Core Beliefs Underlying Our Work in the World
We can best understand what’s needed by listening to the wisdom of the movement. We are at our best when we engage generative listening to sense what needs to emerge in service of the future of biodynamics. The wisdom is in the movement and our role is to support this wisdom in coming forward and informing our work in the world.
Healthy and collaborative relationships are essential. We understand that the health of whole systems comes about by optimizing the health of relationships among the parts as well as through the health of the parts themselves. A strong biodynamic movement requires healthy pathways for communication and connectivity within the movement and between the movement and the wider world.
History and traditions have a living legacy that is inherent in our work today. We recognize that the land which is now known as the United States of America was stewarded by Indigenous people since time immemorial, and acknowledge that within Indigenous land-based communities exist longstanding practices that closely align with biodynamics. We recognize the people of these communities and their agricultural practices as partners of the biodynamic movement. We recognize that colonialism has inflicted widespread exploitation and destruction upon land, plants, animals, and humans.
Although the United States Declaration of Independence uses the language "that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness", we recognize that racism and patriarchy were pervasive in the cultures of those who colonized and settled the US and in the founding of this country. We recognize that the agricultural economy of the US was built through slavery, and that the legacy of slavery and the continued perpetuation of many forms of oppression have profound effects on our society and agriculture today.
Through our work,we seek to actively engage and transform injustices faced by both humans and the Earth, and to recognize and lift up the historical and contemporary contributions of Indigenous people and marginalized people to holistic, Earth-centered agriculture and land stewardship.
Justice, equity, and inclusion are integral to the fabric of our work. Co-creative relationships between humans and the Earth require us as a diverse society to bring in all elements of our existence in an authentic and just partnership so that we can collectively grow a more healthy, empowered, viable, and biodynamic future. We recognize the importance of continued listening and learning as we integrate diverse understandings of justice, diversity, equity, and inclusion.
True change requires both collective and individual evolution. We recognize that structural shifts are necessary in society to support an agriculture rooted in dignity, and the healing of relationships with the Earth. We also acknowledge and work to support the individual evolution of human consciousness, through the path of personal development and spiritual research developed by Rudolf Steiner. Intimately connected to biodynamic practice, a connection between human spirituality and the Universe supports the flow of creative, healing activity through our whole being: the head (perceptive, careful sensing and living, imaginative thinking), the hands (a clearly directed and individualized will, bringing life to work in the world), and the heart (deeply and warmly experiencing the inner and outer world, harmonizing the head and hands).
Biodynamic agriculture is evolutionary. Biodynamic agriculture is well established and has a long tradition but is also inherently generative. Biodynamics is not a set of rote practices but offers practitioners the capacity to create and innovate new ways of thinking, relating, and working. This balance of tradition and innovation infuses our work.
A deep well of leadership in the biodynamic community is waiting to be cultivated. With support and encouragement of individuals’ full expression, the biodynamic community can grow into an engaged and leaderful community of service.
Humans are essential to the future of the Earth. Despite the widespread destruction that humans have brought about, people have an important role in healing the Earth’s wounds. Biodynamics offers one pathway for people to engage in that healing work.
Core Beliefs Underlying How We Work as an Organization
We put into place the principle of small input, big impact. In all our work, we focus on identifying strategic leverage points where small efforts on our part lead to outsized impacts. We are a small organization with a big vision and we can’t do it alone. Recognizing the deep wisdom and talent of our community, we focus on taking action in the areas where we are most uniquely suited to create change while supporting and resourcing the leadership and engagement of members, partners, and allies in realizing our shared vision.
We understand that the future is emergent. Because we are operating in complex systems that resist control, we take the approach of sensing into what wants to become, to participate in, and help bring into being, our highest purpose. We constantly take in from the broader movement for ongoing learning and evolution, ever evolving our living model.
We value participation and inclusivity. We work to foster a just, equitable, inclusive, and diverse biodynamic movement in the North American context, as well as to build community connectivity. We strive to meet people where they are and incorporate a diversity of learning and teaching styles, including immersive experiences that enable us to engage our hands, heart, and head.
We support rootedness in place while connecting across distance. For biodynamic agriculture to thrive, it must be embedded in a recognition of the individuality of each farm and garden, farmer and gardener, connected to each other through strong local communities, networks, and markets. As a geographically distributed association, we strive to support local and regional biodynamic communities with unique geographies and cultures, while encouraging cross-pollination among them.
We endeavor to reflect in our internal operations the world we want to see. The Biodynamic Association has adopted an ‘organismal’ model informed by holacratic, teal, and chaordic models of organizational development, where roles and accountabilities evolve to create the best fit for personal insight and energy with organizational needs. We value the unique contributions of each of our staff members and contributors. Our commitment to personal growth, as an essential component of change, includes encouragement of space for reflection, time in nature, and artistic expression, healthy workspaces, evaluation and feedback, and professional development.