Dornach, April 13, 2018
What is the situation at the Goetheanum? And what happens after the eventful Annual General Meeting of the Anthroposophical Society in the week before Palm Sunday in Dornach? What are the consequences of the further terms of office of the executive members, Paul Mackay and Bodo von Plato, not having been confirmed by the General Assembly?
These questions concern many members. A large number of messages from all over the world have reached us in the Executive Council and the Goetheanum Leadership. We are touched by the intense participation and concern. The human involvement in the events of the Anthroposophical Society has suddenly become warmed and condensed. The intentions envisaged by the Executive Council and the Goetheanum Leadership must now be mandated anew. What could become possible in this newly created situation? We want to approach this situation openly and make the processes more transparent for you as members. We see this as the best way forward to address the development of isolated factions, the legitimate concerns about the further development in the Society and the rumors/suspicions of various kinds which are unfortunately spreading rapidly.
After the intense and dramatic Easter event at the Goetheanum (see below), there were naturally great expectations directed towards the first session of the Goetheanum Leadership (Executive Council and Section Leaders). In the protracted meetings on the 10th of April, it was our task to draw the first conclusions from the events and to realign the our work together.
As a first step, we took a sober look at what was expressed through the outcome of the voting at the General Assembly. What mistakes and omissions have we made and where have we not correctly assessed developments? Where are deficits in the communication with the members? Where were processes incomprehensible? We want to deepen this diagnosis even further. Against this background, what is the common will in the Society, to take forward the initiated process of re-defining the Anthroposophical Society, the tasks of the School of Spiritual Science and the undertaking "Goetheanum in Development"? Are our procedures and structures still suitable for an Anthroposophically inspired World Movement?
As a result of the discussions on the 10th April, we can state: Of course, the Executive Council and the Goetheanum Leadership accept the outcome of the vote. Thus we are faced with the fact that three members of the Executive Council, since Seija Zimmermann also retired, have simultaneously left their office (on one day). The will of the Goetheanum Leadership, comprising since 2012 of equally responsible members of the Executive Council and Section Leaders, to work together is not affected by this loss. We will attempt in every way possible to integrate as many concerns of Society members as possible in the intentions carried by the Goetheanum.
In the interests of the diverse workings of the School of Spiritual Science, the Anthroposophical Society and the Goetheanum operation, with its accompanying organizations, we now envisage a limited transitional period in order to facilitate the reorganizing of responsibilities. The actual Council responsibilities of Paul Mackay and Bodo von Plato (as well as Seija Zimmermann) ended on the 24th March 2018. Since then they have been taken over by the four current board members (Justus Wittich, Joan Sleigh, Constanza Kaliks and Matthias Girke). The Spokesman for the Goetheanum Leadership, intended for Paul Mackay and designated for one year, was taken over by Constanza Kaliks and Oliver Conradt.
The many tasks and mandates within the running of the Goetheanum operation in projects, in planned conferences and working contexts, which were delegated to Paul Mackay and Bodo von Plato by the Goetheanum Leadership for three years, according to our Rules of Procedure, will continue until the 11th and 12th June 2018. These will then be reassessed and reassigned as part of a reorganization of all mandates, a regular procedure due in December 2018, which will be brought forward to June 2018. We would like to carefully consider and prepare this process in the coming weeks. The mandate to Paul Mackay to continue representing the Anthroposophical Society on the Board of Directors of Weleda AG was confirmed by the Executive Council on 10 April.
In Michaelmas 2016 the Goetheanum Leadership hosted the World Conference at the Goetheanum. From this the work stream "Goetheanum in development" has emerged. Over the next three years, the intention is to strengthen the School of Spiritual Science, the Anthroposophical Society and the Vocational Fields worldwide and bring them into a fruitful collaboration. The projects that are underway to reach this goal will continue. In particular, this includes the aim of achieving a balanced financial budget for the Goetheanum by 2020. The future of Anthroposophy in the world and at the Goetheanum continue to be the core task and heart-felt concern of the Goetheanum Leadership.
How the work at the Goetheanum continued without interruption immediately after the dramatic events of the General Assembly, both publicly and in the area of the School of Spiritual Science, can be seen in two impressive events: The new format "Easter at the Goetheanum" brought in addition to lectures and introductions, the concert performance of the 3rd act of Wagner's "Parzivals" by the Basel Symphony Orchestra, conducted by Sir Mark Elder and Verdi's "Messa da Requium" with the Zurich Symphony Orchestra, under the direction of Heinz Bähler. Both concerts were a great artistic event in the meeting of public cultural achievement with the Goetheanum, which attracted many interested people to the almost sold out hall. This was followed by the International Conference of the professions of Eurythmy, Artistic Speech and Eurythmy Therapy, organized by three Sections of the School of Spiritual Science, and attended by up to 800 participants from 40 countries worldwide. It enlivened the Goetheanum-Campus with joyful encounters and many inspiring examples of artistic-educational-therapeutic work being undertaken in the world.
We hope to continue our work in this direction, with your support and involvement, to stimulate and strengthen the effective working of Anthroposophy from the Goetheanum into the world.
For the Goetheanum Leadership
Justus Wittich and Ueli Hurter