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Taking Goethe seriously - stretching our thinking

Oxford Brookes University, Gipsy Lane, Buckley Building BG01
18 February 2011 11:00-16:30

Second in a series of events, hosted by the Social Sculpture Research Unit; the Arts, Culture, Sustainability Oxford Brookes University university-wide research forum and ARP - the Arts Practice Research cluster at Oxford Brookes.


Goethe said: "Natural system: a contradictory expression. Nature has no system; she has - she is - life and development from an unknown centre toward an unknowable periphery". 
In this one-day process we will work together to reach towards the infinite, stretching our thinking between 'an unknown centre' and 'an unknowable periphery' …and perhaps, in doing so, move beyond systemic thinking to the bare bones of organic thinking.

Allan Kaplan
Allan Kaplan is a facilitator, writer and social development practitioner, working internationally with groups, organisations and communities to bring a Goethean approach to the social sphere in service of building a social sensibility.
He is the author of The Development Practitioner’s Handbook; Artists of the Invisible – Development Practitioners and Social Change; The Developing of Capacity; and Dreaming Reality – The Future in Retrospect.

Allan co-directs The Proteus Initiative, which works as a vehicle for developing the organic and holistic methods of JW von Goethe into a new understanding and approach to the sphere of social renewal. His work is an attempt to realise the full consequences of true participation, of socio-ecological complexity, and of an emerging consciousness, which holds freedom and responsibility as a generative polarity in the quest for wholeness.  He has collaborated in establishing the Towerland Wilderness, in the southern Cape, South Africa as a space for nature and for the learning that may come through immersion in, and communion with, life processes in the wild. He is currently collaborating with the University of the Trees and is exploring links between his work and social sculpture.


There are places for up to 40 participants in this process.
Please contact Lucy Turner in the Arts Department as soon as possible.


Ecological Citizenship and The Art of Changing One's Mind(set)
Interdisciplinary Symposia - Seminars - Dialogue Processes

Other events in this series:

Friday 4 February
Re-thinking Sustainability: New directions for Rio+20?
Dr Maritta Koch-Weser

Monday 21 February 
Aesthetic Education and Poetic Imagination: key tools for social and ecological change
Dr Wolfgang Zumdick


Friday 4 March  
Knowledge as process of transformation... and how aesthetic practice can contribute to it
Professor Dr Alex Arteaga 


Friday 18 March  
A one-day symposium and dialogue process with contributions from 3 leading figures in the field of arts and sustainability
Dr Arran Stibbe, Dr Hildegard Kurt and Peter Gingold


10 - 23 July 2011
For more information about the summer school please see



Contact Name:
Lucy Turner
Contact Email:

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