What is wrong with today's world? Might it be that we took a wrong path a hundred years ago, but that now we have a second
chance to get it right? That is the simple but challenging thesis of this conference, with the aim of exploring the economic and
historical insights of Rudolf Steiner, to see if humanity can yet find a path that is truer to its possibilities. 2
The First World War ended in a way that saw responsibility for modern historical development being ‘captured’ by the Anglo-American
peoples. Since then, the world has been subject to globalization, rampant corporate economics, endless war and a constant division
of the world into two camps. Now, all is coming unravelled, with a growing divide between the rulers and the ruled, and macro policy
in increasing disarray. On the other hand, everywhere people are searching for new ideas and new economic pathways, ideally based
on free initiative and responsibility for one's own balance sheet – meaning the need to find the right types and amounts of capital.
Why is this happening now? Because, surely, now is the time when we can understand better the importance of individuals using
their unique skills and capacities to serve their communities. And for communities, in turn, to capitalize them so that they are able to serve.
Now especially is a time when, in terms of open access to credit and effective financial literacy, firmer foundations can be given to
the undertakings of young people and social entrepreneurs alike. So that through entrepreneurship and its universal language,
accounting, our micro actions can give rise to a new macro landscape.
This conference will bring together people who are looking for or pioneering such change. Through engaged participation and
dramatized expression of the themes, back-grounded by two keynote talks by economic and monetary historian, Christopher
Houghton Budd, Ph.D, we will explore our understanding of the last one hundred years and the prospects for change based on
associative economics. In particular, we will have the chance to focus on two specific themes – rethinking the economics of labor,
introduced through a research presentation by economist Marcelo Delajara – and the economics of farming with introductory
considerations offered by Anna Chotzen.
Thursday Evening Keynote
What did happen and what could have happened in the last hundred years?
Rightly understood, the events that took place 100 years ago remain the fulcrum on which the healthy future of humanity rests. Had
it not been for the alluring but false ideas of Woodrow Wilson and the misplaced idealism of Karl Marx, Rudolf Steiner’s observations
concerning the threefold nature of social life would have been the main contender for re-organising society. This is still the case
today, but how can we see through the divisive and confusing events of the last hundred years to look again at what Rudolf Steiner
had in mind and how his version of events might have continued up to now?
Friday Evening Keynote
What do we envisage for the next hundred years?
A lot can happen in one hundred years. A main difference is that nowadays the individual is capable of far greater agency than was
the case in the early 1900s. And yet our macro-understanding of economic affairs has run out of road, while viable micro responses
remain uncertain and elusive. We spend our energy looking into alternative ways of conducting business or understanding money,
rather than going into its deeper and ultimately inherently social nature – an opportunity, perhaps, to look at Rudolf Steiner’s
contribution to modern finance?