The Pioneers of SEKEMSophia

Getting to know SEKEM as a social innovation – this was a wish that brought 25 people from all over the world to SEKEM in the last week of November: From 25 to 29 November, the first SEKEMsophia Symposium took place in Egypt.

Maximilian Abouleish-Boes, SEKEMs Chief Sustainable Development Officer, presenting SEKEMsophia, an integral innovation model.

In the past, an increasing number of people expressed their interest to get to know SEKEM more intensively than during a normal visit. The SEKEMsophia Symposium is a new format that for the first time allows deeper insights into the SEKEM structure within a few days. During the five-days event, the participants dealt deeply with the philosophy of SEKEM and how it is implemented in everyday life. Each day focused on one of the four dimensions of the SEKEM sustainability flower: Ecology, Economy, cultural and societal life. However, since these sectors are all linked to each other, a holistic view was always taken into account. Hence, for example, the participants gathered between two company visits for eurythmy or started their daily reflection talk with singing.

During the first SEKEMsophia symposium the participants engaged themselves into several artistic activities in order to receive deeper insights to the SEKEM vision.

Continuation is sought

Although most participants came to the SEKEMsophia Symposium with a specific focus of interests, they seemed to widen their concern. For example, someone who had focused on agriculture became very interested in the topic of education. An Egyptian participant said that even at the end of the week it was hard for him to believe that a place like SEKEM really exists in Egypt. “I recognize that many young Egyptians go abroad to see activities that are actually taking place in SEKEM. Now I know that nobody really has to go abroad anymore. They can stay here and come to SEKEM,” he said.

The SEKEMsophia Symposium also included visits to the surrounding area of SEKEM.

At the end of the symposium, it became clear that even an intensive week is still very short in order to capture the complex network of the various entities of SEKEM and the interaction of the 2,000 employees into detail. However, the participants reported to be very fulfilled and inspired. Many questions became clearer, but at the same time also new ones emerged. This is how the desire for a further program of SEKEMsophia came up.

One of SEKEM’s main goals is to send a message into the world – not only to act on its own, but also inspiring other people to use their creative power to initiate a change in the world. SEKEMsophia can be a channel through which such a message is sent in order to encourage more and more people to start initiatives in their own lives even they may seem difficult in the beginning.

Narimeh Paeplow

Join the coming SEKEMSophia in January 2019!
SEKEMsophia – Circles Instead of Trees
SEKEMsophia – The Phoenix Out of the Ashes