The Lab is developed and facilitated by Shelley Sacks and a team that includes trained citizen-multipliers and social sculpture practitioners from Kassel, other areas of Germany and the EU.


Shelley Sacks

Overall creation and curating of Kassel21-Social Sculpture Lab; Survival Room and Enquiry Labs; facilitation of connective practice strategy groups

Social sculpture practitioner and cultural activist whose studies and work with Joseph Beuys inspired a 4-decade long practical enquiry into ways of working with Beuys’ social sculpture proposals and ideas, first in the South African liberation struggle, and globally since 1990. In 1997 she set up the Social Sculpture Research Unit in Oxford, developing her ‘connective practice’ approach, which explores the relationship between freedom and responsibility as an ability-to-respond, inner system change and outer action, the role of imagination in transformation and in decolonizing the mind, and informs all her public practice, research and teaching.

Anna Backmund

Coordination FRAMETALKS, Strategy team New Eyes for the World; facilitation of Earth Forum and other core lab activities

Anna Backmund has been working closely with Shelley Sacks since the Earth Forum Facilitator Training in 2019 and from late 2019 in the FRAMETALKS project for the Potsdam State Parliament. Since 2020 she has been part of the Kassel21 Social Sculpture Lab Core Team and coordinates the FRAMETALKS practice. She is a psychologist, educational referee for Education for Sustainable Development [ESD] and global learning, and works with theater pedagogy and non-violent communication.

Karsten Winnemuth

Coordination and facilitation, Earth Forum, with focus on specific questions

Karsten Winnemuth has lived in Kassel since 1990. He is a gardener, musician, permaculture designer and initiator and coordinator of Essbare Stadt e.V. and the Docutopia project. He works in a variety of socio-cultural contexts and has been working with Shelley Sacks since 2012 as an Earth Forum and Social Sculpture facilitator. He offers Earth Forums for groups in and around Kassel.

Martina Schäfer

Coordination, facilitation and training, Feld der Begegnung

Martina studied cultural studies and aesthetic practice and is dedicated to the “art of touch” in a variety of ways. She is a holistic massage therapist and trainer, works as a music therapist in the field of “palliative care” and as a social sculpture practitioner is committed to a more life-friendly world.

Rosa van Wyk

Social Sculpture Lab Consultant, Online Processes and Website

Rosa is a creative strategy and planning consultant who specialises in developing scalable multi-channel strategies for clients ranging from disruptive start-ups and sustainable solutions, to established global brands. Currently Managing Director of iCrossing Spain and Senior VP Creative at iCrossing, Rosa has supported other social sculpture initiatives, like ‘Exchange Values’ and ‘University of the Trees’.

Susanne Völker

Partner in Earth Forum City ‘youth program’ and exploration of ‘public pedagogies’, Founding Member and Executive Board Member of the Social Sculpture Lab e. V.

Dr. Susanne Völker (non-partisan) has been Head of the Department of Culture of the City of Kassel since 2017. Prior to this, she was a museums director and in 2015 she successfully opened the internationally renowned house GRIMMWELT Kassel as founding director. Susanne Völker studied art history, philosophy, law and museum management in Hamburg and Vienna and did her PhD in the field of cultural science (World Heritage) in Paderborn. She is committed to a transdisciplinary and participatory approach to cultural policy.

Philipp John

Coordinator of FRAMETALKS-Fluxus with Social Sculpture Lab Team; Founding Member and executive Team of Social Sculpture Lab e.V. Curator of Museum-Fluxus+ [Potsdam].

Studied art history, history, theater- and educational science at Berlin and Vienna. Ph.D. in real-time systems, photography and sculpture at FU-Berlin. Interested in the field of Social Sculpture as well as in approaches to self-determined learning, knowledge transfer, supportive leadership and teambuilding. Lives and works at Potsdam/Germany.

Peter Färber

FRAMETALKS strategy team

After many years of teaching children at a school for Waldorf pedagogy, my new profession is biography work with adults. I am inspired by Joseph Beuys’ Social Sculpture ideas and am very glad to be part of Kassel21 -Social Sculpture Lab initiated by Shelley Sacks.

Emilia Stapel

Emilia is exploring ways of documenting the different aspects of the Social Sculpture Lab through film.

Emilia is a student of cultural studies and aesthetic practice at the University of Hildesheim and works in the fields of film, art and theater. She has a strong interest in ecological and social art practice.


The University of the Treels Lab – Kassel, Social Sculpture Academy, Berlin Hub, FRAMETALKS Multipliers, Earth Forum facilitators and New Eyes for the World facilitators.


Peter Guttenhöffer

Social Sculpture Lab founding member

Inspiring programs on education through doing in Brazil, Russia, South Africa… and Europe. Founding member of the global Social Sculpture Lab. Instigator with Karsten Winnemuth of Univeristy of the Trees – Social Sculpture Lab in Kassel. Seminar leader: ‘The Child and the Future of the World’

Bodo von Plato

Social Sculpture Lab founding member an active in Social Sculpture Academy- Berlin hub

Currently working on aspects of consciousness- and mentality transformation in the late 20th and beginning 21st century (Berlin). He was part of the Goetheanum-leadership between 2001 and 2018 (Dornach). Trained as historian and philosopher in French, Austrian and German Universities and teacher in a Waldorf-School (Paris), Bodo has worked with Shelley Sacks, Clarine Campagne and Urs Pohlman in several projects on aesthetic, spiritual, scientific and social issues.

Claire Campagne

Social Sculpture Lab founding member

Clarine is a Organisational Consultant and Coach, author of a book on U-Theory in Teams and Coordinator of the Meditation Worldwide initiative at the Goetheanum [Dornach]. She is trained in the Earth Forum and Landing Strip for Souls ‘connective practices’, and worked closely with Shelley on a ‘renewal in organisations’ and Social Sculpture pilot program in the Netherlands from ealy 2019, until Covid made it difficult to continue. Together they have facilitated several programs in the field of social sculpture.

Urs Pohlman

Volker Harlan

Seminar on Beuys’ Evolution drawing

Volker’s publications relevant to social sculpture include:  Was ist Kunst? – Werkstattgespräch mit Beuys. Stuttgart 1986/2021. Übersetzt ins Englische, Französische, Holländische, Ungarische, Rumänische, Schwedische, Italienische,Chinesische; Das Bild der Pflanze in Wissenschaft und Kunst – bei Aristoteles und Goethe, der botanischen Morphologie des 19. und 20. Jahrhunderts und bei Paul Klee und Joseph Beuys. Stuttgart 2004;  Die sieben Substanzen der Sakramente. Stuttgart 2008; an early book on ‘Social Sculpture’ with Rainer Rappmann and Peter Schata, Achberg Verlag; and most recently Evolution: mit Beuys Denken, Schirmer/Mosel 2020. Volker has lectured widely in Germany, the US, Japan, Europe and on the Social Sculpture graduate program at Oxford Brookes University. The English introduction to “What is Art?” by Shelley Sacks can be read here.

Mariana Galan

Social Sculpture Practitioner, Mexico City; and Digital Media Developer

The Red  Bowl [Views of Survival / Online practice]