FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
7000 HUMANS | answers to questions you may ask before and after you register for 7000 HUMANS!
After reading these questions and answers it might be useful to go back to the pages where all the forms of participation and the process are described.
It might also be helpful to look at THE FIELD section where we share the underlying image, the evolution and the context in which 7000 Humans has come to life.
1 / How do I register? And do I need to do anything before I register?
Registration is simple. You register by filling in the 'registration form'. This can be found on the registration button linked to 'REGISTER' on the navigation bar. But, before you register please read the first 3 sections of the website: 7000 HUMANS, PARTICIPATE -Enter the Field, and THE FIELD. This will explain what you are getting involved in, how and why?
2 / I don't live in one fixed place. Can I still register?
Yes, you can. The reason you are asked to say where you are when you register, is so that you can become visible as a glowing golden sun on the map of the world.
For some people this will be difficult. Many people live between several countries. Lots are forced to leave their home and are on the move. Some work on projects across countries. Others move with the seasons. Some might be in hospital at the moment, or live on a ship.
When you fill in the registration form there are several different options:
1. Insert the region or place on the planet to which you feel most connected, or that you feel is 'your place' - if you have one.
2. Insert the region /country where you are now.
3. Insert the nearest landmass, if you are live on a ship or boat.
You may want to say something brief about this in your registration statement: to highlight that you have no bio-regional place or national identity.
But to be visible and share your thoughts you need to insert a place. This could be the place that is closest to your soul, for whatever reason. You can use this to appear on the map...
3 / When I register, what am I agreeing to?
Your registration is not a legal agreement. It is a personal decision and an inner action, which opens a door to the field where 7000 HUMANS will work together in different ways, and at different moments in the year. These moments are outlined on THE PROCESS page.
Registration is like receiving a gift and giving a gift: you gift your intention and desire to be part of the field, and the field gifts you a number of simple but profound opportunities you can participate in with others and in yourself, in the outer field and inner field.
Registration is also the step that enables you to participate in the second phase that begins by creating a local anchor point for yourself on the planet. But before this is possible you step forward and register to enter the field.
Once you REGISTER, your presence will is visible on the site's global map where you will see yourself and every other participant represented by a golden disc.
You can choose to leave the 7000 HUMANS journey at any point.
4 / Can I delete my data? Can I stay registered but make changes to what I've submitted?
You can delete your registration data and all contributions you have submitted at any time, by hitting 'delete account' on the LOGIN form. You do not have to explain why. You simply click 'delete account' and all your details will be removed from the site.
5 / Where is my data that I've chosen to submit being held?
6 / Can I make changes to what I've submitted, but stay registered as part of 7000 HUMANS?
Yes, you can edit your tree partner / place information, your commitment, and your question at any time. During Phase 4 you can also add insights. Just log in with your password and email and you can add insights about 7000 HUMANS as a whole, its methods, and or specific elements of it, or make changes to the things you have already submitted.
7 / Who are the 7000 humans?
The 7000 HUMANS live on all continents, come from a diversity of social and cultural contexts and enter the field from different ages and life paths. They are united in their commitment to a living future.
They are people who are determined to find more humane and interconnected ways of living in the world. They are lovers of the world and of life's potential, who want to harness their energies and work with their imagination to reduce the unnecessary suffering and to strengthen the warmth-body. They are people who experience the horror of industrial capitalism and environmental racism at first hand. They are people who sense something is wrong with our image of the human being and of life, and how this is being colonised by the technosphere. They are people who experience the 'great suffering of nature' [Joseph Beuys] and the coldness of a technosphere that we have created and is now coming back to bite us. They are people who want to uncover the questions buried in the questions, and to develop new capacities to hear what humanity is being called to do. They are people who know, or are beginning to recognise, that outer shifts cannot be separated from inner shifts. They are interested in exploring different ways of seeing and knowing, and connective ways of living together on the planet.
Some of them are so called 'thought leaders', some are less visible, but very important transformers like school teachers, vegetable growers, local project organisers, some are working in the subtle energy field, some are earth defenders challenging capitalism on the front line, and some visionary projects and collectives are working completely beyond the visibility of mainstream media, and easily become peripheral.
They are me/he/she/you/they/them - they are 'everyone' challenging the norms set by people who believe in destructive kinds of 'progress'. They are individuals and communities. Inspirers, researchers, activists, educators, healers, and decision-makers. Collectives and projects. Think-tanks and networks. Young people, parents, grandparents. All trying to shape interconnected ways of being in the world!
8 / What is the time-frame of 7000 Humans?
7000 HUMANS stretches over the course of the year 2022, in sync with the sun cycles, and has four phases of focussed actions. While in Phase 1 and Phase 2 we are preparing the ground, growing the eco-social mycelium and building up the field of will forces and awareness with our exploratory processes, the 14 weeks of Phase 3 create an intensity of focus, connection and amplification of the questions. The making of Social Honey, begun in the Phase 3 Assemblies, continues in Phase 4 - but may also move beyond this sun cycle through emergent initiatives and further exploration.
9 / What is the purpose of the 7000 Humans initiative?
Developing world views and thought systems based on mutuality and interconnectedness depend on communion and commoning, instead of colonising and dominion.
7000 HUMANS encourages and enables communion and commoning of many kinds, on a huge scale.
In the 7000 HUMANS global process, which stretches over one-year, participants work with questions in ways that encourage connected thinking and action and contribute to the evolving connective-consciousness commons. They also make commitments and undertake actions, big and small, that help to grow a social mycelium that can nourish the evolving warmth-body.
7000 HUMANS is designed to feed into the great confluence of experiments, devoted actions, and exchanges that contribute to the paradigm shift[s] taking place on the planet. The commitments, eco-social actions, and work with common questions in synchronicity across the planet are designed to amplify these 'warmth forces' urgently needed to counter the coldness of the technosphere, and enable an enlivened, connective relationship with the biosphere and the humanosphere*.
* See Glossary for more on the 'Humanosphere' and the role it plays in the "Connective Practice Approach"®
10 / What are the different ways I can be involved in 7000 HUMANS?
You can become involved in the 7000 HUMANS global warmth-work process, as an individual, group, community or organisation. In addition to contributing our own individual or group anchor point, commitment and question, 7000 HUMANS invites other forms of engagement.
a) supporting the 7000 HUMANS with your gift to the 7000 HUMANS COMMONS POOL
b) offering MEDIA coverage
c) becoming an inspirer/multiplier, a partner, or a co-worker [in specific areas that we will call for].
d) taking on the role of a local, regional or national intermediary, to help others gain access to the internet or translate their contributions into English.
Find out more in the MEDIA, TRANSLATE, SUPPORT sections.
11 / How is 7000 Humans funded?
7000 HUMANS is an eco-social commons. It is part of the gift economy and lives almost entirely through volunteering and individual and group contributions, apart from funding from the Iona Stichting for the web-platform.
To receive your gifts, a 7000 HUMANS COMMONS POOL has been created. They gather like rain, and are used to support 7000 HUMANS and emerging future initiatives.
Once the website and related costs are covered, all remaining funds are used to support initiatives related to the 7000 HUMANS field. Different kinds of SUPPORT and generosity are welcome - gifting financially, technical infrastructure, media coverage, legal advice…
12 / Can I invite others into the process?
Yes, you are welcome to invite others and help the 7000 HUMANS eco-social mycelium grow organically around the planet. Just ask them to REGISTER and put their 'sun' on the map.
Please be mindful that we're trying to involve people and groups in the 7000 HUMANS who live on all continents, come from a wide diversity of social and cultural contexts and enter the field from all different ages and life journeys.
Rather than prioritising reaching large numbers, it is important that the HUMANS you invite actively contribute to the global warmth-work process and participate with an attitude of commitment and love for the world.
Before they register, it is important that they read the website or learn from you about the 7000 HUMANS, and make 'registration' a moment of conscious choice, as you do.
Please also read the Creative Commons license and ‘How can I share the 7000 HUMANS?’ with care before you share the 7000 HUMANS with the world.
13 / Will the website be translated into other languages?
The website will not be automatically translated online into different languages -not during this 2022 sun cycle, at least. We simply don't have the resources.
However, there are currently inspirers and multipliers translating some of the key information and ideas on the website into other global and local languages. They are doing this work individually or in small working groups. Such translations are only possible because they have chosen to do it. How much is translated in each language depends on what these volunteers are able to do, and what they feel is necessary to be able to communicate the project. Some volunteers are planning to translate many parts of the site. Others are translating only the one page press statement and a one or two page overview.
Languages that people have offered to translate into are Hindi, Marathi, French, Mandarin Chinese, Spanish, Italian, German and Japanese.
If you are planning to be actively involved in the 7000 HUMANS as an individual participant and perhaps also as a multiplier-intermediary, let us know what language you feel is necessary for your 7000 HUMANS work. Also let us know if you, alone, or with a group of colleagues, can take on the task of translating - at least the summary and some key parts of the website.
See TRANSLATIONS on the MEDIA page for all the translated statements as they are completed.
To communicate with us about translating use email@example.com
Put TRANSLATION in the Subject heading.
14 / What are the different roles in 7000 HUMANS?
Every individual or group that registers becomes A PARTICIPANT in the 7000 HUMANS field, creating a connective place / anchor point on the planet: a participant making a commitment, and sharing what they feel is an urgent question to be explored. Participants later work with others, with 14 democratically selected questions, in local and global assemblies.
PARTICIPANTS can also choose to become MULTIPLIERS and INSPIRERS.
Or INTERMEDIARIES working on the ground enabling local communities and groups to engage.
You can also be a TRANSLATOR, PARTNER, GIFT GIVER or MEDIA COMMUNICATOR.
All contribute in their different ways to grow the social mycelium for sustaining the work toward a humane and living future!
15 / Is 7000 HUMANS only for individual participants?
No. Groups, networks, organisations, big and small, are welcome to participate!
In many places, HUMANS are already forming groups or circles of engagement and have decided to participate as an initiative or an organisation. Remote villages are coming together, universities are engaging their students, and hubs, individual multipliers and intermediaries are initiating 7000 HUMANS circles with their kin to deepen and intensify their explorations together.
These multipliers and intermediaries are creating 7000 HUMANS groups, projects or networks that meet regularly or occasionally, according to their needs and their capacities.
The groups might be local, bio-regional or national.
One or more individuals from these groups may register and participate as an intermediary for the whole circle.
We encourage you to consider this as a way of participation!
Such multipliers and intermediaries will enable the 7000 HUMANS field to come alive through actively working with others who might otherwise not be able to participate and contribute to the warmth-work that arises from exploring new knowledge and a living future together.
Working as an intermediary means that 7000 HUMANS is accessible to a wide diversity of HUMANS all around the planet, despite our current 'one language' limitations on the website, and other technical constraints that can only accommodate the 7000 registered participants.
16 / What is a 7000 HUMANS 'intermediary', and how do they help to create the social mycelium?
The 7000 HUMANS field is a sphere of connective practice.
Imagine: human beings creating a living social mycelium above the ground, in the human sphere. This social mycelium echoes the natural mycelium, which creates an underground network for communication and nourishment.
Intermediaries can reach out to those limited in their access because of internet-technical issues, or language, and connect them to the field and warmth-work process by offering their skills and technical resources, as well as their time to individuals, groups and networks, for intensive exchange and exploration.
They can help individuals and groups to register and to submit their tree partner/place, commitment and question.
Solutions for a multilingual exchange in the big global online assemblies are currently being explored, but might not be resolved to the level we would like them to be, in this cycle.
17 / Can people who don’t speak, read and write English get involved?
Yes they can - with the help of intermediaries. Intermediaries will, if necessary, insert the commitment and questions into the SUBMISSION forms in English. This is the common language on the MAP. The description of the tree partner/place, the commitment and the question can be translated into English using a free online translator like deepl, and with the help of the intermediary.
And with the help of translations done by co-workers, who have already begun to work on basic translations into several different languages.
[See the Media section for translated Press Statements and PDF documents in which sections of the website are translated.]
18 / Can people who don’t have a strong internet or phone connection be involved?
We are committed to finding ways to enable the 7000 HUMANS social mycelium to grow in the remotest of places. This is being made possible by living human beings becoming intermediaries and bridges between contexts and landscapes, so as to enable the widest possible participation in the 7000 HUMANS warmth-work process.
As well as all the forms of direct participation, including the connecting of groups and communities through intermediaries, there is another significant way that everyone can be involved. This is by tuning in with their minds and souls to the field of active will forces and awareness generated in the 7000 HUMANS field. 7000 HUMANS is a huge arena that is accessible to all. This sphere has no technical limitations and is an important element in the 7000 HUMANS global humanosphere experiment!
19 / How can I share the 7000 HUMANS?
We are delighted that you want to reach out to others about 7000 HUMANS. That's great especially because 7000 HUMANS is a commons to be shared. No one is benefitting from it. Financially or otherwise. Please be mindful of this.
Below is a list of ways you can share it. And in the next FAQ we describe the Creative Commons License. We would appreciate it if you don't take bits and pieces off the site without putting them in quotation marks, and please always share the link to the 7000 HUMANS web-platform. Please don't redesign aspects the 7000 HUMANS and make another website or social media [e.g. Instagram] image from it.
You can share the 7000 HUMANS initiative in the following ways:
By word of mouth. And then giving people the link to the 7000 HUMANS web-platform, if they have access to the internet.
By emailing all your networks and/or creating a post on social media: If you do this, please put any sections you take from the 7000 HUMANS website in quotation marks. This will help to keep the language and ideas we have chosen to use, consistent, and to minimize misunderstandings and confusion.
By holding local meetings, on the ground, or online, in something like zoom, where you can also share the website on screen, while you introduce it to a group.
See the SUPPORT page if you want to work more actively as a multiplier in the 7000 HUMANS.
20 / Are there any limitations about the way 7000 HUMANS can be communicated and shared?
Yes. They are made clear in the Creative Commons Licence, which describes what you can and cannot do. Here you can see the full Creative Commons Licence we are using. But we also outline them below, so that they make sense, and you can see that they are intended as helpful ways of protecting a growing being that could otherwise lose its way and become confused and distorted.
Under this license - Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives 4.0 International (CC BY-NC-ND 4.0) you are, without getting our agreement, free to:
SHARE — copy and redistribute the material in any medium or format, as long as you follow the license terms. Please read the license terms carefully, before SHARING.
Here are the main LICENSE TERMS:
ATTRIBUTION — You must give appropriate credit, provide a link to the license, and indicate if changes were made. You may do so in any reasonable manner, but not in any way that suggests the licensor endorses you or your use.
NON-COMMERCIAL — You may not use the material for commercial purposes.
NO DERIVATIVES— If you remix, transform, or build upon the material, you may not distribute the modified material.
NO ADDITIONAL RESTRICTIONS — You may not restrict others from sharing the material on the web-platform- as permitted by the license.
Please note: there are other rights such as publicity, privacy, or moral rights - which may limit how you use the material.
TRANSLATIONS: Please contact us -see Media page - if you do a written translation of the Press Statement, of the Summary and of any other parts of the website. If this is to be used for further distribution, we will make a PDF with the 7000 HUMANS logo. You can then distribute on your site and social media, and we can put it in the MEDIA - TRANSLATIONS section of this website.
[Deepl is a good free online translator, but you still need to check the translation after using this online tool].
21 / What does it mean to partner with a tree?
Partnering with a tree is a simple, care-full and profound process. You need to find a tree that speaks to you in some way, and that you feel welcomes the presence of a human.
By partnering with a tree you create a place on the planet that you can return to physically and in your heart-mind. This meeting place on the planet is a place of encounter - with another living being, and with yourself. It creates a local anchor point in this vast world. It reminds us that we are not alone. We are not separate. We are sustained by these other-than-human beings, and our human actions have consequences.
Once you start trying to find a tree, if you are quiet and receptive, you will see that some trees simply want to be left alone. Perhaps they are already too powerful and getting too much attention. If you don't feel sure of the tree's response to you, try it out by returning to the same tree a few times. Sometimes you realise, when you return, that although the place is right, it is not this tree, but a neighbouring tree that is needing or willing to partner with you.
22 / Why partner with a tree?
People who partner with a tree have the opportunity to develop a relationship to another living being, in a specific place on the planet. They describe what strength and support it gives them to have a place on the planet where one can go, not only to meet the tree, but where you meet yourself.
And perhaps the tree and the earth in which it is rooted, also welcomes a thoughtful human coming to experience its energy and its sufferings.
23 / Do I have to partner with a tree? And what happens if there are no trees where I am?
No, you don't have to partner with a tree. It is not an obligation. It is a gift. And if you are in a place without trees, perhaps you can find a rock or other earth form, that helps you create this place of encounter, to which you can return.
Try it out. You can do no harm, and it is an opportunity to explore how it feels to create a local anchor point on the planet - a place for seeing, listening, reflecting and perhaps even having reflective exchanges with others.
24 / What does a local anchor point offer?
A local anchor point is a place where we can feel our connection to the planet. Where we picture and feel the connection between our feet and the ground that supports us. A place where we can go to be recharged. And where we can appreciate that we have a huge home: an ecosphere that supports us and that needs us to wake up to its life and needs.
A local anchor point brings us 'down to earth' and helps us 'come to our senses'. A local anchor point offers an alternative experience to the feeling that we are isolated entities, separated from other people and life forms.
It is a grounding, rooting experience that connects my thoughts and contemplations to the wider world.
25 / How can I make an 'anchor point on the planet' or 'partner with a tree' if there are no trees I'm connected to? How can I create an anchor point to return to if I am often not in one place?
You can make an anchor point without a tree-partner, if you live in a moving object like a van or a ship, and if you have no regularly living base. Just choose a region or place on the planet that you can 'see' in your mind's eye and that feels meaningful to you in some way. And if it also includes a tree, then partner with this tree that you carry with you, perhaps from your childhood. Places are not only physically present. They live in our soul.
26 / I am very busy. How much time will it take?
You decide on how much time you can and want to spend, according to your priorities and capacity. You need not spend ‘extra time’ on new initiatives and actions in the world but can choose to strengthen what you are already doing, or focus on inner processes to do with a dedicated, sacred time of exploration, like an inner pilgrimage.
The time spent during each phase does not need to take you away from your regular commitments and schedules. Being part of 7000 HUMANS will hopefully create space through focus, reflection and being present to yourself, and in this sense even support you in your busy-ness and your activities.
27 / Why does 7000 HUMANS include the 7000 HUMANS COMMONS POOL?
The 7000 HUMANS COMMONS POOL is created to support the 7000 HUMANS and emerging future initiatives. Once we have paid for our website and related costs, all the remaining funds will be used to support initiatives related to the 7000 HUMANS field.
With the 7000 HUMANS COMMONS POOL we generate a potential that opens new arenas in the future and is accessible for all. It is a portal that can help bring visions and ideas from the space of imagination into the world.
We will make transparent all that comes into the COMMONS POOL and all that it sustains.
28 / What does it mean to ‘find’ your commitment and your question?
'Find' your commitment and 'find' your question is emphasised, so that you can make new discoveries. Even if the commitment and the question are things you already know, using a process that allow them to emerge and grow, instead of just thinking them out, might lead to valuable new discoveries.
A process for diving deep and 'finding' the commitment and question that are particularly important to you, will be offered in the FIND section, in PARTICIPATE.
29 / How do I work with my question?
Before the beginning of Phase 2, we will share ways of finding and working with a question that activates the inner field and often bears unexpected gifts from the soul, when the soul is given space. See Find my Tree Partner, Commitment, Question
30 / How will we work together in Phase 3 with our questions?
At the end of PHASE 2 the questions submitted by participants will have been voted on. The 14 top scoring questions will be sequenced and made public. You will find them on the WORKING WITH QUESTIONS section of this site.
In PHASE 3, for 14 weeks, between the June solstice and the September equinox, we will focus on one question a week, drawn from the 14 QUESTIONS generated in Phase 2. The same question will be explored each week, across all regions of the planet, in more than one way. In the soul. On the ground. And online.
In the soul: we take it on our individual journeys by entering our inner workspaces and ‘following’ it silently in our daily lives. On the ground: we may decide to share the weekly questions with others in our localities, or initiate 7000 HUMANS circles as spaces of exploration and insight. Creating such a ‘working with questions’ group or circle could be part of your commitment, but it is optional, depending on your capacities.
Online: at the end of each week we will gather in online assemblies as spaces of deepening, listening and thinking-together. Sharing insights and reflections on the week's question will take place in small breakout groups. After the small group process, the collective online assembly will create opportunities for common themes and understandings to emerge.
The ‘working with questions’ process is not looking to find ‘answers’. Answers might appear and arise.
The huge value of 'working with questions' in this activating and imaginative way, lies in opening up, inhabiting and living into the questions. As we journey simultaneously with the questions - focussing on one question a week across the planet – they are amplified by this synchronicity. A resonant field of understanding and awareness to be further explored, is made possible, activating and strengthening the humanosphere and contributing to the global warmth body.
31 / What are the envisaged outcomes of this initiative?
In 7000 HUMANS 'outcomes' are not simply end products and take-aways! Its outcomes include:
1. The process that has already begun in which we experience how the making of commitments and working together with questions, links inner work - to do with thinking, feeling and the will - and outer action.
2. A direct experience of what it means to work with the 'invisible materials' of thinking and will as active forces that are fundamental in the co-creative work towards the shaping of a living future!
3. An experience of co-creating an enlivened and extended body, that connects people across the planet: a social mycelium that nourishes and strengthens the social-spiritual body and the soul of the world. The strengthening of this social mycelium and social warmth body is vital to counteract, and act more consciously in relation to the cold body of a technosphere that is increasingly beyond our control and understanding.
4. The creation of a 7000 HUMANS COMMONS POOL to receive gifts and nourish initiatives, as a pool collects rain and then provides for processes that need water. The COMMONS POOL created now will hopefully continue to gather and share gifts, and have a life beyond this one year sun-cycle.
32 / What about all the other humans, committed to a living future? How can they be involved?
Just as the planting of 7000 Oaks has resonances and ramifications beyond Kassel, so the 7000 HUMANS might reach people far and wide. And although there are only 7000 ‘places’ in this call, many more than these 7000 HUMANS may be involved at the porous boundaries of the field… through participating networks, communities, projects, and initiatives.
Beyond that, the field of will forces and connected awareness activated by the 7000 HUMANS is accessible to all. It is amplified when more people enter their inner workspace at the same time on the planet and participate in our journey with the questions in their soul. This is another way to experience something of the growing warmth-body that is nourished by the thought of the heart and reinvigorates the soul of the world.
33 / Is 7000 Humans only for activists and social artists?
No. It is for everyone who is committed to creating an interconnected, humane, anti-racist, non-exploitative and ecologically healthy future in which people work creatively with problems as challenges to find ways forward: a future in which the sphere of imagination and of the soul has a central place.
7000 HUMANS also builds on one of Joseph Beuys' key social sculpture ideas that 'Every Human Being Is An Artist' working with the 'invisible materials' of 'speech, discussion and thought' to create new social forms, and called upon to re-shape the conditions that shape our lives! Some people describe shaping such new forms as' creating new stories' or 'new narratives'. 7000 HUMANS tries to multiply and strengthen the opportunities for the emergence and sharing of such new narratives.
In this 7000 HUMANS global social sculpture arena one of the main 'invisible materials' we work with is questions! Another invisible material is the will.
You can read more about these ideas on this website in THE FIELD and in the Glossary on 'The Connective Practice Approach'® and in Shelley Sacks 'Letter To Joseph Beuys' [English text follows German].
34 / Can I volunteer to support the initiative?
Yes, you can support the 7000 HUMANS in many different ways with gifts, interests and capacities. [Please visit the SUPPORT section to find out more]. At various moments in the year when there are specific opportunities for becoming a coworker, we will put out specific calls via our email networks, through the Blog on this site, and via social media.
The best ways you can support 7000 HUMANS are to reach out and inspire others to participate, to become a partner, and to contribute to the 7000 HUMANS COMMONS POOL.
35 / What form will the distilling of insights take in the last Phase 4?
Phase 4 is about a 'making social honey'*, although the 'social honey making' began in Phase 3 when we worked together with our questions in the 14 weeks of online and on the ground assemblies. [See 'Social Honey' page and section in Glossary below].
*'Making Social Honey'® is an understanding and a 'connective practice' developed by Shelley Sacks and used in situations where the emphasis is on co-creative processes of thinking together.
36 / Is 7000 HUMANS connected to Joseph Beuys’ 7000 OAKS?
Yes, 7000 Oaks and 7000 HUMANS are closely connected. We have described 7000 HUMANS as taking the 7000 Oaks to the next octave. It does this by calling human beings to step up and work in the humanosphere with the invisible materials of imagination, love and will, and to focus as much on - what 'Small is Beautiful' scientist E.F. Schumacher described as - the inner culture of the human being, as on outer solutions.
7000 HUMANS coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the 7000 Oaks in Kassel and has the blessing of the city’s cultural office. It is a new contribution to the social sculpture experiments that began in Kassel with the Organisation for Direct Democracy, the Honey Pump at the Workplace and the 7000 Oaks - that Beuys did as part of several 'documenta' exhibitions. Directly related experiments have continued in the Omnibus for Direct Democracy, Mehr Demokratie, Exchange Values, Earth Forum, the Social Sculpture Research Unit, the University of the Trees, the Kassel21-Social Sculpture Lab, and now in 7000 HUMANS.
Read more about the connection between 7000 Oaks and 7000 HUMANS, as well as its emergence in the Kassel21-Social Sculpture Lab.
37 / What is meant by ‘making social honey’?
‘Making Social Honey’® is inspired by the way that nectar, harvested by individual bees, once it is brought to the collective space of the hive, requires intensive and collaborative work for it to be transformed into honey.
'Making Social Honey' is how we describe the intensive and transformative work in the field of contemporary social sculpture and connective practice for working democratically and creatively with the insights, ideas and perspectives of individuals as part of a social-imaginative thinking-together process.
'Making Social Honey' also involves strengthening our capacities and developing new capacities for doing this: patience, deep and active listening, and learning to work with ideas in an imaginal way - described by James Hillman as ‘imaginal thought’ and by Joseph Beuys and Paul Klee in German as ‘bildhaftes Denken’.
38 / What's the connection between 7000 HUMANS and the global Social Sculpture Lab for New Knowledge and an Eco-Social Future?
7000 HUMANS is an initiative of the global Social Sculpture Lab e.V, a not-for-profit organisation that emerged as part of the Kassel21-Social Sculpture Lab, hosted by the documenta archiv the Neue Galerie, Kassel. [See Beyond Kassel21 and aspect of the Constitution]
Both the 7000 HUMANS and the global Social Sculpture Lab work with 'The Connective Practice Approach' and related theory of change. Both are new contributions to the social sculpture laboratory that emerged through Beuys’ work in Kassel with the Organisation for Direct Democracy, the Honey Pump at the Workplace and the 7000 Oaks - that he did as part of several ‘documenta’ exhibitions.
Phase 3 of 7000 HUMANS works parallel to the 100 days of documenta 15 in 2022, but engages in ways that lift this social sculpture process out of the global artworld into a space accessible to all.
39 / Will 7000 HUMANS take place in Kassel?
Yes, Kassel is one of the places where public 7000 HUMANS local assemblies for 'working with questions' take place from mid-June to late September 2022. They are hosted by ZUKUNFTSDORF22 within the framework of the documenta 15. These local assemblies for 'working with questions' take place in German every Sunday for 14 weeks from 11.00 -14.00 hours [CET] from mid June to late September.
The online global assemblies take place every Saturday, also mid June to late September 2022. [See times and dates]. All 7000 HUMANS participants and partners are welcome to participate. To facilitate sharing across many language cultures they are in English. Most of the time is spent in small breakout groups. People can speak in their first language and translate themselves into English.
7000 HUMANS | new words and terms become rafts
“Individual bees collect nectar, but it does not become honey simply by bringing it into the hive. It must be worked on, together. So too with individual insights. We need to develop new ways of thinking together to make the social honey that is needed to create a humane and ecological future.” (Social Sculpture Lab/c Shelley Sacks 2021). The ‘instruments of consciousness’ developed by the Social Sculpture Lab include ‘creative strategies’ for enabling such social honey making and co-creative thinking-together processes. We are attempting to bring the insights from these ‘social honey making’ processes into the large scale 7000 HUMANS processes. This is part of the experiment.
Social Sculpture's 'Invisible Materials'
Joseph Beuys described the materials of social sculpture as the “invisible materials of speech, discussion and thinking”. Over the years it has been useful to widen these materials to attitudes, values, questions and habits of thought. Becoming conscious that this fine non-material ‘stuff’ is very real and gives rise to thought forms, idea forms and physical forms – we can take more seriously “the urgent need to work with our thought structures and get to the habit level”. [Sacks referencing Swami Nisreyasananda]
[Please reference properly if you use this text and these descriptions in any publication, on or offline]
Connecting Inner and Outer Work
We often think of the field of action / work as outside of us, whilst the inner field of thought-structures, ideas, plans, intentions, attitudes and imagination is often regarded as not 'real' or as a field of action.
In the field of social sculpture and connective practice there is as much emphasis on the inner field as on the outer, because they are actually one field. All the ‘Connective Practices’ shared in the Social Sculpture Lab are designed to give people a direct experience of the connections between the inner and outer field; of how thought relates to outer actions, and of ways to transform existing habits of thought.
In this inner workspace we also experience the connective process of 'making sense': of the perpetual oscillation between 'going out to come in' and 'coming in to go out'. This is reflected in the lemniscate [figure of eight] used in the Social Sculpture Lab and echoed in the 'ANALEMMA', the form of the sun's path through the year, that is central to the 7000 HUMANS.
[Please reference properly if you use this text and these descriptions in any publication, on or offline]
The Connective Practice Approach
The different enquiry labs and practices that make up the Social Sculpture Lab all share the ‘connective practice approach’. This is a set of root methods and strategies that link the aesthetic dimension, social engagement, and the practice of enquiry.
The connective practice approach enables an experience of the very real connection between the field of outer action and the inner field of attitudes, values and habits of thinking. It offers creative strategies for inner climate change and helps develop our capacities as agents of personal change, social change and system change.
[The Connective Practice Approach was developed by Shelley Sacks, over 4 decades, in her social sculpture arenas in many different contexts and countries, as well as in Masters and Doctoral programs in the Social Sculpture Research Unit in Oxford Brookes University, Oxford]
Warmth-Work and the Warmth Body
Outcomes in the 7000 HUMANS
In 7000 HUMANS 'outcomes' are not simply end products and take-aways!
In the meantime you might want to read our response in the FAQs to this question No. 31:
"What are the envisaged outcomes of this initiative?"
More coming soon...
"The term ‘connective practice’ refers to understandings, strategies and methods that can be used in many contexts, disciplines and fields -that highlight and strengthen the relationship between freedom and responsibility, and increase the connectivity in our thinking, planning and decision making processes, and our practice. We used the phrase to emphasise the link between the inner fields of perception, awareness, feeling and thinking and the outer fields of planning and action.
Connective Practice also enables a lived sense of how the whole is more than the sum of the parts, especially when it comes to planning and thinking-together, and to developing agendas for transformation.
Connective practice is a form of field awareness that can be learnt, practiced and intensified. It helps us become more ‘joined up’ participants in the personal, social and super-social field." [Please reference properly if you use this text and these descriptions in any publication, on or offline]
A mycelium is a giant fungus that exists in the soil, under the forest floor, nourishing the trees and plants that can be seen above the surface. It partners with the trees and plants below the surface, to become a vast, lively and intelligent body that 'listens', senses and connects the plants and trees through a constant flow of underground communications. Such messages and exchanges enable the water and other life-supporting substances to be shifted from one root area or tree to another, as required.
The social mycelium comes to life above the ground when humans partner with the trees and other life forms. It develops when human beings can feel beyond themselves into the sphere of the other; when they use their imagination to tune into and perceive what needs to be done; when their thinking is connected to feeling and an awareness of interconnectedness.
The insights, commitments, empathy, questions, actions and deeds generated by this enlivened interaction, create a vast body of understanding, knowledge, commitment, determination, awareness and love. Like the natural mycelium under the earth's surface, this social mycelium nourishes the growth of the emergent social warmth body, because it cares and is self aware.
7000 HUMANS brings the image of a life-giving social mycelium into our field of awareness. And once we can sense it, we can give more attention to strengthening it, caring for it and developing it. Without such an enlivened and connected body of knowledge and commitment the negative mycelium of the military-industrial complex remains in control. Every small act and deed, every loving interaction and thought, every project, big and small, every connective plan that seeks new ways to regenerate the waters, the education system, the soil; our political and economic forms, and our relationships, contributes to the development of this intelligent warmth body, needed for a living future!
7000 HUMANS is a co-created, global field of active will, deed and devotion.