The initiative group of the World Goetheanum Association sees itself as the perceptive body of the World Goetheanum Association. Our aim is to perceive the needs, issues and questions of the partners, to include them, to make room for the common shaping of a common future and to stimulate networking and cooperation. We ask for an open dialogue in the group of partners and see ourselves on a common path of identity building, linked by shared values.
Since the founding of SEKEM (1977) by his father Ibrahim Abouleish, Helmy Abouleish has striven for holistic sustainable development in Egypt and globally. The activities of SEKEM, of which H. Abouleish has been managing director for more than 30 years, cover the areas of economy, ecology, cultural, and social life. Under his leadership, the SEKEM Initiative was, amongst other things, awarded the "Alternative Nobel Prize". Currently, he is the CEO of SEKEM Holding, which consists of five companies (ISIS Organic food, ATOS Pharma natural medicines and health care products, NatureTex organic cotton textiles, Lotus organic herbs and spices and SLR Sekem for land reclamation).
Fabio Brescacin was born in 1955 in Conegliano Veneto (Italy). In 1979 he graduated in Agriculture from the University of Padua. For a year he attended Emerson College in England. Back in Italy he and a group of friends opened "Ariele", one of the first organic shops in Italy. In 1987, he was one of the founders of Gea, a distribution company that later became Ecor S.p.A. and then EcorNaturaSì S.p.A. emerged. Today, he is the leading distributor of organic and biodynamic products in Italy, working exclusively with specialized retailers.
Michael Brenner is Co-Managing Director of the Weleda Group. In his role, he is responsible for the support and service areas of the company. These include finances, human resources, organisational development, culture & identity, and sustainability. Michael Brenner has been working for Weleda since 2012.
Head of the Section for Social Sciences at the Goetheanum. The former Waldorf teacher and journalist is the initiator of numerous initiatives and foundations such as the Federal Foundation for the Reappraisal of the SED Dictatorship, Petra Kelly Foundation, and the NGOs Mehr Demokrati and Democracy International. He was a founder of the party Alliance 90/The Greens. Häfner was Managing Director of The Greens in Bavaria (1979-81) and Chairman from 1990-94, Member of the German Parliament for three legislative periods (1987 – 2002), and Member of the European Parliament from 2009 - 2014. Häfner is holder of the Silver Microphone (best speaker of the members of the German Parliament in the 14th legislative period) as well as the National Leadership Award for Political Innovation of the Economic Forum Germany.
Hurter lives in Montezillon / Neuchâtel, Switzerland. He is a trained biodynamic farmer. As well as the work at the Goetheanum, since 1989, he is responsible for a biodynamic farm with milk processing: Ferme de L'Aubier, a 35 ha mixed farm with a cheese factory. Since 1991 in the management of L'Aubier: which includes a Demeter farm, eco-hotel, organic restaurant, café-hotel, and an eco-residential district. L’Aubier is an associatively designed company. From 2006 founding the initiative "Sowing the Future!" with Peter Kunz, supported by L'Aubier and Cereal Breeding Peter Kunz. Since 1994 he is a member of the circle of representatives of the Section for Agriculture. 1997-2010 President of the Swiss Demeter Association, and until 2010 the Swiss representative at Demeter-International. 2002 Foundation of IBDA - International Biodynamic Association - since then on the board. Since August 2010: Co-director of the Section for Agriculture, Goetheanum.
Paul Mackay, born 1946 in Hong Kong. Studied economics in Rotterdam and Fontainebleau. From 1972 to 2012 he worked in banking as founder and director of Triodos Bank, as well as CEO and Chairman of the Supervisory Board of GLS Bank. Chairman of the Board of Directors of Weleda AG since 2012. From 1996-2018, Executive Director at the Goetheanum, School of Spiritual Science.
Armin Steuernagel (born 1990) has been an entrepreneur since childhood. At the age of 16 he founds his first official company: shipping of toys. From this he receives a basic income today. He is a co-initiator of the citizens' initiative "Democracy International" and studied philosophy, politics and economics in Witten/Herdecke and Oxford. Foundation of his second company "Mogli". With this he today sells 3,000,000 products (organic food for children) in 22 countries yearly.
Agricultural engineer and hotel expert. Studied organic agriculture in Witzenhausen / Kassel. International projects and jobs in India, Turkey, Russia, Austria, United Kingdom and New Zealand. Since 2011 she is an active member of the Working Group on Rural Agriculture (AbL e.V.), 2014 - 2016 Member of the Board of the AbL e.V. in NordrheinWestphalen. 2013-2016 member of the Zukunftsstiftung Landwirtschaft in the GLS Treuhand e.V. / Bochum. Since November 2016: active in the Section for Agriculture, Goetheanum.
Justus Wittich (1955) studied, after attending the Waldorf School, Economics, Law and Journalism in Berlin and graduated from the Free University in 1979 with a degree in economics. For seven years he set up the aid organization Friends of Waldorf Education Rudolf Steiner in Stuttgart. Justus Wittich has been responsible for more than 25 years in in various areas of the district project der Hof in Niederursel (Frankfurt a. M.), for example family education, business management and overall management. Since 2011, the family education centre has been cooperating with the Children and Family Centre Northwest, which is funded by the City of Frankfurt, and the Al Karama Mother and Child Centre. From 1992 to 2012, Justus Wittich was a member of the executive board of the Anthroposophical Society in Germany. On March 31, 2012, he was elected treasurer to the Executive Board of the General Anthroposophical Society (Dornach / Switzerland). He is married and has three children.