Conference of the Social Therapy Working Group – April 2022

Conference of the Social Therapy Working Group – April 2022

Resilience of people and organizations

The main topic of the Social Therapeutic Working Group (STAG) at its conference in April 2022

In April 2022, the working group met at the Weide-Hardebek farm community in northern Germany. 

In the past three years, as in many other contexts of anthroposophical social work, there has been a generational change. Fortunately, this time we were able to recruit some younger collaborators, so that we met with 15 people.

During the four days together we heard about the perspectives and tasks of the people present and their countries: Sweden, Northern Ireland, Great Britain, Holland, Austria, Switzerland, Italy and Germany. Here we experience ourselves as a community that shares personal and institutional challenge and always sharpens the view therein through anthroposophy.

The substantive focus was on the topic of “Resilience of People and Organizations”. A holistic introductory contribution by Freia Adam was expanded by Udo Pfeil’s focus on the organizational level with the help of the four development phases of an organization according to Lievegoed and Glasl (pioneering phase, differentiation phase, integration phase, association phase). In conversation and with painting exercises and eurythmy we searched on the one hand for the balance of personal resilience and the concept of health and what strengthens an institution with the anthroposophical approaches.

How can we develop a relationship to resilience from the human essential elements and transfer this to organizations? For this, we used the model of the seven essential elements, also by Friedrich Glasl, as a basis.

The debate on this is not yet over and there will be a more in-depth discussion in a next conference in the fall. 

What was special was that Hartwig Ehlers was able to give a very lively account of the processes of organizational development and the building of resilience, using the example of the Weide-Hardebek farm community from its foundation to the present day.

As a farewell gift from Hartwig Ehlers, he invited us to a wonderful day in Worpswede near Bremen, where we could get to know the former artists’ colony around Heinrich Vogler. There, parallels to our intentions of community building were revealed to us.

In addition to Hartwig Ehlers, we also said goodbye to Henk Poppenk from Holland after many years of participation in this conference.

Currently the following colleagues are active in the working group: Achim Leibig/Austria, Andrea Krohn-Petrovic/Germany, Evert Hoefman/Holland, Freia Adam/Germany, Juliane Gravenhorst/Germany, Lisa Grabsch/UK (guest), Martin Schwarz/Northern Ireland (guest), Paulamaria Baxland/UK, Sara Colonna/Italy, Sara Siegers/Sweden, Sebastian Schöning/Germany (guest), Udo Pfeil/Switzerland, Sonja Zausch/Council.