Thursday, August 30, 2012

Action Research In Ann Arbor

- by Mark McAlister

The Anthroposophical Society in America recently hosted two important events in Ann Arbor, Michigan:
  • Leadership Colloquium (8-9 August)
  • "That Good May Become" - a Conference for Members (9-12 August) Conference website

For the past couple of weeks I have been wondering where to start.  How can I characterize the richness - the bewilderment - of my Ann Arbor experience?  Yesterday, some help arrived in the form of a quote from a book by Torin Finser:

"'Action Research' is the way groups of people organize the conditions under which they can learn from their own experience." ( David Hopkins, quoted by Torin Finser in Research, AWSNA 1995, pp 9-10). 

Then it  struck me: we all need to learn together.  Rudolf Steiner did not prescribe (or proscribe!) the particular forms that the Anthroposophical Society would need to develop as the decades progressed.  It's up to us to ensure that the our work in the Society connects with real life, and contributes in tangible ways to social health. 

Much will be written and posted in upcoming months about the Ann Arbor proceedings and follow-up initiatives, including contributions from Canadian members.  This will help us to form a shared image of new forms and channels that are needed for our work.

In the next article, I write about the current structure of the Society in North America and provide some context for our emerging dialogue.

No comments: