Future Shapers

Future Shapers

06 September 2023 573 views

by the Future Shapers team

Being present, trusting the future

«Dear Friends, we can accomplish our work only if we do not see it as simply a matter of intellect or feeling, but, in the highest sense, as a moral spiritual task. Therefore, you will understand why, as we begin this work today, we first reflect on the connection we wish to create from the very beginning between our activity and the spiritual worlds…» (R. Steiner, Stuttgart August 21, 1919)

What is important in today's world? What future do we want to co-create?

In all spheres of human activity, in nature, and in our spiritual quest for higher knowledge, global changes are taking place everywhere. The world has been in constant change since the beginning: since there was the Word. And today, it is obvious to us that all power is in unity. In the unification of people with each other, unification with nature, and unification of oneself with one's Higher Self. The idea of «choose the right leader and follow him» does not always work nowadays. People need people. Be this as it may, we are scientifically proven social beings who are increasingly immersed in our social and healthy interactions with one another. It is important for us to create and be in spaces where we are seen, heard, and, of course, fully accepted. In this way, everyone who is in such a space has the opportunity to manifest and has the inherent capacity to create.

About us

In April 2021, the Leadership Team of the Anthroposophic Council for Inclusive Social Development reached out to young professionals from around the world who had come to their attention. About 40 of us showed up for the initial meeting. What united us was a shared interest and enthusiasm in working with Anthroposophy and the fields of Curative/Therapeutic Education, Social Therapy, Community Building, Leadership, and Inclusive Social Development. The introduction round was a major part of the meeting and it was great to get to know so many others who are shaping the future. In the end, there was an invitation from the Leadership Team to work together and co-create the Autumn Conference at the Goetheanum in October 2021 with the Leadership Team of the Council. A group of about 8 individuals formed who met regularly in the months to come. Organizing the conference was a transformative process and after many Zoom meetings together, it was very special for us to meet in person (most of us for the first time) when the conference became a reality at last. We connected deeply, it felt like the universe had called us together and that our task was only starting. From this time, the Future Shapers group was formed. Five of us decided to continue working together after the conference. The name «Future Shapers» was given to us by the Leadership Team. We sometimes wonder, who we are to claim that we shape the future? There are many futures to shape. And everyone is a future shaper in one way or another…

Our group is spread across different continents and time zones. We are grateful and feel privileged to shape the space that the Leadership Team has created with us. This journey is a huge gift and, at the same time, a great responsibility. We are in constant development as individuals and especially as a group. Each of us is in the process of formation in curative/therapeutic education, social therapy, and community building. We develop different projects, which are connected to the anthroposophical movement of inclusive social development in our regions and contribute to the work of building bridges in the international movement.

Study Group

From those strong foundations that we carry inside ourselves gratefully, we started a study group at the beginning of 2022. The first book that we chose was Dan McKanan’s «Camphill and the Future». Every month the group meets online for an hour and a half in a space of free dialogue and reflection. We find this book inspiring and important. As we go through it together, it shows many precious «treasures» not just about Camphill but also for the future shaping process itself! Here is a testimony from one of our Study Group participants:

«Some time ago, an opportunity to join a study group organized by the Future Shapers came to me. Initially, I joined the study group for the book, but I encountered some very thoughtful and compassionate people and enjoyed a very well-held, well-run study group. The space was opened and closed with a verse, silent contemplation and active listening were cultivated during the meetings. The facilitated meetings where the thoughts of those in the meeting were not instantly countered, but allowed to echo and leave us with an after image of the idea» (Nick — Esk Valley Camphill Community)

How do we want to share community spaces with others in a loving, peaceful, and healthy way, so that every individual can develop themselves? How do we create a space where dignity and respect are principles for inner and outer development — one with the other? We got the impression that the mission, vision, and impulse of Camphill Communities are as relevant as ever today. And yet, there is a lot of work to be done to rekindle the flame in a changing world. To discover potential, giving space for each unique vision of human dignity, sharing enthusiasm, and building strong foundations, visions, and missions behind our work is crucial in our work. In one of the earliest meetings it was said that «By witnessing the same transition between centuries, generations and in leadership at different times, in different locations, in different ways and to different extents, we can learn from each other and explore ways to make this transition more successful» (Martin. Our Study Group is open to anyone at any time, at any part of this and future books.

Future Shaper Circle

The enthusiasm itself, one of the strengths of all those who are young at heart, plays its role in connecting in a warm and loving way. We create safe spaces (mostly in online form) where people of all ages are welcome. We recognize that we need to develop deep connections between people with more experience (often called the older generation) and younger people to shape the future cohesively. Everyone has the natural ability and inner enthusiasm to create and sustain any flame, anywhere in the world. And together it is easier, and more importantly, more enjoyable. We aim to build bridges and offer a link for young or aspiring professionals in our field from all over the world who want to share experiences, support each other, and find out how similar challenges are solved and innovative projects are created in different parts of our world. You, dear reader, are also shaping the future!

«Future shapers are those who hold each other's hands, they are a group of people, creating places of warmth where one can meet freely» (Astrid)

We cordially invite you to the Future Shapers Circle. A space to share our questions, learn from each other, launch international projects, and celebrate warm human encounters together.

Peacebuilding and Peace Project

The latest work we are processing is to prepare a panel about peacebuilding together with the leaders of the Youth Section and the Section for Social Sciences for the Goetheanum World Conference 2023. The topic of «peace» has lived within our Future Shapers group probably unconsciously from the very beginning and was aired and manifested about half a year ago with the wish to initiate a «Peace Project». The main goal is to bring together people who need support and connect with each other and those who would like to make changes where we can do it if we are united. «Of the greatest significance here, as I see it, is to unleash the potential of one and the whole group in the name of the common good. It does not matter whether one is a specialist in one's field and/or associated with Anthroposophy. I see that this light is important, which makes a person a firefly in the dark. Or find the light in its darkness» (Liia)

So far we have not taken any concrete action, so the invitation for cooperation felt like an opportunity, and as if destiny is telling us we are on the right track. It is fair to say that we are both humbled to be asked to shape this space and enthusiastic about the theme and potential impact this could have. We are looking forward to meeting you at the Goetheanum World Conference in September 2023!

«What a person carries in his head, he loses on the way. But what he takes into his heart, the heart keeps into all spheres of activity, into which the human being will be transferred. If it is [...] carried away with your heart, with your whole human being, then, my dear friend, we have spoken to each other here in the right way». (R. Steiner, GA 217, Pedagogy Youth Course, p. 197)

Hopefully, you don’t just carry away in your heads what was written here, but you could feel it in your heart, dear friend and you put into effect what you carry in your heart.

For further information and contact HERE.

We are interested to know about you and your work, ideas, and projects. Anyone can be part of creating the future together.

Future Shapers Team

Dennis Löffler (ARG), Liia Ivanova (RU), Veronika Turčanová (SK), Martin Schwarz and Wiebke Lösken-Sturm (N-IRL)