John Bloom is Vice President, Organizational Culture at RSF Social Finance in San Francisco (www.rsfsocialfinance.org). As part of his work at RSF he has been developing and facilitating conversations and programs that address the intersection of money and spirit in personal and social transformation. He writes frequently for RSF’s Reimagine Money blog and has fostered collaborative dialogues on the challenging social aspects money. As part of his work he has helped develop awareness of issues of land and biodynamic agriculture across the US. He was appointed as General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in America in October 2016. He has written two books, The Genius of Money, and Inhabiting Interdependence, both published by SteinerBooks. He lives in San Francisco.
Drs. Molly and Quentin McMullen came to Ann Arbor 21 years ago with the intention of creating a new economic form for medicine outside the traditional insurance system. The first step was to establish a non-profit medical practice that would be welcomed and supported by the community with monthly subscriptions, like a CSA model, but for medicine. That is just what happened and CSAM was established in 1997, Community Supported Anthroposophical Medicine. One of the many aspirations of the organization was to also establish an inpatient “hospital-like” residential program with intensive therapies and medical care. In 2003 the Rudolf Steiner Health Center opened in an historic mansion that had been a nursing home for 75 years. The Health Center also provides the space for clinical training of doctors, nurses and therapists. A program to introduce young people to the many aspects of anthroposophical medicine as a potential career path has been running for 8 summers.
Joan Jaeckel: Children have strengths and vulnerabilities that schools generally overlook. As a matter of fact, children are often punished for being children in schools. In many ways, the purpose of education still is getting the child out of the student. And so I am an education reformer and my mission is to close the Whole Child education opportunity gap. Right now, I’m working with Orland Bishop, Founder and Executive Director of the ShadeTree Multicultural Foundation and others to host the becoming of a publicly chartered TK-8th school serving the needs of the Whole Child – Head, Heart, and Hands – in the so-called “high needs” community of Watts in South Los Angeles. The proposed ShadeTree Community School will apply the Waldorf approach to education reform.
Future parents hearing about education for the Whole Child and the Waldorf approach to teaching and learning at the Watts/Century Latino Organization. All 22 parents attending signed the petition to demonstrate their support for the school to the Los Angeles Unified School District (LAUSD). School will open as a TK-2nd in 2020.
I like to solve hard problems. I’m particularly interested in applying systems thinking to the complex issue of reforming the educational system. Teaching to the Whole Child – woke head, woke heart, and woke hands – is the key to self and social consciousness – the missing link that could finally realize the unrealized vision of public education in the 21st century. What systemic reforms would close the Whole Child education opportunity gap?
Looking back, I see I began acting as an education reformer as a child in school. I convinced the principal in my middle school to allow girls to take shop and boys to take home economics (cooking and sewing). I convinced my high school principal to provide supervision for kids not interested in attending football pep rallies and to stop marking us as truant.
What excites me the most about what I’m doing is constantly having to change my attitude and examine my beliefs. I am learning that both the necessity and the possibility of getting off it happens in community with the other – especially the really other. 😊
As a futurist and education reformer I resist a constant feeling of frustration and shame at not completing what I start. At the same time, a long-term patience is what’s needed. I know that what I help to set in motion today well not get completed in my lifetime – maybe it won’t even be Waldorf education, as I know and love it, that will drive the system over the tipping point. All I know for sure is that Waldorf education – operating in a bubble – will not be enough, that we must join with like-minded others, and that, there is NO ONE PERFECT UTOPIAN ANSWER anyway.
Before helping to start this school, during and after, I will continue to facilitate a different conversation around education reform: Access to Whole Child education for all is a social equity issue and a human rights issue and a humanitarian issue.
So, while education reform is about Child Learning, what really interests me is its prerequisite: Adult Learning. Although I trained as a Waldorf teacher at the Waldorf Teacher Training Center at Highland Hall Waldorf and subsequently taught German there, I don’t consider myself a teacher of children. It’s about adult learning to see, hear, understand, and accept the Whole Child as the clue to education reform and the need to reform our educational system around the needs of the Whole Child – connecting heart to head, head to heart and engendering the will and action towards a more human future.
Frank Aleph Agrama, hailing from Hollywood, found a beat to move with in his backyard. Elderberries 3Fold Cafe caught him by surprise over the course of his sleepy yet inspired 20’s. Gradually through a call to friendship and collaboration, the ideals of 3Folding and Community, brought his individualistic creative path into a wider context where life can actually flow! Now permeated by Steiner’s indications, having just graduated from the Waldorf Institute of Southern California, Frank is building spaces for a more beautiful experience of cultural freedom and creative education , through Urban First Aid: Art as Medicine and Youth Section Organizing.
Kiara Nagel is a creative strategist based in Los Angeles with 20 years of experience supporting networks of leaders and organizations to become more creative, collaborative, and engaged in their work. Kiara first became interested in harnessing the power of networks through place-based community development and youth work. Today, as a trainer, educator, speaker and facilitator, she is especially interested in how networks can help build power, create connection and foster collaboration to ensure those most affected are directly engaged in decision-making. Kiara has contributed to many local, national and international initiatives focused on social justice, culture shift, and transformational change.
Kiara currently serves as faculty at Antioch University in Los Angeles and The International Youth Initiative Program (YIP) in Sweden. She is an Associate with the Center for Story-based Strategy and an Affiliate with Interaction Institute for Social Change and she holds a Masters in City Planning from the Department of Urban Studies and Planning at MIT.
Daniel Evaeus works at Elderberries Threefold Cafe in Los Angeles and with its related initiatives. His main focus is around transformational processes of becoming, facilitation and mediation, to which he brings great empathy and sensitivity.
Destiny Nolen: Having lived for many years with severe depression, anxiety and insomnia, Destiny has spent the last 3 years transforming and shedding the social constructs that had disabled her from truly living for far too long. She is now the manager at Elderberries’s Threefold Cafe learning to connect and understand another human being’s true potential. Her main goal in life is to understand humanity and inspire others to love and take care of theirselves as well as equally support the other without judgment or expectation. Through this work she has found herself working in the Poor People’s Campaign as the Movement and Cultural Arts Coordinator, standing up for a moral revival in the USA and shedding light on the injustices brought upon through Racism, Poverty, The War Economy, and Ecological Devastation!
Nathaniel Williams is co-founder of the arts and education initiative, Free Columbia, in Columbia County, NY. He works as an artist, puppeteer and political theorist.
Theater offering, ‘involves working together with the children of local migrant farm workers to create an outdoor theater performance. We are working with Mary Kline and Ruth Hedeen of the NYS Migrant Education Tutorial and Support Program (METS), and their staff. We will be working over four weeks at a local school working with local stories and creating puppets together.’
“What if packaging stated things like, “by purchasing this product you are directly contributing to unfair labor practices, political corruption, and dire ecological destruction?” But it doesn’t. One of the benefits of developing a regional currency is that the market becomes less anonymous. It pulls aside the veil that so often obscures the impact of our participation in the cycle of production, distribution, and consumption, and gives a glimpse into the greater network of the economy, a network on which we are, after all, completely dependent. This glimpse can open our eyes to the reality of true prices and the striving toward solidarity and fraternity in the economy.”
Nathaniel is also co-founding a new economic initiative called Project Mohicanituk.
Leah Walker has a deep interest in human development and earth evolution, particularly as described by Rudolf Steiner. She is a biography worker and licensed professional counselor (LPC), as well as a certified homeopath. She is a faculty member of the Center for Biography and Social Art. She holds a master’s degree in educational psychology from the University of Texas at Austin. She lives in Barrington, Illinois.
Seth Jordan is an organizer and educator living in Harlemville, NY. Since co-founding Think OutWord, a peer-led training in social threefolding, in 2008, he has traveled widely, giving workshops and talks, as well as working with various projects in Europe, Asia, and the US. Seth’s main ongoing question is how to develop a disciplined, spiritually-informed social science. Building off Rudolf Steiner’s insights, how can we really grasp the laws and dynamics at work in the social organism in a living way, and take action to bring greater health? What practices do we need to develop? His research has been informed by his current work at The Nature Institute – where Goethe’s phenomenological approach to natural science is practiced – as well as his involvement in two other projects: the international arts collective 7 Billion Crowns and the regional currency initiative Project Mohicanituk (which he is working on with How We Will presenter Nathaniel Williams). He looks forward to joining How We Will!
Elizabeth Roosevelt Weeks seeks to cultivate spaces where we are each inspired to our highest transformation through community. She finds herself at home in both the center and periphery (are those different places?) and wonders what can happen if we allow more love to weave between us. Her work has been in Waldorf education, with the Anthroposophical Society and movement, and with the possibilities of the poetic word. With roots in the Deep South, she currently lives off-grid in northern New England, raising a little one and learning to slow down as she listens for the lessons that new life brings.
Kait Ziegler is an artist, storyteller, facilitator, and dreamer. Her path has brought her to Los Angeles via Tel Aviv, where she received her Masters in Public Health in Emergency and Disaster Management. She presently works in community with Elderberries 3Fold Cafe and its initiatives, where she has co-founded Moral Mondays LA. She also serves as a co-chair for the California Poor People’s Campaign: A National Call for Moral Revival, a statewide and national fusion coalition which is mobilizing poor, working and impacted communities who are most disproportionately affected by racism, poverty, ecological devastation, and the war economy. She’s had many experiences to guide her in forming ideas and passions around mindfulness, economics, community building and resiliency, and creativity. How do we open our minds, hearts, and wills to collectively heal the world? To light, to darkness, and the wonder in between…
Johannes Kronenberg (26) was born in The Netherlands, grew up in a Camphill community, studied and worked with fine arts and social innovation, worked as coordinator of the Dutch Youth Section and just finished his master studies in leadership and sustainability in Sweden. In somebody else’s words he could tell you: “Strange is our situation here on Earth. Each of us comes for a short visit, not knowing why, yet sometimes seeming to a divine purpose. From the standpoint of daily life, however, there is one thing we do know: that man is here for the sake of other men.” -Albert Einstein.