The Goetheanum invited to the first international Conference on Biodynamic Research

In cooperation with its scientific partners the Section for Agriculture organised the first international conference on Biodynamic research at the Goetheanum, which was founded by Rudolf Steiner, the initiator of Biodynamic Agriculture. Biodynamic research is done in all agricultural fields in many places of the world. It makes use of a great diversity of methods and disciplines, getting in touch with many other research areas such as agroecology. Taking an inter- and transdisciplinary approach, we brought together both academic research and farmer’s expertise to explore and discuss burning issues in Biodynamic food and farming systems. We looked at these issues both from a classical scientific and an innovative methodological perspective. During the 3-day conference, the parallel sessions and workshops offered the opportunity to listen to and discuss various contributions from scientists and researching farmers from around the world on following topics: • New scientific methods in academic and on-farm research • The farm organism and (new) perspectives in agroecology • Beyond matter: Non-material influences on agriculture – quantum physics & co in agriculture • Associative economy – an approach to sustainable food systems • Living soil, soil life, and soil fertility • Research on plants • Food for live - food quality, nutrition and health • Animal welfare We also offered “experience the living” - exercises to learn about soil, plants, animals and some Biodynamic practices such as the preparations. In a post-conference excursion we visited a Biodynamic farm. A World Café session, coffee breaks and the conference dinner gave many opportunities to meet colleagues and connect with them. In addition, we work on a strategic agenda by exploring which questions are the most urgent and how we can make future research happen in a collaborative way. The conference aimed at researchers, farmer researchers, students and anyone interested in Biodynamic research. Jean-Michel Florin, Ueli Hurter and Verena Wahl Programme committee:

Christopher Brock (Forschungsring, Germany)

Petra Derkzen (Demeter International, Netherlands)

Jürgen Fritz (University of Kassel, Germany)

Anet Spengler (FiBL, Switzerland)

Keynote Speakers:

• Véronique Chable, INRA Centre Bretagne-Normandie, Le Rheu Cedex, France • Geraldo Deffune G. de Oliveira, Applied Agroecology, Biodynamics and Biosafety, Federal University of Fronteira Sul, Brazil • Jürgen Heß, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen, Germany • Ueli Hurter, Section for Agriculture, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland • Silvia Ivemeyer, Faculty of Organic Agricultural Sciences, University of Kassel, Witzenhausen,Germany • Mechthild Knösel, Farm Rengoldshausen, Überlingen, Germany • Anet Spengler, Department of Livestock Sciences, Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (FiBL), Frick, Switzerland