4. Rural exodus and urbanisation – reconnecting children to the natural world
Moderator: Andreas Biesantz, EU Liaison Office, Demeter International
How do children benefit from experiencing biodiversity and the farm as a living organism? This workshop will discuss the effect of the rural exodus and the digitalisation of urban life on children and young people. It will explore educational programmes and methods for establishing connections between children and nature by enabling them to experience biodiversity and living farms organisms.
Peter Altmeyer, Imago Therapeutikum and Freie Schule Mölln e.V. (Germany)
Peter Altmeyer is the father of three adult children and a grandfather to five. He has been interested in the future of the planet, nature and mankind for more than 30 years. As a paediatric osteopath he works with a lot of new-born children and their parents, and is sensitive to their needs.
Different meetings with Dr. Tho Ha Vinh, Programme Director at the Gross National Happiness Centre (GNH) in Bhutan, made a deep impression on him, inspiring him to develop his therapeutic practice and the Free School in Mölln. His students know from the outset about this new paradigm and grow into healthy and strong people with a deep sense of connection with and responsibility for nature. A very important part of the school’s concept is to cooperate with biodynamic farms, with the particular aim of awakening the capacities for sense perception and compassion.
Ronald Heusschen, trainer and consultant
Ronald Heusschen studied ‘Leisure, Tourism, Recreation’ (BASc) and ‘Education and Pedagogy’ (BASc) and specialized in Psychosynthesis; SelfConfrontationMethod and Dialogical Self. He works as a coach for personal and professional development and is an expert in community building. He is a former director of a waldorf primary school and one of the initiators of the Boerderijschool / Farmschool in the Netherlands. The Farmschool is dedicated to the provision of farm-based education for primary (special) schools throughout the Netherlands and Belgium. The Farmschool brings together the unique identity of a school with the unique identity of a farm. it is about real life learning on the farm. For as Einstein said: “Learning is experience. Everything else is just information."