First Online Annual General Meeting

First Online Annual General Meeting

27 March 2021 Sebastian Jüngel 1591 views

The General Anthroposophical Society, which runs the Goetheanum, ended 2020 with a deficit of around 476,000 Swiss francs. This was a result of the weeks-long closures due to official Corona regulations. Members endorsed the outcome at the first fully digital General Meeting.

In 2020, the Annual General Meeting had to be postponed from April to October due to the ban on large gatherings. In 2021, the General Assembly was held online on March 27th. What was a necessity due to the official Corona requirements, the Executive Council at the Goetheanum turned into a blessing: The online meeting enabled about 380 members from about 45 countries to participate. For the purpose of interaction during the meeting, two staff members were continuously available for comments and questions during the meeting, and one point of order was raised and addressed this way. A digital voting system developed in-house, based on personal registration, was used to conduct the voting. Members rejected the idea of postponing the votes to a later date in September by a clear majority.

As treasurer, Justus Wittich thanked the members for their high level of moral and financial support. Thanks to the membership contributions, the legacies and not least because of the increase in donations by about half a million Swiss francs to almost 1.5 million Swiss francs, it was possible to compensate for the loss of income. In the end, the loss of 476,000 Swiss francs was relatively minor. Up to the Annual General Meeting, the Goetheanum has not received any financial support other than for reduced working hours.

The Goetheanum held events up to the last possible moment, including the ‘Faust’ festival in July and October 2020, and organized specialist conferences with safety and hygiene plans. In addition, events were held digitally where possible. However, the prohibition of events led to reduced revenues, and it was also necessary to invest in digital broadcasting technologies.

The members endorsed the financial situation. The annual financial report was approved with 318 votes for, 10 votes against and 22 abstentions, the board‘s actions were approved with 302 votes for and 15 against, with 22 abstentions.

Translation by Bettina Hindes

Image: Sebastian Jüngel