Biodynamic Trainer & Teacher Conference

Unfolding potential - building capacity for a common development in biodynamics

From 7th to 9th November, we were privileged to welcome people from all over the world at the biodynamic trainer & teacher conference in Dornach. Around 80 participants from 27 countries gathered at the Goetheanum to talk about the concerns and the future of biodynamic education. Open-minded several smaller and bigger education initiatives were presented. Open-minded, the people listened.

The programme left enough space for an intensive exchange of experiences and networking, which was one of the main concerns of the participants. Also, the five working groups were able to work in greater depth on current issues and develop joint visions or concrete actions for the future. By this it seemed, the methodology or the way was also the goal.

 We wish the participants, on the one hand, inspiration and continuous learning, on the other hand, the gift to create places and atmospheres - for themselves and the students - so that the individual potentials can unfold. Thank you very much for your participation! In between, we will prepare the outputs of the conference for you! 

Some impressions of the conference here:


Conference Report 2019 (English) PDF

Tagungsdokumentation 2019 (deutsch) PDF



11/07/2019  – 11/09/2019

Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum &
Demeter International
fon +41 61 706 42 12

Rüttiweg 45
4143 Dornach/Schweiz

Feedback Trainer & Teacher Conference 2019

Have you been there? We would appreciate your feedback!


Here you will find an overview of the framework programme. The contents of the programme are created jointly by a large number of people from the biodynamic training environment and are made public as soon as they are available.  Would you like to participate? Please contact Sarah Sommer (Section for Agriculture) or Petra Derkzen (Demeter International)

Thursday - 07 November 2019

14:00 – 14:15
Welcome & Introduction

14:15 – 14:45
The global education and training landscape I

14:45 - 15:15
3 Voices on biodynamic training

15:15 – 16:00
Jean-Michel Florin – Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum

16:00 – 16:30 - Short break

16:30 – 17:30
Presentation Working group topics

17:30 - 18:15
The global education and training landscape II

18:30 – 20:00
Evening Break / Eat & Meet Dinner* at the Speisehaus
*Book the "Eat & Meet Dinners" and let us create a solidary, fruitful common space while sharing a minimal supper

20:00 – 21:30
World Café

Friday - 08 November 2019

08:00 – 08:30
Start the day
Calendar of the Soul & Voices on biodynamic training

08:30 – 09:30
Florian Osswald - Pedagogical section at the Goetheanum

09:30 – 10:00 - Short break

10:00 – 11:45
Thematic work in small groups

12:00 – 13:15 - Lunch break

13:15 – 14:15
Experiencing with art
Observation and perception exercises, eurythmy, speech formation, music/drumming

14:15 – 16:00
Thematic work in small groups

16:00 – 16:30 - Short break

16:30 – 18:15
Open Space and market place

18:30 – 20:00
Evening Break / Eat & Meet Dinner* at the Speisehaus
*Book the "Eat & Meet Dinners" and let us create a solidary, fruitful common space while sharing a minimal supper

20:15 – 21:00
Cultural Evening Program
Performance and Concert "Freie Musikschule Basel"

Saturday – 09 November 2019

08:00 – 08:30
Start the day
Calendar of the Soul & Voices on biodynamic training

08:30 – 09:30
Helen Van Zyl - BDAASA Bioynamic Agricultural Association of Southern Africa

09:30 – 10:00 - Short break

10:00 – 11:45
Thematic work in small groups

11:45 – 13:00
Forum and conclusion

Thursday - 07 November 2019, 14:30 - 15:15
Jean-Michel Florin - Section for Agriculture at the Goetheanum, MABD France

Experiencing Learning
Education for me means above all bringing together and connecting individual entities and elements. This approach invites the students to discover or rediscover the outer world (soil, plants, animals, farmers, institutions) and the inner world (new ideas, methods, etc.). We can recognise our own abilities or resistances and can experience how we do not merely learn with our head, but also with our heart through feeling and our hands through doing. How can we support these discoveries and encounters in education and training, and encourage the students to begin an individual process of learning and self-transformation?


Friday - 08. November 2019, 08:30 - 09:30
Florian Osswald - Pedagogical Section at the Goetheanum

As in all types of education, an anthroposophically oriented training focuses on the learning processes. These can basically be divided into three areas:

- Subject material: conveying specific knowledge
- Learning from life: life as a teacher
- Self-determined: a personal training path

All three areas have the objective of giving students the necessary competences specific to their career and encouraging an independent creative activity in thinking, feeling and willing. The challenge consists in developing appropriate courses.


Saturday - 09. November 2019, 08:30 - 09:30
Helen Van Zyl - BDAASA Bioynamic Agricultural Association of Southern Africa

Unfolding Learning
The interplay of the students outer and inner learning wants to unfold to portray a quality of doing and practice that is now different and new from the beginning of their training.

In the complexity of South Africa's farms, deeply rooted and embedded with socio-economic and cultural inequalities from the past the students experience and navigate very different challenges to farms in the North. To unfold learning into practice demands continuous flexibility, adaptation and resilience from the students, trainers and the course content itself. 

Helen van Zyl coordinates and trains the African youth in organic and biodynamic farming (NQF 5 accredited Diploma) and will share how she has to be open, discover, re-discover and reflect on a monthly basis on the future role of biodynamics in South Africa.


Thursday – 07th November
Presentation Working group topics
16:30 – 18:15
Friday – 08th November
Thematic work in small groups
10:00 – 11:45 and 14:15 – 16:00
Saturday – 09th November
Thematic work in small groups
10:00 – 11:45


Working group topics

Using Goetheanism in biodynamic education: Inspiration and support for stretching beyond my current know-how
Ambra Sedlmayr and Jean-Michel Florin

Goetheanism can be used throughout all disciplines to facilitate experiential learning and a heart centred understanding and connection to nature and agriculture, giving future farmers not only deep insights but also training them in a method that will make them into independent producers of the knowledge they need for farming in the future.

This workshop will be a space for reflection about one‘s teaching practice, aiming at finding a key area of focus to expand one‘s know-how of using Goetheanism in biodynamic education. This workshop is aimed at teachers who are already familiar with Goetheanism, whatever their level of proficiency. It will take them through a guided process, including group work and artistic expression. New insights and mutual inspiration are expected as a result of this deep exchange with colleagues.


What are key aspects to build the capacity and infrastructure of young biodynamic initiatives?
Rolf Bucher and Maaianne Knuth (DE/EN)

Biodynamics is not such an easy practice to enter as a beginner. There is a growing interest among small scale farmers in the global south but not yet sufficient information, capacity and infrastructure to support young BD initiatives, or even simply small scale farmers wanting to begin to grow their capacity to develop their biodynamic farming initiatives in a sustainable manner.

This working group will look at mapping the key issues to address in order to build this capacity and work through key questions including:

• How do people who are interested in BD find each other?
• How to make available simple but high quality information that can be understood by small scale farmers?
• How do we develop preparations in new countries?
• How to finance courses and on-going learning among growing numbers of small scale farmer.
• How to finance certification and scaling up
• How to develop a connected movement of biodynamic farming in the global south
• How to identify and find trainers in the tropical parts of the world - and how to train them?


How can we build know-how capacity in small biodynamic associations – Experience of developing training in Slovenia
Maja Kolar and Reto Ingold

The Biodynamic movement in Slovenia is carried by small regional associations (Ajda) which support biodynamic agriculture and gardening, carried by small holders, farmers, gardeners and interested persons in Biodynamic. To support and train the local initiatives and regional biodynamic organisations, Demeter Slovenia created a 4-module course with certificate. This training can also be joined by future inspectors and advisors who havee to deliver a conversion report for new applicants in certification. Ajda associations are responsible to produce enough biodynamic preparations for all their members.

We would like to share experiences and find representatives of similar movements, trainings, coaching for regional working groups and associations. We would like to learn more what could be of help to develop training in small associations. What tasks can they take over in the future development of the Biodynamic agriculture.


Learning Materials for bd farming - What do we have? What are we missing?
Laura Bertzbach and Jakob Ganten (EN)

In this working group we will collect an overview over the materials, used in bd farming in theory and practice. In addition, we determine which materials are lacking for teaching biodynamics in theory and practice. Is there a common vision of what we need, such as an online plattform or a new book? Or are there rather small solutions and processes in different areas needed?

We would like to use this workshop to:

•  exchange experiences and needs around learning materials

• support and inspire one eachother in our individual ways of finding and using materials

• hopefully in finding solutions and starting initiatives for to fill the lack of materials in our educations.


What kind of education is needed for those carrying out training and further education in biodynamic agriculture?
Soazig Cornu and Vincent Geerts

In order to support the development of biodynamics in different countries, we need to have more trainers. To achieve this we require places and opportunities to produce more teachers and trainers in biodynamics

This working group will use an interactive approach to examine what is expected from a biodynamic training, from those who perform the training, and thus what is required of a training course for students. The topic also makes us reflect on the responsibility associated with passing on biodynamics from one generation to the next, and we are working on the question of which course to adopt in order to cover the following topics:

• General and specific knowledge of biodynamics
• Practical experience in biodynamics
• The ability to communicate, i.e. pedagogical skills
• A journey into the philosophy of anthroposophy
• Qualification or accreditation
• The ability to connect to a network, to adhere to a system and common values.

This working group is aimed at all who wish to contribute to developing a training of this kind at national or international level. We hope that this work will bring new ideas, possible ways forward, common values and mutual inspiration.





International voices on biodynamic training with contributions of 7 minutes each from...

Simon Blaser, Brazil

Lorenzo Fabiàn Baumgratz , Argentina

Jakes Jayakaran, India

Angela Hofmann, Egypt

Maja Kolar, Slowenia

Patrick Lespagnol, France

Acosta Pereira Esteban
Organisation: Sembrando Flores, Biodynamic Advisor

Bach Elisabeth
Steering Group
Organisation: Freie Ausbildung im Norden, Deutschland

Baumgratz Lorenzo Fabiàn
Organisation: AABDA FDA Argentina

Bertzbach Laura
Working Group
Organisation: Scandinavian Biodynamic education BINGN.

Blaser Simon
Biodynamic Farmer, Advisor and Trainer in Brazil/Argentina

Bolger Alysoun
Steering Group
Organisation: Biodynamic Association UK

Bucher Rolf
Working Group
Biodynamic Trainer and Advisor

Cornu Soazig
Working Group
Organisation: MABD France

Derkzen Petra
Steering Group, Moderation, Organisation
Organisation: Demeter International

Fernex Gaëtane
Experiencing with art

Florin Jean-Michel
Steering Group, Impulse contribution, Working Group, Experiencing with art, Moderation
Organisation: Sektion für Landwirtschaft am Goetheanum

Geerts Vincent
Working Group
Organisation: Impulso Biodinámico de México A.C.

Ganten Jakob
Working Group
Organisation: Freie Ausbildung im Norden, Deutschland

Hach André
Event Management
Organisation: Sektion für Landwirtschaft

Helmle Simone
Steering Group, Methodical Guidance, Experiencing with art
Organisation: Demeter Akademie, Demeter e.V. Deutschland

Hofmann Angela
Organisation: SEKEM Agricultural coordinator and Teachers' Trainer

Ingold Reto
Working Group
Free International Wandering School for Biodynamic Agriculture, Demeter Advisor

Jayakaran Jakes
Biodynamic trainer and advisor in Asia

Knuth Maaianne
Working Group
Organisation: Kufunda Village, Zimbabwe

Kolar Maja
Working Group, Voices
Organisation: Demeter Slovenija

Lespagnol Patrick
Organisation: MABD France

Osswald Florian
Impulse contribution
Organisation: Pädagogische Sektion am Goetheanum

Otter Benno
Experiencing with art
Organisation: Gärtnerei am Goetheanum

Sedlmayr Ambra
Working Group
Promotion of BD Agriculture and personal transformation work in Portugal

Sommer Sarah
Steering Group, Organisation
Organisation: Sektion für Landwirtschaft am Goetheanum

Van Zyl Helen
Impulse contribution
Organisation: BDAASA- Biodynamic Agricultural Association of Southern Africa

Zehnter Agnes
Experiencing with art
Organisation: Sektion für Redende und Musizierende Künste am Goetheanum