Table of Contents


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08 202301 January 2023

Stakeholder Engagement – Towards an Economy of Question and Answer

Since the early years of the 20th century more and more consumers started to proclaim their rights to quality of products and services. During the sixties and the seventies consumers/citizens organized circles around shops, farms, schools, healthcare, transport etc etc. Since the eighties pioneering banks started helping and advising consumers in co-financing innovative sustainable and responsible producers trade and service organizations.

Consumers as “first degree” stakeholders started to develop a regular dialogue towards an economy of question and answer (demand and supply instead of supply and demand). Shareholders and other stakeholders became more and more involved in all the issues about sustainability and responsibility in the economy. Guidelines such as ISO 26000/20400, Sustainable Development Goals SDG’s, Global Reporting Initiative GRI guidelines and all the guarantees and hallmarks in the world (see ISEAL) are now the guidelines in the world economy to “guide” us to the future we want!

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01 202006 June 2020


This is the Moment to Change the World

This is the text on the frontpage of Time Magazine last month and the main article written by the historian and writer Rutger Bregman. His fifth book Humankind – A Hopeful History is now translated in English and was already a bestseller in the Netherlands. Big changes mostly begin in the middle of great crisis (note: the chinese character for crisis is also the character for the possibility of change). During the Great Depression of the 1930’s, the Second World War and the Great Recession of 2008 the whole world became significant “Upgraded” in international relations, culture and economy. Now in the middle of the Corona crisis we can see again many new initiatives of cultural, social and economic relations worldwide! After every human illness or crisis we can often see the person or organization getting better – better than before! That is what we call the essence of development.

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01 200906 June 2009

Dalai Lama in Amsterdam:
About the Power of Compassion in Turbulent Times

His Holiness said that man is a social animal, with a need for interaction with others. The economic crisis and environmental problems affects us all and creates interdependence and the need for a compassionate society. His Holiness said that he speaks as just one human among six billion and gains a personal benefit from a peaceful world. A more self-centered attitude is unrealistic in a modern, connected society.

His Holiness explained that although the health of the world in the early years of the new century was poor, he viewed the overall development as positive. The Berlin Wall was removed through a popular movement rather than violent upheaval and in general there were signs that the world had the capacity to grow closer together. He acknowledged that while not enough was being done to address environmental problems, the awareness of the problems was, in itself, a positive sign since this was a relatively recent phenomenon.

However, to end global violence there must be an end to violence at the local and individual level. Many people may feel that the idea of ‘world peace’ was too big for anyone to effect. His Holiness felt that the practical approach is to start with the inner peace of the individual, progressing through the family to the community and beyond.

Far beyond our expectations his speech developed into a historical and situational 360-degrees overview, directed to all of us as consumers or producers, as citizens or as politicians. He suggested how to work harder towards a better world and thus, motivated by our compassion for all of our fellow human beings, help solve all existing problems.

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01 200905 May 2009

News in the making…

There’s a lot of news in the making worldwide! While everybody is doing now his/her “homework” we may hope for interesting plans when schools start again in september!

The UN Decade of Interreligious and Intercultural Dialogue DIID 2011-2020 or the coordination in the research about the vanishing of the bees, or consumereducation starting in september by Consumers International and Unesco, or the restructuring of finance and banking, or even the end of materialism let’s call it “Darwin and beyond”, or what about Europe where citizens can learn to become worldcitizens ….. !

Life is an interesting challenge Hemingway would say!




02 202302 Februari 2023

Creativity – Creating the Future we Want

FEBRUARI 2023 Consumer360 ACADEMY

Creativity is not only the basis for all the arts, but also the basis for design in architecture, industrial design, food and haute couture! And even in marketing, diplomacy conflict management and last but not least in warfare!
The famous book The art of War written by  Sun Zu in China around 600 BC is used through the ages not only by many warlords and generals, but also by managers in business and marketing today! But creativity is most actual today in the slogans about The Future We Want! Creativity in the most positive way!
This year the world started with many initiatives of creative thinking: repair climate change, biodiversity, better healthcare and working towards true price and true income. Including better management of the chains in trade from farm to fork (ISO 26000 and ISO 20400).
But sustainable development is not an easy job! It needs a lot of research and talking and trying. But especially a creative way in which we look through the world, recognize essential details and last but not least combining all our knowledge and experiences into the most complete picture and plan! If it looks good and beautiful – then it is ok! Then our projects will become “works of art”.
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02 202103 March 2021

Everyone is an Artist – Joseph Beuys 100

Worldwide expositions on Joseph Beuys are now extra remarkable in a time of crises and new developments! Beuys worked lifelong on all issues about creativity of the human being, about creative thinking and arguing, and about creative organizations. Social Arts as the highest form of art itself! Especially the exposition in Barcelona Spain (26/2 – 23/5) is highly interesting already because of the title: Radical Teaching, Direct Democracy, Social Sculptures. To learn about Beuys, his thoughts and his sculptures and works of art is far from easy but more than worth trying! To express non-materialistic issues in materialistic compositions is art on the highest level.

Understanding globalization, consumer-producer relations, processing from farm to fork and the essence of (consumer)education, communication and governance are difficult to explain too when we want to express all the relations between people, materials and processes, between trade and transport, and consumption in the end. Shelley Sacks from Oxford University for instance worked with Beuys and made an expression made of 10.000 bananas to show the world connections between farmers in America and consumers worldwide. Art can be more impressing than any other explanation of economic, social and cultural relations between people. About consumer governance, government governance and corporate governance. Not the Art of War (Sun Tzu) of modern capitalist economies but the Art of Association and Cooperation between consumers and producers, trade, banking and money. Art as a basic tool for consumer governance and financial literacy. Basis for true prices and true incomes. Basis for sustainability and responsible lifestyles! Basis for consumer education!

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02 200901 January 2009

I like America and America likes me
Joseph Beuys / Coyote New York 1974

We are the revolution! Everybody is an artist!

This month the great exposition “WE are the Revolution” of the greatest 20th century artist Joseph Beuys came to an end. Visitors from all over the world came to Berlin to meet the inner world of the cultural creatives, where the other half of the world still believes this year with Darwin that all reality is build up not by action but by accident!

Comment of a visitor from Paris, where after America the great Revolution took place in 1789: “It seems to me that there is no better time than the present for a major Beuys retrospective. His art was a reaction to the excesses of conspicuous consumption that dominated Western Culture. The contrast provided by the Jeff Koons (ghost of Walt Disney) exhibition could not be more appropriate. His giant artless creations are a product of and footnote to the end of an epoch”.

International Herald Tribune January 12 / Posted by: Bernard, Paris France.

Professor Joseph Beuys’ most important work was to teach that we have to be creative ourselves, to use our freedom to create a world of transparency, democracy and sustainability. To research how the economy works, how mind and matter are two sides of every creative process, and how we can discover all the laws of the natural and social and spiritual worlds to make the best of all social sculptures i.e. organizations for living together on the same planet. He called it “Soziale Plastik” and used all kinds of materials to educate in the basic artistic laws of light, warmth and force as stepstones not only in chemistry but also in social reality. And especially now where the whole world is thinking about new ways in financing, foodsupply, sustainability etc etc all creativity is needed to find the best ways forward.

There were also two great conferences in Belgium this month about consuming and economic growth. In Antwerpen about the Turning Point (Omslag) and in Brussels about “Beyond GDP” talking about new ways of measuring the quality of life. Especially the way they try to do so in the small Himalayan kingdom of Bhutan is interesting where they call it the Gross National Happiness to be measured (as far as quality can be measured).

Of course happiness is in the first place the way we manage to be creative in creating our own life. Secondly how we respect each other to be able to do so (a reasonable income is a right). And third how far we reach to do so in a sustainable way and with a high quality of life. Then “WE are the revolution” is exact the right description of the human being entering the 21st century of maturity.

And when in former centuries they were able to call us brave new apes, dummies or marketing-targets, from now on we are all co-creators! Every year listening to each other, talking and planning at the World Social Forum, this month in the middle of the Amazon area between all the other species and all newly dicovered apes: in the city of Belem. Another World IS Possible. But only when we as consumer/citizens ask the right questions we can expect to get the right products and the right services!

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02 200706 June 2007

“Exchange Values”
Invisible Producers Made Visible 


In a globalized economy only our own imagination can make consumers and producers to a real experience. Two interesting presentations are trying to make us aware of our own responsibility to “see” our worldwide neighbours as consumers and/or producers.

Shelly Sacks, professor at the Oxford Brooks University presents an artistic social sculpture of dried bananas combined with production numbers to make visible for us consumers the producers of bananas on the Windward Islands. See or ISBN 978-3-928780-66-7 Exchange Values – Images of invisible Lives or at the exposition untill August in the Goetheanum, Dornach Switzerland.

Best business book of the year is published by Professor C K Prahalad about the greatest yet invisible market opportunities in the 21st century: the 4 billion other consumers in the world! The Fortune of the Bottom of the Pyramid ISBN 9780131877290.

02 200611 November 2006

Another World is Possible! Everybody is Creative!

This is what Joseph Beuys (1921-1986), the most famous modern artist of the 20th century, already said over and over again. Until February 2007 there is now a great exibition in Moyland Castle / Germany about the materials he used to explain all unvisible things. Social relations, thoughts, feelings, and world tendencies in economical, social and spiritual human behaviour can be made visible by all kinds of materials to symbolise and wake up conciousness and will to change. Solutions are always creative actions and everybody is creative him/herself to do something to help to make a better world (Jeder Mensch ein Kunstler! Everybody is an Artist!). And all those possible other worlds can be discussed January 20-25 in Nairobi Kenya during the next World Social Forum! And to get an even better look around what’s going on around the world you can also login on the new worldwide televisionchannel which is totally financed by the viewers only: the Independent World Television IWT starts with an interview with Naomo Klein! So we can all start the year 2007 with many new tools for our heads, hearts and hands!

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03 202303 March 2023

The Science Must Go On!

Interesting to see that all problems in the world today have to do with science! Not only about the emancipation of the consumer into the 21st century, but also about everything around the consumer! What is real agriculture, what is real pedagogy, what is the reality about sickness and healthcare, how can we get democracy on a realistic level again, or what is the essence of the use of money, and last but not least what is the purpose of human life at all?

But also fascinating is that all the search for insight is a struggle, a real fight every day and every page of our writings on our way towards the most realistic answers today extra difficult because of the rising amount of fake news and disinformation. Science has become more and more a war of thoughts! And that is ok! Because the war of words has to be fought to avoid psychological wars or even physical warfare! We do want to find the truth about everything. Isn’t that true?

Thanks to the emancipation of the consumer real insight about everything is now the hottest item. Because we want to know. We want all know how ourselves to think about, to find the most relevant arguments, to be able to take the best possible decisions! More than ever before we feel our responibility for the world around us. Because every single person counts. See the SDG’s as the most visible development of individual responsibility, of consumer governance!

That means that we must be able to trust science and scientists to deliver best possible insights. That means that we have to look further than the physical world alone. That we also have to look around to the living world of the plants, the world of animals with their multitude of characters, and to the human being with their ubique individual biographies.

Since Socrates, Plato and Aristoteles the human being started to look especially to the physical world. And untill today the science came to the highest insights …… acccording to the physical aspects in the cosmos. But to understand, really understand the worlds of plants, animals and human beings there is much much more to search and to research.

When we recognise the phenomenology of Goethe (1749-1832) and the spiritual sciences introduced by Rudolf Steiner (1861-1925) then we have a great “roadmap” to work further towards real science! To knowledge. To 100% insight. Because everything has two faces: a material presentation and a spiritual character. In the same way that a factory has a building, machines and workers, but als a mission statement, a social structure and a worldwide marketing network to reach consumers.

And looking in that direction we can more easily understand that the world and the cosmos as a whole are much more than daily work and study and apps and drinks and bikes alone. We wrote about these things already in our News article of April 2010.

Interesting to know that March 2 this year Venus and Jupiter were visible most closely together in the western sky at 18:45 in Europe! Love and Wisdom together – Philo-Sophia!

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03 202204 April 2022

Life(s)Long Learning – Projective Geometry as a Voyage of Discovery

From the beginning of aviation pilots always wanted to go higher faster and further. Also learning, research and travel are reaching for new horizons. And even all our thoughts about cooking and taste, architecture and industrial design are a daily voyage towards the un-known. Life(s)Long Learning is a never ending voyage of discovery!

But learning can also be done in a structured way which is called “research”. Working from specific questions, specified goals and structured ways of reasoning and dialogue. But one way or the other: we want to know the truth and noting but the truth about anything and everything.

The biggest discoveries are made today when not looking to the natural science alone which is about the natural (read: physical) world alone. Especially the spiritual sciences are becoming more and more interesting as a road to understand the basics of the whole universe we are living in. The same way we can recognise that there is a board of directors and an organizational structure behind the (natural / physical) structures of factories and roads, we can discover the worlds behind social and individual processes and their options for learning and developing.

The easiest way towards understanding the coherence between natural sciences and spiritual sciences is mathematics, especially geometry as a picture and even more specific the projective geometry. It was Rudolf Steiner who discovered this connection between inner and outer worlds, point and periphery, details and overview. It was Olive Whicher who gave the final entrance towards these insights in her book Projective Geometry. Because she used art as a tool geometry became the road for the voyage of discovery!

She presented the book during a seminar in Switzerland in 1972. We can use projective geometry in many ways to explain organization structures, the world of christals plants and animals, all kinds of developments in space and time, and all kinds of relations between matter and mind. Even about making visible developments of the individual (consumer) and mankind as a whole.

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03 202107 July 2021

Dante Alighieri 700 – From Problems to Solutions (Divina Comedia)

Dante Alighieri died 1321 September 14 as the greatest writer of all times. His masterpiece of writing the Divina Comedia is the story about travelling through hell and purgatory towards paradise. From problems through crisis management towards the celebration of solutions. The road we walk through life from time to time during our lifetime(s) biography. A story which is described in many books throughout the centuries before and beyond Dante. And even described more in detail in all kinds of religious and esoteric scriptures.

We can recognise these things when looking back on our own biography, on the ups and downs we experienced in life. Development is only possible by trial and error of course. And even on an ever higher level, in the same way a weightlifter taking heavier weights each time trying to become stronger. So this can also be seen as the big picture for everyone of us, for all organizations, and for the world as a whole! As in China the same character is used for crisis and for chance, it is about our own character of course and the possibilities for change!

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  • Dante 700 (Celebrations in Florence and Tuscany, Italy)

03 202102 February 2021

Consumer-Citizen-Creator: Body Soul and Mind of Society

In the 21st century we had a turbulent start with terrorism, financial crisis and now a pandemic coming to an end. But now we are really starting “maturity” in the way it was meant to! We are consumer citizen and creator. Creating new ideas and plans for bottom-up initiatives, finding other people and arguments around us, starting millions of new organizations. Thinking Talking Tasking is over and over again a three-steps process or inward spiraling process. From the infinity of ideas via the discussions with the future public or circle of clients towards the implementation of a project. Including the financing! And not to forget the Why How and What questions as we learned from Simon Sinek (TEDx). Looking forward through the eyes of a Donut as Kate Raworth (TEDx) presented for recognizing enough income for a living and not too much consumption for helping the earth to survive. And even all kinds of organizations worldwide are now promoting change for a future we really want! United Nations, Consumers International and many others.

In 1919 just after the disastrous First World War it was Rudolf Steiner (first lectures about biodynamic agriculture, free waldorf education and modern visions on society and even finance and banking) who discussed with managers and politicians in Germany and Europe how to work towards a better future could be realistic IF the basic principals of the human being would be recognized. Head heart and hands are the expression of thinking feeling and willing. In organizations to be recognized in management organization and production. In society in science, politics and economy. The first has to do with personal freedom, the second with equality amongst people, the third with working together with other people. Liberte Egalite Fraternite. In english: Freedom Equality and Brotherhood (working together in a world of division of labour).

Most problems in the world can be found where these principles are not respected. Freedom is the essence of science education and communication. Not the essence of economy. Equality is the basis for law and order, the relations between people, Or international relations between countries. Equality does not help people to express their own thoughts and arguments. Brotherhood is essential in worldeconomy to work most efficient. Brotherhood is not meant to connect economics with politics or even education. Of course these three areas have to work WITH each other but not in each other.! Then only then we can see a society which works in the most optimal way!

Most interesting is that more and more people are going to recognize these basic principles. Steiner already said so in 1919: if people do not want to hear the idea of threefoldness they will learn it by themselves – the hard way. That is what we see today and it is ok! Experience is the best way to learn how things work! That is maturity! That is do-it-yourself. That is the 21st century! That is creating the future we want! The great problems of the last fourty years were only material for exercising and getting wiser and stronger!

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03 202011 November 2020

Consumer360Academy For Consumer Education – 40 Years of Catalizing Change

Consumer360Academy is still a very small organization but working as a catalyst towards many greater organizations working on consumer education one way or another. Although an advisor or catalyzer never knows what his impact is, he can become enthousiast every time when an organization goes in a more positive direction. Especially when that organization survived a crisis in which the adviser was asked for assistance by co-thinking.

Consumer360Academy has its roots in 1980 when its founder Peter Daub (then working at Triodos Bank) started his research on what a consumer would need for making decisions about to buy or not to buy. Which information, which arguments are needed to make the best possible decisions in everyday shopping and financial decisions? The answer is as simpel as it is. All decisions are based on 12x7x3 aspects, 12 necessities of life x 7 aspects of trade x 3 directions in development (past present future). This organizational structure is not only basis for consumers but also for all other organizations in production, trade, banking, politics, ngo’s and society as a whole as well. So daily planners and moneymanagent agenda’s can be one piece of paper! The rest of the website is information for lifelong learning.

The book Consumer Freedom and Responsibility written in 1998 was the result of this research and the start of the Free Consumers Association in 2001, later given the english name Consumer360Academy in 2004 with the start of the website. Last September now also connected to Economists4Future and Fridays4Future, the worldwide initiative of Nobel Prize winner Greta Thunberg. The (sub)title Consumers4Future is meant to give a name to every consumer worldwide who chooses for a sustainable and responsible lifestyle to help build the best possible future for him/herself and for the next generation!

November 11 the Library and Archive will start to be accessible for researchers on consumer history. The newspage of the website in itself is already a comprehensive archive of the last 40 years of history about consumer information, consumer initiatives and organizations, and consumer education. It is THE most simple Toolkit for every consumer to organize his/her daily life including all financial data in the MoneyManager360.

Consumer360Academy has worked together with many organizations worldwide and will continue to do so. Most important organizations for consumer education are the International Federation for Home Economics IFHE, the Partnership for Education and Research on Responsible Lifestyles PERL, and the UN SDG Partnership Exchange.

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03 201905 May 2019

100 Years of Social Threefolding – Impulse for the Future

Just after the First World War and the peacetalks in Versailles it was in Stuttgart, Germany that Rudolf Steiner gave many lectures on the basic nature of the human being, of society and of the universe as a whole. These can be recognised as threefolded. Head, heart and hands are our tools for thinking, feeling and willing. The same aspects can be recognised in society: culture, legal life and economy. But the essence is that the corresponding qualities are freedom, equality and cooperation in their own domain. And not in one of the other two! Only then society can work properly. And problems can be solved most efficiently, crises and even wars prevented.

At the conference in Forum3 in Stuttgart more than 500 people were welcomed by the mayor who spoke about the history of Stuttgart, where many of Rudolf Steiners ideas were already introduced from 1919 onwards in a variety of products and organizations. Waldorf Schools, biodynamic agriculture, Weleda medicines and natural health products and much more for all necessities of life.

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03 201612 December 2016

Club of Rome to COP 22 – Solutions in the Making


One year after the Climate Summiit COP21 in Paris this month in Marrakech in Morocco the COP 22 conference was about starting towards solutions for the problems causing climate change. Especially interesting was the launch of Dennis Meadows newest book about changing attitude and behaviour. The Climate Change Playbook – 22 Systems Thinking Games for More Effective Communication about Climate Change.

In the old beautiful castle of Nyenrode Business University in the Netherlands Dennis Meadows co-author of Limits to Growth (Club of Rome 1972) presented us with great enthousiasm the 22 games that teachers and trainers can use to learn children and adults and organizations as well not only to understand the problems but also to find the tools for effective communication about climate change and to real change in attitudes and behaviour, habits and lifestyles. The Climate Chance Playbook is a masterpiece for transforming system-dynamic thinking towards taking the right decisions in our lifestyles.

These simple interactive games in the Climate Change Playbook help practioners and educators present climate change from a systems-perspective demonstrating its complex interconnectred web of causes, effects and unintended impacts. Designed by leaders in sytems-thinking climate communications and sustainability, the games focus on learning by doing and are suitable for a variety of ages and audiences. Playing the games help people navigate the obstacles that make understanding climate change so difficult and also identify the leverage points to create real long term solutions.

“When you’re walking along a tricky curving, unknown, surprising, obstacle-strewn path you’d be a fool to keep your head down and look just at the next step in front of you. You’d be equally a fool just to peer far ahead and never notice what’s immediately under your feet. You need to be watching both the short and the long term. You need to watch the whole system!”

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03 201610 October 2016

International Conference on Consumer Research 2016

The Competence Center of Consumer Research North Rhine-Westphalia (CECORE NRW) organized the second International Conference on Consumer Research (ICCR) 2016 September 26-27 in the Science Center (Wissenschaftszentrum) in Bonn Germany. The theme of the conference was “The 21st Century Consumer: Vulnerable, Responsible, Transparent?” and meant to discuss different views, concepts, and models of consumers and the implications for policy-making. Questions like: Is there a way to protect vulnerable consumers more efficiently? Can responsible consumers get new tools to achieve healthy and sustainable societies? Is transparency an asset or a threat to consumers? Does nudging help to unfold self-governance of consumers?

Roles, capabilities and responsibilities of consumers seem to be rapidly changing. Companies and politics reach out to consumers to shape future markets and the well-being of our societies. Interdisciplinary consumer research is vital to explore conditions and consequences of change. Researchers from different disciplines and countries worldwide gathered to enrich this debate.

Prof. Victoria Thoresen gave an inspiring keynote speech about the educated consumer who wants to be part of the chain more and more in the dialogue between producers and consumers and all other stakeholders. (Read more: September News). Prof. Frank Trentmann the writer of the amazing history of the consumer untill the 21st century The Empire of Things and a great storyteller about the consumer in space and time gave the closing speech of the conference (Read more: August News).

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03 201608 August 2016

The Empire of Things – How We Became a World of Consumers (A must-read for everyone!)

Book Review (Amazon): What we consume has become a central-perhaps the central-feature of modern life. Our economies live or die by spending, we increasingly define ourselves by our possessions, and this ever-richer lifestyle has had an extraordinary impact on our planet. How have we come to live with so much stuff, and how has this changed the course of history?

In Empire of Things, Frank Trentmann unfolds the extraordinary story of our modern material world, from Renaissance Italy and late Ming China to today’s global economy. While consumption is often portrayed as a recent American export, this monumental and richly detailed account shows that it is in fact a truly international phenomenon with a much longer and more diverse history. Trentmann traces the influence of trade and empire on tastes, as formerly exotic goods like coffee, tobacco, Indian cotton and Chinese porcelain conquered the world, and explores the growing demand for home furnishings, fashionable clothes and convenience that transformed private and public life. The nineteenth and twentieth centuries brought department stores, credit cards and advertising, but also the rise of the ethical shopper, new generational identities and, eventually, the resurgence of the Asian consumer.

With an eye to the present and future, Frank Trentmann provides a long view on the global challenges of our relentless pursuit of more-from waste and debt to stress and inequality. A masterpiece of research and storytelling many years in the making, Empire of Things recounts the epic history of the goods that have seduced, enriched and unsettled our lives over the past six hundred years.

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03 201504 April 2015

Symposium and launch State of the World 2015

“We think we understand environmental damage: pollution, water scarcity, a warming world. But these problems are just the tip of the iceberg. Deeper issues include food insecurity, financial assets drained of value by environmental damage, and a rapid rise in diseases of animal origin. These and other problems are among the underreported consequences of an unsustainable global system.

In State of the World 2015, the flagship publication of The Worldwatch Institute, experts explore hidden threats to sustainability and how to address them. Eight key issues are addressed in depth, along with the central question of how we can develop resilience to these and other shocks. With the latest edition of State of The World, the authorities at Worldwatch bring to light challenges we can no longer afford to ignore.”

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03 201410 October 2014

Rudolf Steiner Exposition: The Human Being in the Middle of the Universe

After travelling through many European cities the exposition about the life and work of Rudolf Steiner was now in the Netherlands in the Port of Rotterdam. Like this largest harbour in the world where people know what economics is all about, a special paper about what Rudolf Steiner said about the worldeconomy as science and as reality in 1919 already was sold out in the shortest time (fourty thousand). In those days he already saw the problems growing which we now see in the financial crisis. In the Economic Course for students he gave many basic insights for economic thinking which make clear many new insights, why’s and how’s.

In the same way that we saw a return of the ideas of John Maynard Keynes we experience more and more “hunger” for basic insights in worldeconomy (as we do in all areas of knowledge since consumers finally became more interested to take responsibity for a better world). As a scientist and as a philosopher Steiner gave many basic insights. Although he gave also many guidelines for practical use for agriculture, schoolteachers, medicare, arts, economics and society as a whole, etc etc etc it’s up to everyone and every organization themselves to think about all kinds of solutions which are most appropriate to circumstances and goals. (See for instance our own webportal Consumer360Academy as an initiative for exchange of insights and experiences about consumer-producer dialogue and consumer education in consumer governance!).

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03 201409 September 2014

International Conference on Consumer Research

In the German city of Bonn the first international conference about Consumer Research was organised. Although research is an always ongoing process it is also essential to meet each other from time to time to exchange insights and experiences. Bonn is also the city where the International Federation for Home Economics, the worldwide oldest association of teachers and researchers is housing.

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03 201405 May 2014

State of the World 40 Years!

Worldwatch Institute in Washington celebrated 40 years with a symposium about the special issue of State of the World about Governing the world and sustainability:

“Citizens expect their governments to lead on sustainability. But from largely disappointing international conferences like Rio II to the U.S.’s failure to pass meaningful climate legislation, governments’ progress has been lackluster. That’s not to say leadership is absent; it just often comes from the bottom up rather than the top down. Action-on climate, species loss, inequity, and other sustainability crises-is being driven by local, people’s, women’s, and grassroots movements around the world, often in opposition to the agendas pursued by governments and big corporations.

These diverse efforts are the subject of the latest volume in the Worldwatch Institute’s highly regarded State of the World series. The 2014 edition, marking the Institute’s 40th anniversary, examines both barriers to responsible political and economic governance as well as gridlock-shattering new ideas. The authors analyze a variety of trends and proposals, including regional and local climate initiatives, the rise of benefit corporations and worker-owned firms, the need for energy democracy, the Internet’s impact on sustainability, and the importance of eco-literacy. A consistent thread throughout the book is that informed and engaged citizens are key to better governance.

The book is a clear-eyed yet ultimately optimistic assessment of citizens’ ability to govern for sustainability. By highlighting both obstacles and opportunities, State of the World 2014 shows how to effect change within and beyond the halls of government. This volume will be especially useful for policymakers, environmental nonprofits, students of environmental studies, sustainability, or economics-and citizens looking to jumpstart significant change around the world”.

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03 201004 April 2010

150 years Rudolf Steiner – The science must go on!

If we really want to know how to choose as consumers, we have to know the ‘inner quality’ of everything, of products, services and processes and the whole cosmos around in space and time and beyond those parameters. Therefore we need not only the natural sciences, but also the spiritual sciences. Since Einstein created the thought milieu that all phenomena are dependent on matter alone, Goethe already gave us the tools to discover the higher forms of research. Furthermore it is thanks to Rudolf Steiner that we can now understand how even the higher spiritual sciences have developed through human history until the present time. The science must go on! If we include natural science, however, there are seven steps to go. In the problems concerning the environment and climate, we can now experience a second stage of living processes al around us.

Just as the natural sciences made great progress since the sixteenth century, to discover how the various parts of the universe fit and work together, so did Goethe, during his journey through Italy how man can learn to see the unity of it all in minerals, plants (his idea of the ‘Urpflanze’), animals (characters) and human beings (the significance of biographies). To alchemists these were known as earth, water, air and fire; in modern chemistry they are known as the states : solid, liquid, gas and heat.

In this way we can understand that the physical sciences have their limits in the material world as such. As far as plants are concerned we can see that they have not merely a material process but also a ‘living’ process, not only gravitation as it were but also levitation. In the animal world, we can see that they have a material body, that they live by eating plants directly or indirectly, and have the capacity to walk freely, each sort with its specific character. The human being goes beyond all these characteristics with his possession of an inner spirit and the capacity to act with a high degree of freedom and to create his or her own biography. This process is comparable to a factory building with all its machines, tools and other component parts as materials, transport and production as the living process, and working schemes and organization as the ‘character ‘ as it were of the enterprise and finally human relations as the ‘spirit of enterprise’)

That Goethe was the great builder of the bridge between the natural sciences and the spiritual sciences was recognized by Rudolf Steiner, who did all the research to make transparent how the spiritual side is always the other side of the same ‘coin’ which we call reality. Using the factory again as an analogy: behind all the processes of a factory we can find the mission statement, the motivation. The question why we should we produce for specific consumers is a case of question and answer between human beings, in the encounter of freely (!) chosen goals in life, which we can call ‘new karma’. The further development of these higher degrees of research are called imagination, inspiration and intuition. In other words it is the world of imaginations, feelings and experiences, and furthermore of encounters with the other as an individual entity, … also when we talk of angels and beings of a higher order.

It was this month that Dick van Romunde died at the age of 96, who was a good friend and a great scientist, who taught us to take these steps in our own personal evolution.

Read more:

03 200902 February 2009

Big Bang or creativity?

“In the Beginning there was Nothing ……. and even that exploded!” This was one of the many many marvellous humorfull one-liners of “Loesje” (Little Louise) this year, a famous Dutch group of journalists organizing all kinds of workshops in writing imaginative and inspiring to-the-point short texts. Already for 25 years now and also international! Another one was meant for politicians but can also be used for all kinds of discussions and even conflicting situations: “Pardon me! You’re standing on my standing point!” (point of view). Practical humor for everyday situations but also for bringing profound scientific and philosophical discussions into a current.

Especially now in the year of the famous scientist Darwin it is becoming more and more apparent that evolution is reality, but only understandable if seen as the mirror of a creative process. In the same way for instannce that there is first a manager or CEO with a plan and a blueprint evoluating into an organization and a factory building with machines and tools and a lot of other stuff ……… and not vice versa! Then only then we can get acces to the idea that Creation AND Evolution are two sides of the same coin. As we can also recognise in our everyday thinking arguing and acting.

(PS for scientists and non-scientists: mathematically the idea of the Big Bang is theoretically correct of course when we recognise the creation of all matter as an inward spiraling process for a certain time to a certain mathematical point, now outward spiraling from that same mathematical point. In the same way we can see in a Nautilus shell or at CERN in Geneva where they photograph atomic processes. So first “breathing in”, now “breathing out” …….. as we also can read in the old Kabbala “matter is concentrated light” ….. now resurrecting again in consciousness, transparency, science, knowledge! Even all esoteric knowledge of all kinds of organizations became exoteric/public since the twentieth century!)

Read more:

  • From Sphinx to Christ – An occult history / Edouard Schuré
  • Harper Collins 1982 / ISBN 9780060671242

03 200711 November 2007

Aula Technical University, Delft NL

Investing in Knowledge = Investing in the Future!

  • This was the credo at the World Science Forum in Budapest-Hungary this month where they focused this time on environment and future generations. Read a bit in their long evaluationtext to feel about what scientists think about it today
  • At the Mining Conference in Delft-The Netherlands the header of the website was: Knowledge to Power the Future. We heard a lot about sustainability now on the same spot – a masterpiece in architecture – where we joined in 1972 the founding of the Dutch branch of the Club of Rome, now at last taken seriously after Al Gore told us to look around into the real world!
  • And for the future generation now on our schools there was a report presented by the social economic council to the minister of education about internships for students for meeting the future-in-the-making now in our businessworld, governments and civil society