heilpedagogisch Verbond

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