A Global Biodynamic Initiative for the Next Generation
By Thea Maria Carlson
Education Program Coordinator, Biodynamic Association
Early this summer, I was introduced via email to Laura Klemme, a young biodynamic farmer in Norway. Inspired by our Biodynamic Initiative for the Next Generation in North America, she and a handful of other young farmers had begun to organize BINGN (Biodynamic Initiative for the New Generation Nordic).
In a Skype conversation later that week, Laura was bubbling with enthusiasm. Already new BINGN had held a start up meeting weekend retreat, and they were planning for another in November (coincidentally on the same dates as the 2012 North American Biodynamic Conference). Over a lovely hour, we shared our successes and challenges, the questions we were living with, and made plans to stay in touch as we developed our respective initiatives.
Then in August, Laura wrote me again:
As I maybe told you, I together with a young biodynamic farmer from Germany – Clemens [will] host a workshop on the next agriculture conference in Dornach (February 2013). I met Clemens this summer already in Dornach for to talk about BINGN and BING and thought we should start a worldwide BING network: BING global or Global BING : ) On the conference in Dornach next year could be the first global BING meeting! What do you think??
Laura, Clemens, and I soon met via Skype to talk about the vision for BING Global, and what it would take to create it. Clemens observed that the theme of the 2013 International Biodynamic Conference, “Alliances for our Earth,” ties in beautifully with the idea of a global BING network, and we all agreed that their workshop at the conference – titled “Biodynamic Agriculture in the next generation” – would be a great forum from which to launch this new initiative.
The International Biodynamic Conference, which will take place February 6-9 in Dornach, Switzerland, is designed to support the building of alliances in practice. Each participant chooses one of 16 alliance building workshops when they register, and will meet in the same group for three days. Each day has a theme which builds on the day before, and sessions before and after the workshops are intended to inspire and inform the work in these groups:
Can we form alliances with people from kindred organizations by harnessing our combined power on a national and international level in order to provide real and active help to our earth? Creating an alliance requires a coming together from many different directions and working on a common objective. The ability to form alliances must first be learnt however – hence the themed ‘alliance-workshops’. On Thursday the theme is about the required focus: What are the objectives of the alliance and which partners are needed? On Friday it is about transformation: How can the partners develop the additional strength to transcend what already exists and discover new impulses? Inner work is needed from each one: Can I grow with the task? On Saturday it is about creatively shaping the future together: How can the new impulse of the alliance gain acceptance in the world and grow roots?
From the 2013 International Biodynamic Conference invitation
I am thankful to have the support of the Biodynamic Association to travel to Switzerland in February, and explore these questions together with Laura, Clemens, and the others who participate in “Biodynamic Agriculture in the next generation.” If you would like to join us, you can register online for the conference now.