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Project Insights

The goal of our public relations work is to make our current activities and exemplary projects more visible. That’s why the people and initiatives that we support take center stage, both in our print publications and on our website. Lighthouse projects both large and small are given a special place.

Here, we provide short updates that reveal current happenings among our projects. In addition, we present in-depth reports and interviews that create a vivid picture of the initiatives that our foundation is privileged to enable and support.

To make this possible, our public relations team visits many of the projects together with the responsible project managers and gets to know the organizations and people on location.

We hope that these reports, in text and image, help to orient engaged individuals regarding possible support from the Software AG Foundation – and encourage them to tread new paths.

Strengthening Life Forces: “Vitality – From Soil to Stomach”

Foto: N. E. Bach-Boesen

Although we have considerable knowledge regarding the individual components of our food, the task of measuring food quality often poses a challenge. How can one inspect the vitality of a plant, for example? And what consequences does that have for the quality of our food? These questions are addressed by Danish researcher Dr. Jens-Otto Andersen in his new book, published in spring 2019: “Vitality – from Soil to Stomach” (ISBN 9788743008903). In the publication, sponsored by the Software AG Foundation, he describes vitality as the ability of a plant to maintain its life processes, even under difficult conditions, and to develop a certain amount of resilience. One example is cucumbers, which have an impressive ability: if you cut them in 2 cm slices, they can grow back together again. In doing so they remain green and can even fend off fungal attacks. This ability provides an interesting reference point for the plant’s vitality. In standardized experiments, it was possible to show that biodynamically- and organically-grown plants were clearly superior to conventionally-grown plants in this respect.

Using composting and special soil preparations, biodynamic agriculture forms an important foundation for healthy, vital soils. Jens-Otto Andersen is head of the Danish biodynamic research association (BRAD), an organization that supports biodynamic agriculture-related research and education in Denmark. For years, they have been examining aspects of food quality. The newly-published English book is based on an earlier book written in Danish, and has been revised, updated and expanded to include up-to-date examples from additional European countries.

“Jens-Otto Andersen has managed to describe the connections between agricultural cultivation methods, the vitality of our foodstuffs, and the physical, spiritual, and mental abilities of human beings,“ said SAGST project manager Cornelius Sträßer. “In doing so, he not only brings a sound and comprehensive quality concept into the social and scientific discussion, but also comes to the conclusion that particularly vital plants form the basis for a particularly healthy diet.“

We cannot meet current and future challenges with yesterday’s strategies – the Schule im Aufbruch (“Schools in Transition”) initiative is convinced of this. With the support of the Software AG Foundation, the initiative will continue to expand its cross-regional consulting work and assist interested schools in developing new learning concepts.

In the RequiSiT theater, formerly substance-addicted actors combine entertaining improv theater with serious discussions on the topic of addiction, encouraging reflection, resilience, and development in student audiences.

For almost 100 years, anthroposophical medicine has been augmenting traditional academic medicine. Increasingly, however, regulatory requirements are posing a challenge to the approval of anthroposophic medicines. The international research organization ESCAMP carries out foundational scientific research with the aim of achieving long-term regulatory approval for these medicines.

Fresh from the field, onto the cafeteria table: students at the University of Witten/Herdecke are planting basic vegetables for community consumption. The project is a part of the comprehensive concept for a developmental community for holistic education at Annener Berg.