It enables us to uncover both our individual vision and to work together in new imaginative ways to take this vision forward. It involves deep activation of the inner field of each individual participant. This in turn enables an enhanced process of thinking together and living planning out of which initiatives grow and emerge instead of plans for actions being thought out with the same thinking that creates the problems.
During the Kassel-21 / Social Sculpture Lab, Earth Forum is being made available in three different ways.
WHERE and with whom?
In the Creative Explorers program for young people from the 23 Areas of Kassel
This city-wide project is designed to enable the development of a group of Creative Explorers between 14 and 28 years old. This 6 month project is a collaboration with the Cultural Department of Kassel. Young people from all 23 areas of the city are being invited to participate.
See the ‘Call for Participation’ [Aufruf-EF-23] Stadtteile- Kassel in 23 Areas of the City process.
For more information contact firstname.lastname@example.org
See also the Earth Forum “Creative Explorers” call on the City of Kassel website.
In the Survival Room for visitors to Kassel on specified dates
As a visitor to the Museum you can participate in an Earth Forum on ‘Survival’ from early July to mid- September 2021. Enquire about Earth Forums on specific dates in the Survival Room by emailing
In different areas of the city [See Program: ERDFORUM zum Thema Stadtentwicklung]
To explore and work with specific issues and concerns in Kassel and surrounding areas. These include questions about ‘waste’, the food system, re-using spaces in the city, how we understand ‘health’, and exploration of ‘privilege’ and ‘social enterprise’.
You can also participate in an Earth Forum to explore the ‘survival’ and the ‘future we want’ without specific issues as a starting point, for taking the insights and discoveries back into our own lives and situations.
For information contact earthforum@socialsculpture lab.com
Leaflet [in Ger
Earth Forum Facilitator training
Toward the end of 2021 we will offer several 4-day training programs for individuals who want to become Earth Forum facilitators themselves. This scaling out of the Earth Forum process is one of the aims of the new global Social Sculpture Lab that has been founded as part of this centenary celebration and which will continue what is set in motion this year into the future.
WHEN: The Earth Forum processes are taking place throughout Kassel between May and November 2021 [See Program]
Language: Most of the Earth Forum processes in the Kassel-21 Social Sculpture Lab will take place in German. English language Earth Forums can be organized for non-German speakers. Issues based Earth Forums for non-German speaking visitors – on ‘Survival’, ‘The Future We Want’ and other questions like ‘privilege’, ‘wealth’, ‘the food system’, ‘health’, and the ‘post-growth economy’ -will take place in English.
Partners and Sponsors
Earth Forum has been funded by the Bundeszentral fur politisch Bildung and the Hessiche Kulturstiftung. The Creative Explorers program is also supported by the Cultural Office of the City of Kassel [The Kulturderzernat]
Effectiveness of Earth Forum
Because the Kassel-21 Social Sculpture Lab is also a ‘research lab’ we will also be reflecting on the value of Earth Forum from different perspectives, with both facilitators and participants. Initial reflections on the Earth Forum process will take place in September in the Neue Galerie, Kassel [or online, depending on Covid restrictions].
MORE ON EARTH FORUM in the field of Social Sculpture
Earth Forum for change makers in many countries and places
Earth Forum is one of the most loved and tested of all the connective practice strategies and methods in the Social Sculpture Lab.
Since it first emerged in 2002 in a village in southern Africa, as a means of moving beyond a conflict about land use and what a sustainable future meant, its processes have been refined and carefully developed to work in depth with challenging questions, to listen to the calls from the future, to enable existing initiatives to be strengthened and new initiatives to unfold.
Over 200 people –teachers, farmers, change consultants, cultural workers, community members, peace and climate activists, managers, company workers – have been trained to offer the Earth Forum process in India, China, South Africa, Holland, UK and Germany. As part the Kassel-21 / Social Sculpture Lab we are beginning to develop collaborations through which we can scale out Earth Forum linked to regional and global initiatives in transformative learning, alternative education and citizens assemblies.
Why Earth Forum is useful in today’s world
Earth Forum is a very special form of dialogue process that activates, inspires and enables grounded perceptions and insights on both an individual and social level. Such insights can support us in these challenging times and help us work toward a humane and ecologically viable future with strength and passion.
The particular way that the Earth Forum process activates and mobilizes individuals and the special kind of resonance and perceptiveness that it enables, gives rise to a unique social listening process and a gently emerging but intense and focused social dialogue.
This enlivened dialogue not only widens and deepens the base for making decisions, as individuals and together, and for developing connected initiatives. It also enables a form of living planning and heart-thinking that is conscious, compassionate and connective.
The Earth Forum experience is not only useful and practical but fills participants with a lived experience of the enlivening power of human imaginative capacities.
In this sense Earth Forum is a direct experience of what Beuys meant when he said: Art or Creativity is Capital, and why the human being is worth saving.
In this time of great confusions between the difference between life forms and machines, a further confusion is to think that the social or the ‘we’ is the collection of individual units. The opposite view is equally problematic: that the social comes about by negating or reducing the significance of the individual.
The challenge is to understand the difference between collective intelligence that is like a natural mycelium, and a social mycelium in which the whole is more than the sum of the parts, but the parts- the self-aware and conscious individual is central to developing the social ‘we’.
In an Earth Forum your individual insights become part of a thinking organism, made up of conscious individuals.
We describe this phase of the Earth Forum –in which we come to new insights together, as individuals – as ‘making social honey’.
Although this is a difficult time for making plans, it is also not the time to turn inward and watch and see.
Those creating intelligent machines are not waiting.
It is time to come together and become much clearer about what we want to take forward and say ‘yes’ to, and what we want to leave behind.
With its focus on ‘the future we want’, and its carefully developed methods that have inspired people of all backgrounds, ages and cultures, Earth Forum is a dialogue approach for contributing to the shaping of a humane and living future. Whatever form the future takes it is unlikely to be ending now! And so, there is much inner and outer work to do.