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Craig Holdrege: Talks, Workshops and Courses

Here you will find a selection of the talks and workshops Craig has given in recent years.

For past week-long courses at The Nature Institute — which have been offered since 2002 and include programs for the general public and specific programs for educators and farmers — scroll down on our Calendar of Events page to the listing of past events.

On Seeing Nature Whole: A Goethean Approach

  • Goethe's Way of Science. Two talks: Goethe's Contextual Approach to the Science of Life and Implications for Science and Technology Today. For students, professors and the public at Texas State University, October 2015.
  • Encountering Nature as Presence. Plenary talk at the “Evolving Science” conference of the Science Research Lab, Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland, September 2015.
  • Goethean Holism — Plants, Animals and the Human Being. Weeklong course (4-5 hrs. per day) for students in the MSc Holistic Science course at Schumacher College, Totnes, UK, September 2015; and also in previous years, since 2005.
  • Goethe’s Way of Science: Dynamic, Ecological, Participatory. Presentation at an invitational conference on “Ecospheric Studies” at the Land Institute, Salina, Kansas, June 2015.
  • Plant and Animal: Essential Characteristics. Half-day workshop for participants in the Pfeiffer Center’s Biodynamic Gardening and Farming Course, Spring Valley, New York, yearly since 2008.
  • A Way of Knowing as a Way of Healing. Workshop at the 2014 conference of the Biodynamic Association (North America), Louisville, Kentucky, November 2014.
  • How Do We Discern Quality? Presentation and Exercises at the 2014 conference of the Biodynamic Association (North America), Louisville, Kentucky, November 2014.
  • Thinking Like a Plant or The Plant as a Teacher of Living Thinking. Talk and/or workshop given in many venues and in a variety of ways: e.g. talk for students, faculty and the public at Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, 2014; public talk at the South Devon Steiner School, Totnes, UK, 2013; Presentation at the Kalliopeia Foundation, San Rafael, California, 2012; Workshop at Child and Nature Conference, Boulder, Colorado, 2008; workshop at the Bioneers By the Bay conference, Dartmouth, Massachusetts, 2007.
  • Thoreau’s Essay “Walking”: Its Relevance Today. Colloquium with students and faculty of Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University and SUNY Potsdam at Clarkson University, Potsdam, New York, October 2014.
  • The Challenge of Understanding Food Quality Qualitatively. Presentation at the 2nd Food Quality Gathering, Omega Institute, Rheinbeck, New York, April 2014.
  • How Green is My Thinking? Workshop for educators at the Field Centre, Ruskin Mill, UK, September 2013.
  • Living Thinking: Developing a Deeply Ecological Consciousness. Talk at the World Goodwill Symposium, New York, New York, November 2013.
  • Goethe and Science. Talk for the Lyceum Group of the New York Academy of Sciences, New York, New York, October 2013.
  • A Pathway to Living Knowledge. Four-day public course sponsored by the Threefold Educational Foundation, Spring Valley, New York, September 2012.
  • Seasons Embodied: The Story of a Plant. Presentation at the Annual Conference of the International Association for Environmental Philosophy in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, October 2011.
  • Seeing Nature Holistically. Weeklong course with Henrike Holdrege at the Towerland Wilderness Center, South Africa, sponsored by the Proteus Initiative, August 2011.
  • Process of Transformation in Nature and in Human Knowing. Two-day public workshop in Cape Town, South Africa, sponsored by the Proteus Initiative, August 2011.
  • Truth, Beauty, and Goodness — Pathways to a Living Understanding of Nature. Public talk given in different venues, e.g. Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, 2011; The Nature Institute, 2003.
  • Delicate Empiricism: What Is its Significance for Understanding Nature? Talk at a symposium on Goethe’s Morphology, Biosciences Institute of the University of São Paulo, Brazil, October 2010.
  • Holistic Knowing — A Practical Introduction. Four-day extension course at the University of São Paulo, Brazil, sponsored by the Institute for Psychology and co-taught with Henrike Holdrege, October 2010.
  • Transformation in Nature and in Human Knowing: Developing Living Thinking. Public weekend course in São Paulo, Brazil, co-taught with Henrike Holdrege, October 2010.
  • Thinking Like a Mountain: Aldo Leopold’s Legacy and the Future of the Earth. Talk given at The Nature Institute, April 2010, and at the Rudolf Steiner Institute, July 2010.
  • Living Thinking — A Goethean Approach to Knowing. Public talk in Brussels, Belgium, September 2009.
  • Living Thinking for Vibrant Organizations. All-day workshop for principle staff members of Ruskin Mill College, Glasshouse College and Freeman College at Hawkwood College, UK, September 2007.
  • The Dynamic Heart and Circulation. Talk given in a variety of venues, e.g. public talk at Ruskin Mill College, UK, 2007; two talks for movement therapists, Camphill Copake, New York, 2004.
  • The Epistemology and Practice of the Goethean Approach to Science. Two two-hour seminars per week for eleven weeks as part of a course at The Nature Institute, spring 2006.
  • Reconnecting With Nature: Overcoming Abstraction. Four keynote lectures at the Annual Conference of Waldorf Schools, Western Region, at Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California, February 2007.
  • Qualities of Living Thinking. Presentation to the Staff of the Rudolf Steiner Foundation, San Francisco, California, February 2007.
  • The Bison’s World. Talk and Slide show at The Nature Institute’s seven year anniversary celebration, Hawthorne Valley School, Harlemville, New York, November 2005.
  • Can We See With Fresh Eyes: Wonder, Bias, and the Conundrum of Knowledge. Talk at the Land Institute's annual Prairie Festival, Salina, Kansas, September 2005.
  • Human Embryology — Reading the Gestures. Two presentations for students in the Therapeutic Eurythmy Training, Copake, New York, July 2005.
  • The Path of the Scientist: Goethean Science Methodology — An Experiential Introduction. Two two-hour workshops at the Annual Conference of the Science Section of the Anthroposophical Society of North America, Chicago, Illinois, November 2004.
  • Encountering Nature as a Conversation: Our Responsibility as Human Beings to the Earth. Talk and all-day workshop for teachers, parents, foundation year students and the public at the Austin Waldorf School, Austin, Texas, November 2004.
  • Holistic Biology — Its Practice and Implications. Four day public course at Schumacher College, Totnes, UK, October 2004.
  • How Do Animals See the World? In the Footsteps of Painter Franz Marc. Talk given in different venues, e.g. Hartsbrook School, Hadley, Massachusetts, 2005; public talk at Schumacher College, UK, 2004.
  • Goethean Science: A New Way of Understanding Life. All day public workshop, Portland Waldorf School, Portland, Oregon, February 2004.
  • The Human Being and the Animal Kingdom: Understanding Ourselves in Light of Our Fellow Beings. Five evening talks for the public sponsored by the Seminary of the Christian Community, Chicago, Illinois, February 2004.
  • From Reductionism to Understanding the Whole in Science. Two lectures at the Anthroposophical Medical Doctors' Training Course, Hadley, Massachusetts, October 2003.
  • Introduction to Goethean Science. A fourteen-evening course at The Nature Institute, September 2002 to March 2003.
  • The Significance of a Goethean Approach to Science. Talk and meetings with students and faculty of Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, April 2003.
  • Opening our Eyes to the Living World. Four talks and three workshops at the Pacific Rim Waldorf Teachers' Conference, Haleakala Waldorf School, Maui, Hawaii, February 2003.
  • The Dance of Life: Artistic Imagination in Biology. Public talk at the “Shared Habitat” science and art interdisciplinary symposium and workshop on same theme for symposium participants, University of Toronto, Toronto, Canada, October 2002.
  • African Impressions — Landscapes and Animals in Botswana. Public talk and slide show at The Nature Institute, September 2002.
  • Seeing the Intrinsic Value of Animals: Developing Appreciative Modes of Understanding. Talk and two-part public workshop at the international conference “Genetic Engineering and the Intrinsic Value and Integrity of Animals and Plants,” sponsored by “Ifgene,” Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland, September 2002.
  • The Integrity of the Animal: The Consequences of Holistic Science for the Future of Life. Two-part talk for students in Holistic Biology, Masters Degree Program, Schumacher College, UK, September 2002.
  • The Wisdom of the Animal World. A series of four talks for the public at The Nature Institute, March 2002.
  • Understanding Nature as a Participatory Dialogue — Our Responsibility as Human Beings to the Earth. Talk and half-day public workshop, Waukesha, Wisconsin, January 2002.
  • Morality, Theory, and the Future of Science. Talk at the Annual meeting of the Science Section of the Anthroposophical Society, Pasadena, California, November 2001.
  • A Living Understanding of Animal Form as a Prerequisite for an Adequate Conception of Evolution. Talk at conference on “Goethean Perspectives on Evolution” sponsored by The Nature Institute and the Center for the Study of the Spiritual Foundations of Education at Teachers College, Columbia University, New York, October 2000.
  • Wholeness in Nature and Plants: Meeting the Integrity of Plants and Animals. Three-part workshop at Rudolf Steiner College, Sacramento, California, June 2000.
  • Understanding Organisms Holistically and Science and Ethics — The Example of Genetics. Two talks to an environmental science class at the University of Vermont, Burlington, Vermont, November 1999.
  • How Can We Attain a Living Perception and Understanding of Nature? All-day public seminar, Berle Center, Oslo, Norway, February 1999.

Education: Science, Sustainability, and Experience-Based Learning

  • Tending the Roots of Sustainability: Education and our Responsibility to Children and the Earth. Talk for educators and the public at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, Beverly, Massachusetts, November 2015.
  • Forming Living Ideas and the Significance of Experience-based Learning. A professional development all-day workshop for educators at the Waldorf School at Moraine Farm, Beverly, Massachusetts, November 2015.
  • Awakening to Nature’s Open Secrets: Pathways in Science and Art. Five-day course for educators, a collaboration of The Nature Institute and the Alkion Center for Adult Education at The Nature Institute, June 2015.
  • The Experiential Foundations of Phenomenological Science. Four talks at a conference for science teachers, Center for Contextual Studies, Santa Rosa, California, February 2015.
  • The Challenge of Technology: Dissolving Contexts and Counterbalances. Talk to the faculty of the Hawthorne Valley School, Ghent, New York, November 2014.
  • The Real & the Hyper-Real: Being Human in Cyber World. Presentation at a two day public conference “Techno-utopianism and the Fate of the Earth”, Cooper Union, New York, New York, October 2014.
  • What is Education For? Public talk at the Devon Steiner School, Totnes, UK, September 2014, and keynote talk at the Refresher Course for High School Teachers, Kassel, Germany, April 2012.
  • Cultivating Humanness in a Technological World. Four keynote talks at the Annual Conference of the Association of Waldorf Schools of North America, Hadley, Massachusetts, June 2014.
  • What’s Missing in Digital Experience? Presentation at a Colloquium of the Research Institute for Waldorf Education, Amherst, Massachusetts, May 2014.
  • Rooted in the World: Experiencing Nature as a Basis of Healthy Human Life. Four workshop sessions at the Annual Winter Conference of Western Waldorf Schools, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California, February 2014.
  • The Curriculum: Directive or Living Process? Keynote talk at the Annual Western Waldorf Educators’ Conference, Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California, February 2013.
  • Cultivating Awareness and Observation. Two-part workshop at day-long gathering of the mentor farmers in North American Biodynamic Apprenticeship Program at Angelic Organics, Wisconsin, November 2012.
  • Schooling Observation and Thinking: The Foundations of Science Education. Week-long course for high school science teachers from 10 different countries at the Institute for Teacher Education, Kassel, Germany, April 2012.
  • Exploratory Learning and Understanding: Color, Light, and Darkness. All-day workshop with Henrike Holdrege and Craig Holdrege, Ridge and Valley Charter School, Blairstown, New Jersey, August 2012.
  • Waldorf as Environmental Education: Reconnecting with Nature. Keynote talk at a conference on this topic, sponsored by Waldorf East in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada, May 2011.
  • Sustainability Education. Talk for students, faculty and the public at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, April 2011.
  • Experiential Education as a Basis for Environmental Responsibility. Half-day workshop for elementary, middle and high school teachers at Allegheny College, Meadville, Pennsylvania, April 2011.
  • Tending the Roots of Sustainability: Education for the Future of Children and the Earth. Keynote talk at the Annual Conference of Public Waldorf Schools at Rudolf Steiner College in Fair Oaks, California, February 2010.
  • Can We See With Fresh Eyes? Overcoming Habits of Abstract Thought. Keynote talk at Midwest Annual Conference of Waldorf Educators, Rochester Hills, Michigan, February 2009.
  • Phenomenology in High School Science Teaching. Talk at conference for science educators, Ruskin Mill College, UK, September 2007.
  • Reconnecting With Nature: Overcoming Abstraction. Four keynote lectures at the Annual Conference of Waldorf Schools, Western Region, at Rudolf Steiner College, Fair Oaks, California, February 2007.
  • Science Teaching in the Waldorf High School. Talk at a working conference on the Goethean approach in Waldorf Education, Ruskin Mill Educational Trust, Nailsworth, UK, September 2006.
  • Genetics and Adaptability: What is Inherited? I was invited as a “guest writer” to teach two class periods each to seven different ninth grade biology classes at Trinity Preparatory School, Winter Park, Florida, March 2006.
  • A Living Approach to Science Teaching. Evening and half-day seminar for students of the East Bay Waldorf Teacher Training, San Rafael, California, March 2004.
  • Waldorf High School Biology: Foundations and Curriculum. New England Waldorf High School Teacher Training. Two-week course for biology teacher education students, High Mowing School, Wilton, New Hampshire, yearly in July from 1997 to 2003.
  • The Phenomenological Approach to Understanding and Teaching: Transforming Thought and Perception. Five talks/workshop sessions for Waldorf High School Teacher Training of Rudolf Steiner College, Garden City Waldorf School, Garden City, New York, January 2003.
  • Foundations of Waldorf Education. New England Waldorf High School Teacher Training. Two-week course for teacher education students in all disciplines, High Mowing School, Wilton, New Hampshire, yearly in July from 1997 to 2002.
  • Metamorphosis and Metamorphic Thinking. Talk at Colloquium for Waldorf School Biology Teachers at The Nature Institute, March 2002.
  • Grasping the Whole: Science Education for the 21st Century. Talk given in Saratoga Springs, New York and Hadley, Massachusetts, Winter 2001.
  • Teach Me to Think: How the Waldorf High School Life Science Curriculum Develops Capacities Needed for Our Time. Public talk at various Waldorf Schools in 1998 and 1999.

Evolution and Development

  • Evolution as Metamorphosis. A five-day professional development course (two sessions per day) for high school teachers and students in Waldorf teacher training at the Institute for Teacher Education, Kassel, Germany, April 2015; similar course in same venue in 2011.
  • Does the Giraffe Have a Long Neck? The Challenges of Holistic Biology. Plenary talk to participants in a professional development course for high school teachers at the Institute for Teacher Education, Kassel, Germany, April 2015.
  • Evolution in Light of the Wholeness of Animals. Three-part workshop for high school biology teachers at a conference for science teachers, Center for Contextual Studies, Santa Rosa, California, February 2015.
  • Evolution. Three public talks at The Nature Institute, March/April 2014.
  • Evolution and Ancestors. Three-part workshop for high school biology teachers at a conference for science teachers, Center for Contextual Studies, Santa Rosa, California, February 2014.
  • How Can We Understand Development? Four talks at a conference for science teachers, Center for Contextual Studies, Santa Rosa, California, February 2014.
  • Evolution beyond Darwinism and Creationism. Three public talks, City of the Lakes Waldorf School, Minneapolis, Minnesota, March 2013.
  • The Giraffe’s Long Neck — Teaching About Evolution. Workshop at the Child and Nature Conference, Boulder, Colorado, October 2008.
  • Evolution Beyond Religious and Scientific Dogmatism. Four talks for the public at The Nature Institute, March 2007.

Genetic Engineering in Food and Agriculture

  • Genetic Engineering and Synthetic Biology. Presentation at a workshop to brief the United Nations’ scientific advisory group for the Convention on Biological Diversity and civic groups about new biotechnologies, Montreal, Canada, June 2014.
  • Genetic Engineering in Agriculture. Half-day workshop for the students of the year-long Biodynamic Agriculture course at the Pfeiffer Center, Spring Valley, New York, yearly from 2000 to 2007.
  • The Unintended Effects of Genetic Engineering. Talk at the European Union in Brussels, Belgium, September 2009.
  • Assessing Genetic Engineering: Empowering Students to Navigate in a Complex World. Talk at Bowdoin College, Brunswick, Maine, November 2008.
  • Genetic Engineering and Our Food. Keynote Lecture at the Child and Nature Conference, Boulder, Colorado, October 2008.
  • Genetic Engineering and its Unintended Effects. Public Talk, TETRA, Brussels, Belgium, May 2008.
  • Is the Genie out of the Bottle? The Trouble with Genetically Engineered Food. Talk at Small Revolution Expo, Hudson, New York, April 2008.
  • Genetically Engineered Food: What is it? Talk for high school students at various schools, 2004 to 2007.
  • Disrupting Life’s Integrity: Genetic Engineering and its Unintended Effects. Talk at The Nature Institute, November 2007.
  • Guess Who’s Coming To Dinner — The Unintended Effects of Genetic Engineering. Public talk sponsored by the Hungry Hollow Food Coop, Spring Valley, New York, September 2006.
  • Genes and Natural Contexts. A talk at the “Humans and Nature Annual Conference,” sponsored by the Center for Humans and Nature (New York and Chicago) at the New School for Social Research, New York, New York, May 2006.
  • Life Beyond Genes. Public Talk at Trinity Preparatory School Guest Writers’ Series, Winter Park, Florida, March 2006.
  • Finding Our Bearings in the Gene Age: A Holistic Perspective. Half-day public workshop sponsored by the Anthroposophical Society, Pasadena, California, March 2006.
  • Genetic Engineering: New Developments. Public lecture at the Highland Hall School, Los Angeles, California, March 2006.
  • The Implications Genetic Engineering in Agriculture. Talk to students from the University of Chicago at The Nature Institute, December 2005.
  • Life Beyond Genes: Goethe and Reductionism. Talk to students and professors at Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, April 2005.
  • The Trouble with Genetic Engineering: New Developments in Biotech Food and Agriculture. Talk at The Nature Institute, November 2004.
  • Life Beyond Genes: The Trouble with Genetic Engineering. Talk and all-day workshop at Emerson College, Forest Row, UK, October 2004.
  • Fighting the Fear Factor in Food: Supporting Local Agriculture. Short presentation and panel discussion at the “Farmers Festival,” Hungry Hollow Co-op, Spring Valley, New York, October 2004.
  • Goetheanistische Betrachtung der Gentechnik. Talk at the international conference on “Berührt von den Elementen” in Krakow, Poland, May 2004.
  • Genetics and the Integrity of Life: Experiences from the USA. Public talk at the Goetheanum, Dornach, Switzerland, May 2004.
  • Does Agriculture Need Genetic Engineering? Talk to Farmers at the founding of a “GM-free” agriculture zone in Wuppertal/Langenberg, Germany, May 2004.
  • The Implications of Genetically Engineered Food for Consumers and the Environment. Public talk at the founding of a “GM-free” agriculture zone in Wuppertal/Langenberg, Germany, May 2004.
  • Life Beyond Genes: The Trouble with Genetic Engineering. Talk for students, professors, and the public; Univ. of California, Berkeley, Journalism School; talk introduced and arranged by writer/journalism professor Michael Pollan, March 2004.
  • Genetically Engineered Food: What's Next? Public talk given at the Ecotrust Center, Portland, Oregon, the Summerfield Waldorf School, Santa Rosa, California, and the Marin County Waldorf School, San Rafael, California, March 2004.
  • Genetic Engineering and Agriculture: What's Next? Talk at the Annual Conference of the Vermont Northeastern Organic Farmer's Association, Richmond, Vermont, February 2004.
  • The Great Green Hype: Genetic Engineering and the Future of Food. Talk sponsored by GeneWise and the Organic Food Network, at Healing Earth Resources, Chicago, Illinois, February 2004.
  • Genetic Modification — The Sad Misunderstanding of Plant Nature. Public lecture and all-day workshop, sponsored by the Biodynamic Association of the United Kingdom, Stroud, UK, October 2003.
  • Genetically Engineered Food — The Broader Context. Public Talk at Groh Biodynamic Farm, Temple, New Hampshire, July 2003.
  • Genetically Modified Organisms: The Next Generation. Talk at the Annual Conference of the Organic Trade Association of North America, Austin, Texas, May 2003.
  • The Great Green Hype: Do We Need Genetically Engineered Food? Public lecture sponsored by Allegheny College, Allegheny, Pennsylvania, April 2003.
  • The Complexity of Life and Genetic Reductionism. Public talk sponsored by the Open Center and the Anthroposophical Society, New York, New York, December 2002.
  • Seeing the Intrinsic Value of Animals: Developing Appreciative Modes of Understanding. Talk and two-part public workshop at the international conference “Genetic Engineering and the Intrinsic Value and Integrity of Animals and Plants,” sponsored by “Ifgene,” Royal Botanic Gardens, Edinburgh, Scotland, September 2002.
  • Biotechnology and our Food. Talk at “Safe Farms, Safe Food, Safe Futures” Conference sponsored by the Mohawk Valley Library Association, Schenectady, New York, March 2002.
  • Genetically Modified Food: It is different! Presentation and panel discussion (with representatives from the FDA, EPA, and biotech industry), Bar Association of New York City, January 2002.
  • Biotechnology in Agriculture and the Community Supported Agriculture (CSA) Movement. Talk and panel discussion, Annual Northeast CSA Conference, Craryville, New York, December 2001.
  • Genetic Manipulation and the Human Being: Where Are We Headed? Half-day public workshop, Toronto, Canada, September 2001.
  • The Problems with Genetic Engineering. Testimony before the New Zealand Royal Commission on Genetic Modification via teleconference, February 2001.
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