Advisory Board

Bringing the best of each one to our common work

Ute Craemer


WSIF Co-Founder | Founder, Associação Comunitária Monte Azul | Board Member, Anthroposophical Society – Brazil

Born in Weimar, Ute Craemer has lived in Brazil for the past 50 years, where she founded Associação Comunitária Monte Azul – one of the most established international social initiatives working towards supporting healthy child development and fostering dignified living conditions for people in slum communities. She studied Waldorf Pedagogy in the Teacher Training Center in Germany, which became the fundament of her work. She published books in several languages as an author and co-author, in an attempt to spread her extensive experience in social work beyond São Paolo. Among the books she published are “Favelakinder”, “Criança entre Luz e Sombras”, “A Questão Social”, “Girasol” and “Transformer é Possivel”. She received the Bundesverdienstkreuz from the German Government in 1987 and became an Honorary Citizen of São Paulo in 2012. She currently works with the Aliança pela Infância and is a Board Member of the Anthroposophical Society in Brazil.

Truus Geraets


WSIF Co-Founder

Born in the Netherlands, Truus Geraets studied Curative Education, Eurythmy, and Eurythmy Therapy in Germany and Switzerland. After her numerous trainings, she worked in Holland and Scotland, after which she started a Home for Special Children in Germany. Putting herself at the service of Eurythmy, she relocated to the United States in 1975 to work as a Eurythmist. She later on traveled to South Africa, co-founded the first Waldorf School in a black township, and worked there for 10 years. In 1993, she settled back to the US – where her Eurythmy work expanded beyond North America, with regular visits to China since 2016.

Helmy Abouleish


WSIF Advisor | Chief Executive Officer of SEKEM

Helmy Abouleish, born 1961 in Graz, Austria, is CEO of the SEKEM Initiative in Egypt, founded by his father Ibrahim Abouleish in 1977.

Helmy is deeply involved in SEKEM since it was founded. He studied economics and marketing in Cairo and was for a long time campaigning in national and international politics to promote responsible competitiveness, social entrepreneurship and tackling the greatest challenges of the 21st century, such as climate change and food security. He is member of a number of international organizations and councils, such as Fair Trade USA. In 2017 he was elected as member of the World Future Council and became NAP-Champion for adapting to climate change. In June 2018 he was elected as president of Demeter International.

Helmy has four daughters and lives with his wife on the SEKEM Farm.

Aonghus Gordon MEd, FRSA


WSIF Advisor | Founder and Executive Chair of Ruskin Mill Trust

Aonghus is passionate about the need for people to break out of dependency and marginalisation, believing that everyone has the potential to shape their own future.

After training as a potter, Aonghus started Ruskin Mill Trust in 1981 as a centre for cultural development, a small project linked to a nearby specialist school in Gloucestershire. It is now one of the UK’s leading educational charities working with learning disabilities, with twelve centres across England, Wales and Scotland. Aonghus has pioneered its unique method of Practical Skills Therapeutic Education (PSTE), inspired by Rudolf Steiner, John Ruskin and William Morris’s ideas about social renewal, healthy human development and the importance of art, crafts and land work.

 

Aonghus is a Trustee and Board Member of numerous charities and was awarded Social Entrepreneur of the Year for the South of England by Ernst and Young in 2005. He is a charismatic motivational speaker and is not afraid to challenge his audience, which has led to frequent requests to lecture and run workshops in the USA, Europe, China, Russia and the Middle East. He is a Companion of Ruskin’s Guild of St George and, like Ruskin, has a fascination for meteorology and geology.

Gerald Häfner


WSIF Advisor | Head, Section for Social Sciences – Goetheanum

Born in Munich, Gerald Häfner has been active as a politician in Germany representing the Green Party. He served in the lower house of parliament three times from 1987 to 2002 and became a member of the European parliament from 2009 to 2014. He is a Waldorf teacher, a publicist, and a co-founder of numerous initiatives and foundations like More Democracy and Democracy International. He is the Head of the Section for Social Sciences at the Goetheanum since 2015.

Bart Vanmechelen


WSIF Advisor | Member of the Leadership Team, Curative Education and Social Therapy Council – Goetheanum | Lecturer and Coach, Anthroposophical Meditation

Born in Belgium, Bart Vanmechelen studied Psychology, Anthroposophy, and Social Development. He works in the field of curative education as a director in a daycare center, a part-time staff member for quality development, and training coach in a residential care center. Since 2016, he has been appointed as a classholder for the curative education movement in the School of Spiritual Science, having strong connections to the Goetheanum Meditation Initiative Worldwide – the group that organises the Living Connections conferences. He also represents the Curative Education and Social Therapy Council – Goetheanum in the ECCE and the Eliant Core Group. He is currently the General Secretary of the Anthroposophical Society in Belgium, and a member of the leadership team of the Curative Education and Social Therapy Council at the Goetheanum.

Jean-Michel Florin


WSIF Advisor | Head of Section for Agriculture Goetheanum

Born in 1961 in Alsace, France, Jean-Michel Florin has been the coordinator of the French biodynamic movement (Mouvement d’Agriculture Bio-Dynamique) since 1988 and co-leader of the Agriculture Section at the Goetheanum in Switzerland since 2010. He lectures and runs training courses in biodynamics and Goethean science in many countries and is the author of numerous articles on biodynamics and related subjects.

Daisuke Onuki


WSIF Advisor | Teacher and Researcher, Tokai University – Japan

Born in Tokyo, Daisuke Onuki is a professor and director of the International Studies at Tokai University, Japan. He completed his postgraduate degree on gender education and social work at the University of Tokyo and University of Hawaii. His first brush with Anthroposophy was in his youth – when he volunteered in Associação Comunitária Monte Azul, Brazil. He is active in promoting “diversity in education”, which successfully promoted Waldorf Pedagogy to a formally recognised private institution in Japan. He is also the founder and director of the Children’s Resources International –  a Japanese non-profit organization that runs social and educational projects for both immigrant children in Japan and children in poor neighborhoods in Brazil. At present, he is leading a programme in Tokai University, which provides technical support to UNESCO Associated Schools in Tokyo.

Massa Ru Ando


WSIF Advisor | Director, Monte Azul International – Germany

Born in Tokyo, Massa finished his Waldorf Teacher Training in Scotland and studied Visual Arts at Emerson College UK. After his teacher training in Waldorf Pedagogy, he worked as an afternoon class teacher at Edinburgh Steiner School, followed by a 3-year stint as a vocational trainer in Garvald Edinburgh – an anthroposophical adult curative educational centre in Scotland. He also worked as a volunteer in Associação Comunitária Monte Azul in Brazil for 3 years. His projects include a collaboration with the Japanese NGO “CRI-Children’s Resources International” and Japanese Postal Foundation to build a local school for a fishing community in Brazil, where children from the northern coast can have access to good quality education. He is currently the director of Monte Azul International in Germany and CRI-Children’s Resources International in Japan, while continuing his work with other organisations addressing key social issues like the refugee crisis in Europe, the impoverished conditions in the slums of Brazil, and the social challenges in Japan.

Sundeep Kamath


WSIF Advisor | Secretary of Biodynamic Association India

Sundeep is Secretary of the Biodynamic Association of India (BDAI), promoting spiritual regenerative agriculture. He also serves on the Executive Committee of the Anthroposophical Society in India. He was on the Organizing Committee of the Organic World Congress in 2017, creating the possibility for the participation of many small and marginal farmers from the global south for the first time, in this major event.

Sundeep gives contributions around the globe to promote and support organic agriculture & sustainable lifestyles. Currently his main task is to collaborate with federal, regional and local governments on policies and practices to promote organic agriculture

Andrea De La Cruz


WSIF Advisor | Co-worker Youth Section Goetheanum

Andrea de la Cruz was born in Madrid, Spain. She attended Waldorf School, has two art degrees from UK universities and a certificate in Waldorf education. Since 2011 she works in youth-oriented projects as a researcher, event organiser and facilitator, and offering mentorship opportunities for young people. She is interested in engaging actively with initiatives that work out of a genuine interest in exploring the essential questions of humanity, the nature of relationships and the renewal of individual human impulse in service of the future.

Georg Wiedemer


WSIF Advisor | Co-Worker of Freunde der Erziehungskunst

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