“Since the turn of the century, young people have sensed – at least in subconscious depths – the shake up that is taking place in human kind’s evolution. Of course, people say that it has always been like this, in any age, young people have always resisted the contributions of their elders or of tradition. Indeed, this has always been the case to a certain extent, but what is happening among today’s young people has never existed before… From the very beginning it was quite clear to me that the majority of modern youth have a strangely comprehensive understanding that a great, earthquake-like transformation must now occur in the evolution of humankind as a whole”. Rudolf Steiner, 1924 (In Youth and the Etheric Heart)
Since 2017 the Youth Section’s research team has collected testimonies, visions and ideas from young people around the world. In Spring 2019, a first report was published and made accessible to anyone online. Since then, presentations of the initial insights have taken place in England, Belgium and the United States. In other countries like Brazil, Chile and Taiwan, groups of young researchers have become inspired by our questions and methods, leading them to design their own research projects.
Hours of recorded data, dozens of written testimonies and ideas shared at events, workshops and gatherings form the basis of our ongoing study (Re)Search: The Spiritual Striving of Youth – Shaping Our Reality.
An open invitation for all
In December 2019 we will host our third (Re)Search Colloquium to share latest observations. Some of the key themes we would like to present and discuss with you are: young people’s ideas and visions of social forms (future societies); questions around commitment and freedom arising in young people’s discourses, how relationships shape their reality and the main challenges that arise when they become active in the world.
We live in a time when youth is in the spotlight and on everyone’s minds. From revolutionary acts calling for climate justice, to loneliness and despair being manifested in many young adults – the collective voices of the young fill the mass media and statistics reflected on various youth studies. In our research, we look at individual voices and their life journeys, asking ourselves: what can we learn from the wisdom of youth? What does each person participating in our study has to say about themselves and the world? What do they struggle with and what challenges do they face? What are their hopes and longings for the future?Are there common visions arising from individual voices?
“The presentation was pointing out to things we are waking up to. Topics related to everything that we are discussing at the moment in the UK ad it is just very encouraging to see that the youth is sharing thoughts, feelings and will impulses in spiritual realms, no matter our physical distance. It is so refreshing to talk spiritual science with peers and to lose track of time seeing that it is after midnight and conversations were going on and on”. (Teo, Biodynamic Apprentice from Bulgaria, 2018 ReSearch Colloquium attendee)
“The insight into what ives within the youth of today was invaluable, sparking many interesting topics of conversation. It was wonderful meeting other young people passionate about Anthroposophy and what ir brings to us as human beings”. (Evan, Artist and designer, 2018 Research Colloquium attendee)
As a project housed within one of the Sections of the Goetheanum – School of Spiritual Science, the research project is grounded in anthroposophical knowledge of the human being and the world. This means that the Youth Section’s researchers constantly strive to deepen understanding of human life in the present time; a reality which is in a state of becoming.
Now I understand and recognise that it is all a process (…) and this helps me to be human! Human being is a process. I am on the way to being human” (Female, Russia, 25)
In my second interview something really happened, something new. And that’s for me the interesting thing about this project, that you see people discovering, telling you and themselves new things which they didn’t know about, and they also don’t know where it is coming from”. (Interviewer, 25, Netherlands)
Through its methodologies, (Re)Search encourages all its participants – from researchers to interviewers and readers – to live in process, in questioning, in the constant renewal of knowledge and understanding about youth and what moves them to participate in the world. The study does not aim to produce finite answers, but to access deeper layers of knowledge and understanding with each new phase of analysis.
One of the key aspects of our presentation will be sharing our methods of work and how these have impacted those participating in the study.
Colloquium Schedule and Practicalities
The gathering will kickstart on Saturday 7th December 2019 at 9:30am with a round of introductions followed by presentation of insights and questions from the attendees to the team. After lunch, we will facilitate guided discussions about central themes and open questions. The location is the Goetheanum’s Library (Goetheanum’s East Entrance, 45 Rüttiweg 4143 Dornach, CH)
The event is free to attend but we welcome donations and contributions towards the project. If you intend to come, please make this known to a member of the team so that we can plan ahead accordingly: firstname.lastname@example.org
Refreshments offered. Lunches and dinners must be organised by attendees. Those traveling from afar are welcome to stay at the Youth Section House. Please contact email@example.com to book your space.
For more information about the project, attending the event or starting your own research inspired by ours, contact the team at firstname.lastname@example.org
We hope to hear from you soon!
The Youth Section Research Team