“Questions of Courage” - North American Youth Section Conference [August 8-11, Chestnut Ridge, NY]

How do we align the depths of our inner questions with the courageous action needed to bring to life our visions and ideals?

Join us in Spring Valley, NY this summer, as we bring to life what lies just outside the margins of the comfortable, to stir the deeper questions that articulate the soul and move us in our more intimate moments…In gathering together we hope to find inspiration to re-imagine new futures, new possibilities for our earth and humankind.

How do we align the depths of our inner questions with the courageous action needed to bring to life our visions and ideals?

  • What is true courage, and where does it originate? How can we share, define, examine and enliven this quality so as so strengthen our capacities in the world?

  • Can we gather together and find greater resolve to meet the growing intensity of social, environmental, political and technological issues?

“When young people are given the freedom to express and unfold themselves, they are not as easily swayed by the empty materialism that is pounding them from the outside......The ability of those young people to communicate what lives in the depths of their hearts and minds ...is not only essential for their own development, but also for the future development of human kind. ” — Lisa Romero

Explore this quest with us through workshops, art, singing, collaborative theater, storytelling, biography, conversation, movement, contemplation and so much more!


Lisa Romero is an author of several inner development books, a complementary health practitioner and an adult educator who has been delivering healthcare and education enriched with anthroposophy for more than twenty years. From 2006 the primary focus of her work has been on teaching inner development and anthroposophical meditation. Through the Inner Work Path Lisa offers lectures, courses and retreats for professional and personal development in communities and schools worldwide. Her recent publications include 'The Inner Work Path’, 'Developing the Self’, 'Living Inner Development’, 'Sex Education and The Spirit' and her most recent, 'Spirit-led Community' which introduces spiritually healthy guidelines for lessening the negative influence of technology on the inner life. Her website is innerworkpath.com

Andrea De La Cruz was born in Spain in 1989. She attended Waldorf School in Madrid from Kindergarten until Class 10 and then continued her education at the Rudolf Steiner School in Edinburgh. Her fascination for theatre and storytelling led her to study drama and performing arts at university. She specialised in creative production and community theatre so that she could apply artistic practice and creative entrepreneurship to social and educational settings. In London she worked as an events producer and coordinated networking programmes for young people and grassroots initiatives. Her passion for human relationships combined with a deep interest in education and youth, led her to study Waldorf Pedagogy and Anthroposophy at the Goetheanum. She has been a member of the Youth Section’s team in Dornach since 2017, focusing on the project (Re)Search: The Spiritual Striving of Youth: Shaping Our Reality.

Paul K. Chappell is an international peace educator and serves as the Peace Literacy Director of the Nuclear Age Peace Foundation. He graduated from West Point, was deployed to Iraq, and left active duty as a Captain. He is the author of the seven-book Road to Peace series about ending war, waging peace, the art of living, and our shared humanity. The first six published books in this series are Will War Ever End?The End of WarPeaceful RevolutionThe Art of Waging PeaceThe Cosmic Ocean, and Soldiers of Peace. Lecturing across the United States and internationally, he also teaches courses and workshops on Peace Leadership and Peace Literacy. Chappell grew up in Alabama, the son of a half-black and half-white father who fought in the Korean and Vietnam wars, and a Korean mother. Having grown up in a violent household, Chappell has forged a new understanding of war and peace, rage and trauma, and vision, purpose, and hope. His website is www.peacefulrevolution.com.

Featuring: The Parzival Project
Emmanuel Vukovich and John McDowell

The Parzival Project is an original composition for string chamber orchestra and African drums composed by Emmanuel Vukovich and John McDowell that represents a new narrative of the Grail myth; the individual’s quest as a collaborative journey. The project pulls in elements of collaborative leadership and presencing, as modeled in Otto Scharmer’s work Theory U.

Emmanuel Vukovich is founder and artistic director of The Parzival Project, an international chamber music collective that has toured Canada and South America. Critically acclaimed for his “attention to every detail of phrasing” Canadian violinist Emmanuelis emerging as an artist of musical integrity and maturity. A native of Calgary, Alberta, Emmanuel is currently a candidate for the Doctor of Music degree at Stony Brook University working with the Emerson String Quartet and focusing his thesis on collaborative leadership in performance. This interest in leadership has led him to work with Otto Scharmer and the Presencing Institute at MIT in Boston. Emmanuel’s final lecture recital will present the world premiere performance of an original composition on the story of Parzival & Fierefiz for solo violin, string quartet, and West African drum ensemble co-written with New York composer John McDowell.


Hannah Schwartz

Meaghan Witri & Seamus Maynard

Chris Burke

Anne De Wild

Sebastian Heycke

“Courage! We learn it fast or not at all. (...) Courage to say to ourselves: the life of the world must be constructed anew from its foundations.” — Rudolf Steiner's address to the youth on the 20 July 1924 in Arnheim.

More Questions for Consideration

—From the Youth Section Research at the Goetheanum—

  1. What would the world look like in 2030 if what lives within me becomes a reality and what will I do to make it happen?

  2. What do we speak about when invited freely to define our life experiences, and how does this help us form a picture about the way in which young people experience reality?

  3. How do we define our identity based on our experiences of education, relationships, profession, family background, upbringing and our wishes and aspirations for the future?

  4. How do young people today relate to spiritual questions and seek to explore them further? How does this impact individual choice and will?


Carley Horan

Frank Agrama

Tess Parker

Nathaniel Williams

Laura Scappaticci

Get to know our speakers…