Second letter to Members – May 2018

Dornach, May 14, 2018

Dear Members,

The weeks after the General Assembly have been extremely intense at the Goetheanum. The non-affirmation of a further term of office of Paul Mackay and Bodo von Plato raises the question with many members near and far, above all also among the co-workers at the Goetheanum, as to how it will continue after the agreed transitional period. The previously well-established in-house operations, as well as the connections all over the world need to be reorganized. After our first report of 13th April (see "Anthroposophy Worldwide", no. 5/2018) there now follows a second letter, allowing you to participate in the further progress.

The Executive Council and the Goetheanum Leadership have defined a clearly structured process for all upcoming changes. The outcomes of these analyses, evaluations and decision-making processes are still open in many areas, but the process is progressing steadily. At present, we still assume that the new appointments of mandates and tasks for all management areas will be finalized on the 11th and 12th June at the retreat of the Goetheanum Leadership.

In the deliberations, it is clear that the determination of the future leadership of the General Anthroposophical Section within our School of Spiritual Science, is a particular challenge. Related to this are the questions of profile, the current themes and focus of the research of this section, which is important for the overall development of the School. All this will be hard to clarify in the four weeks leading up to the retreat. Nevertheless, here too we stand by our decision regarding all the tasks at the Goetheanum: the management mandates will be reassigned at the June retreat. In the interim, Paul Mackay and Bodo von Plato continue to carry out their previous responsibilities within the currently responsible Collegium of the Sections.

At present we are receiving many urgent messages regarding the possibility of how, in the future, members of our Society distributed around the world can be appropriately involved in decisions of the General Assembly, e.g. in the reaffirming of Council members, amendments to the statutes or the membership subscriptions. The Goetheanum Leadership has now mandated Gerald Häfner (Head of Social Sciences Section) and Justus Wittich (Member of the Executive Council) to launch a process by the end of June that will lead to proposals for new forms of participation. These can then be discussed in 2019 at the General Assembly and possibly decided upon. The General Anthropo-sophical Society, as it exists today and has developed on a worldwide scale, should be visible and reflected right down to the statutes. Involved in this from the outset, are the 19 General Secretaries, representing 18 Country Societies on five continents. At the same time, the interaction with the other 14 Country Societies (with less than 500 members) is being intensified this year.

An important decision has been made regarding the intended next performance of "Faust", scheduled for 2020. There will not be a modified repeat of Christian Peter’s production of 2016/17. In discussion with all the participants of the stage ensemble and Goetheanum Leadership – as expressed in a letter of the responsible mandate group - it became clear "that it is not productive to stand in the past and at the same time want something new." In this respect, there is now a complete restart! Due to a lack of resources for a large-scale project, there will be a shorter version in 2020 with "highlighted accents of important aspects of the content". The production team which has come together consists of Andrea Pfaehler (for drama production), Isabelle Fortagne (assistant producer), Eduardo Torres (director of Eurythmy), Agnes Zehnter (coaching artistic speech), Stefan Hasler (director) and Nils Frischknecht (production manager).

We also want to mention that the in-house organization of the Goetheanum has been through various stages of development and upheaval since the General Assembly. Therefore, the newly established management team: Stefan Hasler, Justus Wittich and, until June, Paul Mackay, is now dealing with the interdepartmental work processes within the organization. A weekly operational meeting with ten carrying co-workers ensures the interface of the eleven sections and the house management with the leadership.

Finally, there have been a number of changes within the co-worker body, as part of this development process. For example, Martin Zweifel, the long-standing head of the Building Administration and, in recent years, responsible for the successful renovation of the Goetheanum, was elected by the Municipal Council on May 1st 2018 as director of the Construction Administration of Dornach. We congratulate him warmly and thank him for the great achievements of recent years. In the coming months we will now reorganize our Building Administration department.

For the Goetheanum Leadership
Ueli Hurter and Justus Wittich