Tuesday, May 3, 2011

Treasurers' Meeting at the Goetheanum: 18-19 April 2011

- by Douglas Wylie

This report is an overview of the meeting. For a much more in-depth report see the report from Hans Hasler. (See link in May eNews.)

Representatives from approximately 15 National Societies and groups met for the annual meeting of the Treasurers. This was a first-time meeting for me, and I felt very welcomed and had the pleasure to meet fellow Treasurers from around the world and take part in a very lively, productive and important meeting.

The main agenda item, of course, was the lack of funds to cover the programs at the Goetheanum. This difficulty, from my view, was the root of the challenging motions addressed at the AGM this year.

At the Treasurer’s meeting, we reviewed the Financial Statements and Budgets in detail and had discussions and questions around the challenges. We spent some focused time reviewing a chart showing countries and groups with their associated contributions. Basically, each country has a scaling factor, or "index", to equalize the relative burden for each country against the standard, which is the Swiss contribution, in Francs, as originally set out in Principle # 12. This chart had not been updated since 1990, and we all agreed that it was overdo to review the amount and indexes in the hopes that more funds could be forthcoming. We discussed updating the indexes, which were set primarily by a formula, and we discussed adjusting the base Swiss amount to account for inflation.

Paul MacKay informed the group that a small working group, including Treasurers from Germany, Switzerland, and Holland, had formed recently to look at the issues in detail. Paul hoped that the group of National Treasurers would be a next level of support to address the issues. Creating a direct link to the circle of General Secretaries was also mentioned, to bring alignment between needs and economics/finances. Some countries had both their General Secretary and Treasurer in attendance, while some Treasurers were absent, with the General Secretary filling in for them.

Paul also discussed re-formatting the budget to better reflect the kinds of money at work, to bring more consciousness to the issues. (For more information, see Hans Hasler’s report.) This is something I have also been working towards for our Canadian Society.

Cornelius Pietzner was helpful in bringing clarity and understanding of the details contained in the financial documents. Cornelius said that he will be available as a consultant to Paul in his new role as Treasurer. Cornelius received a very warm good bye and was not present during the Sunday portion of the meeting. I had the opportunity to sit beside Cornelius at lunch and had an extended conversation to deepen my understanding of his new initiatives and the issues addressed at the AGM and Treasurer's meeting.

Each person at the meeting spoke to give a brief country report. The representatives from countries with new Treasurers like me also introduced themselves and their respective societies. As a representative from our Canadian Society, I felt it very important to attend this meeting and take part. I would be happy to elaborate to any Member who is interested in hearing more.

Douglas Wylie

Treasurer, Anthroposophical Society in Canada
416-505-4134, e-mail

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