30 participants from 9 different European countries and guests from the USA and Brazil joined the workshop. For a number of reasons not all the European countries were represented, but it was very encouraging that several training initiatives – for example, the biodynamic training in Switzerland, the Landbauschule in Germany, Landwijzer in Belgium and also the training initiative in the Czech Republic – sent two, three or even four team members to join the workshop. This enabled cooperative participation, team building and common visions to be supported and strengthened.
The two-day workshop seemed quite short and clearly not all aspects of the biodynamic training or all the needs of the European biodynamic trainers could be addressed. However, networking and getting to know each other was one of the main goals of this workshop, which was successfully achieved. A lot of young and/or new trainers came together with more experienced trainers and/or teachers and an exchange of knowledge took place, especially during the working group sessions where the trainers and teachers shared experiences and ideas about some of the main biodynamic training principles. Short contributions from six initiatives illustrated the diversity within the European biodynamic training map. At the same time, it was a great opportunity to get an insight into the dedication of all the individuals who do their best to spread the word and offer biodynamic training opportunities in their countries.
In addition to working together on training principles and the social aspect of community, individual hearts and souls were touched by an accessible observation exercise with Jean-Michel Florin, a meditation exercise on the germinating carrot seed by Maja Kolar, and by group singing with Marios Desyllas from Greece.
We are glad that so many motivated trainers have come together in this difficult time and we hope to strengthen the network further in the coming years. We have hopes for good and fruitful cooperation and look forward to the next meeting.
The workshop was facilitated by the Section for Agriculture and jointly organised with the biodynamic trainers Simone Helmle, Maja Kolar and Reto Ingold. A big thank you for the organisation and to all participants for their contributions and for being part of this first European workshop for biodynamic trainers. A more detailed report will be published at a later date.