A standing conference within the Social Sciences Section of the School of Spiritual Science (see below), the Economics Conference of the Goetheanum is a worldwide research community that seeks to understand business, finance and economics on the basis of Rudolf Steiner's economics course and related writings (see Dissemination). Its aim is to make seminal yet concrete contributions to fundamental problems of our time in such fields as price theory price theory, monetary policy and entrepreneurial endeavour. Its meetings, which take place in many parts of the world, and include an annual worldwide gathering, are conducted principally in English but also in the languages of those who take part.
The meetings provide opportunities for independent researchers to share their work and together to derive insights of use in addressing the problems of economic life in the light of spiritual science. While it is hoped that such insights will fructify the teaching, publishing and other practical endeavours of participants, all such activity is undertaken on the direct responsibility of those concerned.
Inaugurated in 1923 by Rudolf Steiner, the aim of the School of Spiritual Science is to consider human affairs in the light of spiritual science, meaning the scientific method applied to physically invisible phenomena such as, in the case of economics, values and prices.
The School is ‘housed’ in the Anthroposophical Society, comprising a world centre near Basel, Switzerland and national groups in many countries around the world.
The School is conceived in terms of three classes (akin to degrees) and 11 sections related to professional life in medicine, agriculture, social sciences, and so on. The purpose of the sections is to provide a context in which members of the School can deliberate on, and hopefully bring fresh insights to, the many challenges faced by humanity today in all walks of life.
Members of the School are individuals who in contemporary ways have undertaken, as it were, to join Rudolf Steiner in continuing the tasks he began. Comprising research, publications, conferences and symposia, the work of the sections arises through the activities of their members, which are conducted as collegiately as possible based on their direct involvement in practical human affairs.
The Economics Conference of the Goetheanum is part of the Social Sciences Section, which encompasses a broad range of social scientific disciplines and activities.
Towards 2023 provides more on the deeper background to the Economics Conference.
Anyone wishing to become a member of the Economics Conference should send an email to economics[at]Goetheanum.ch
(1) confirming his or her membership of the School of Spiritual Science,
(2) undertaking that the costs of the Economics Conference will not be carried by the Goetheanum, and
(3) providing a short description of his or her practical connection to today’s economic questions in the light of Rudolf Steiner’s economics course.
As with any professional activity, meetings and events of the Economics Conference are of different kinds. All are open to members of the Economics Conference, some only to members of the School of Spiritual Science in general. Others are extended to include members of the Anthroposophical Society. Some are for the public at large.
The work of the Economics Conference is conducted by its participants on their individual responsibility. The activities of participants are intended as contributions to public debate. Insofar as possible, they are aimed at a lay understanding, although obviously there will also be activities that are confined to professionals in these fields, as also events that only concern those responsible for carrying its work. The views of participants are their own; the Conference itself does not have a view.