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2021 Camphill Research Symposium

November 4, 2021 @ 10:00 am - 12:30 pm

image of world map with 2021 Camphill Research Symposium logo

The 2021 Camphill Research Symposium will continue our international conversations looking towards the past, present, and future of the Camphill Movement. This year, the Camphill Foundation and Camphill Academy have partnered with the International Camphill Movement Group to identify the themes, questions, and projects that are animating our communities around the globe. This year’s Symposium featured three weeks of concurrent sessions, including panel presentations, workshops, and discussions. All sessions will be recorded and made available after the event.




Thursday, November 4, 10am ET (choose one session during registration)


Session A:  Life Stories and the Camphill Impulse

In this session, three research projects with distinct questions, aims, methodological perspectives, and and various stages of development will share how and why they all draw wisdom from gathering life stories within the Camphill Movement.  The presenters will share about their individual projects, explore questions that life stories raise about the Camphill impulse, and discuss how life stories could benefit future research and development in the Camphill movement.  Presenters include:  Richard Blake and others, Camphill Community Trust Botswana; Deborah Grace, Karl König Institute; Libby Sanders, Camphill Academy.


Session B:  Global Partnerships: How Established and Pioneering Communities Form Relationships of Mutual Support and Change

Every Camphill community’s origin story contains, at some point, a personal and living relationship with another Camphill community’s history. These relationships have varied widely over time, but as Camphill initiatives continue to emerge around the world we want to take stock of how some of these relationships developed and how both communities (the so-called “established” community and “pioneering” or emerging community) have been transformed, inspired, and challenged in the process. This discussion session will include individuals who have been and continue to be part of such global community partnerships, and how we learn from one another about the many ways we can build community across borders into the future.  Panelists include Camphill community members from Vietnam, India, Eastern Europe, the northern region, north and South America.


Thursday, November 11, 10am ET (choose one session during registration)


Session C:  New Journeys through the Calendar of the Soul

Richard Steel will present the Calendar of the Soul and open new avenues for research and activity—historical, artistic, social, and spiritual—with this mighty spiritual resource. Out of this session may emerge research topics that could find expression in the Karl König Institute’s forthcoming international exhibition of the Calendar of the Soul images.  Presented by Richard Steel.


Option D:  Camphill and COVID-19: A Workshop Designing a Research Study.

Every Camphill community has been impacted by the COVID-19 pandemic, and people around the world are curious to know if intentional communities have any special wisdom to share about staying healthy and connected during such a crisis. But in order to share the Camphill story, we need to decide what parts of the story are most important!  This workshop will BEGIN the process of designing a research study on Camphill’s experience with COVID-19. The process will begin with a brief Zoom poll containing questions that might be included in a survey of Camphill communities. We will discuss the results, and more generally, our communities’ different experiences with COVID-19. The presenter will then share a draft of a larger survey, and we will discuss ways to improve it. Finally, we will brainstorm a plan for finalizing the survey and distributing it to all Camphill communities.  Presenter:  Dan McKanan.  Note: Participants are encouraged to check out a related survey that was recently completed by the Foundation for Intentional Community: https://www.ic.org/covid-report/


Thursday, November 18, 10am ET (choose one session during registration)


Session E: Exploring the Young Coworker Experience: A Workshop Designing a Research Study

Young coworkers have always been an integral part of the Camphill experience, yet they have rarely been the primary topic of Camphill research. What’s more, the Camphill movement has seldom sought to partner with the vast numbers of former young coworkers in pursuing its larger mission of social renewal.  In response to growing curiosity about the young coworker experience, this workshop will begin designing a research study that might include surveys of past and present young coworkers, as well as leaders of each community. We will begin with a brief Zoom poll containing a few questions that might be included in such surveys. We will discuss the results and identify the insights we most wish to gain from a study of young coworkers. The presenter will then share a draft of a larger survey, and we will discuss ways to improve it. Finally, we will brainstorm a plan for implementing this research study. We hope that some participants will decide to be part of an ongoing research team on this topic!  Presenter:  Dan McKanan.  Note: Part of our research task will be to agree on the meaning of “young coworker.” A preliminary definition might be: “Camphill coworkers, usually under 30 years of age, who live in community for a fixed period of less than five years without any expectation of staying longer.”


Session F:  Research Network: A Presentation and Workshop to Carry Camphill Research Into the Future

This session will take up a challenge posed at the conclusion of last year’s Camphill Research Symposium:  how can we work collaboratively to support research and inquiry of all kinds (academic, practical, spiritual) within the Camphill Movement internationally? The session will explore different kinds of research and inquiry that live within the Camphill Movement, what resources we have at our disposal, gather urgent questions for the future, and take steps to establish a living “international Camphill Research Network.”  Presenters TBC.



November 4, 2021
10:00 am - 12:30 pm


Camphill Academy
Camphill Foundation

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