7000 humans

7000 trees

7000 commitments


7000 HUMANS | engaging 7000 people in 7000 localities across the planet 

7000 HUMANS is born out of love of the world.

And out of pain for the unnecessary destruction and suffering of all life forms. It is born out of a commitment to rise above egocentrism and to develop new individual and collective consciousness. This reaches beyond divisions and helps us re-envision the role of the human being on this planet as a conscious partner.

Working with trees, commitments and questions, these humans co-create a global field of committed actions and new understandings to nourish and strengthen the eco-social-spiritual mycelium with their ‘social honey’.

7000 HUMANS works with questions generated together, to open-up new understandings and ways of shaping a living eco-social future. It connects individuals with places, the biosphere and each other. It creates opportunities for the humans to have more empathy for each other, for other life forms and for the interconnectedness of all living systems.  

The work we do with our questions creates a field of potential and connected awareness.

The strength of our collective commitments creates a field of active will, deed and devotion.


7000 HUMANS gather to create an enlivened warmth-body that can help us in our work toward an eco-social future.

7000 HUMANS re-envisions the role of the human being on this planet as a conscious partner.

7000 HUMANS align with one annual sun-cycle as a universal source of power

‘Warmth work’ is a central image in all social sculpture work. It is about the connection between thought, heart and will. It challenges the cold-thought that disconnects and has led to the catastrophic heating of the planet. 

7000 HUMANS is about the ‘warmth work’ needed in the humanosphere that humans can do to develop and strengthen the social mycelium. When the social mycelium is strengthened by insights and dedicated work it can become a field of warmth and resilience. It illuminates and counters the coldness of the technosphere - created by humans, but increasingly beyond their understanding and control.


7000 HUMANS  I  taking Joseph Beuys’s 7000 Oaks to the next octave 

Working together in the Kassel21-Social Sculpture Lab - curated for the Joseph Beuys Centenary Celebrations by Shelley Sacks, and hosted by the Documenta Archive, the Neue Galerie, Kassel and the Cultural Department of Kassel - Shelley Sacks and Ulrike Oemisch had a vision of what is needed now in addition to the planting of trees.

They began to imagine human beings creating a 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.

7000 Oaks, the social sculpture  - gifted to Kassel by Joseph Beuys – has continued to grow: physically, socially, spiritually. The trees in Kassel, with their stone timekeepers beside them, reach up toward the light, breathing in and out in the atmosphere. But the 7000 Oaks have also reached out far beyond their physical location in Kassel.  As one of Joseph Beuys’ most beloved social sculpture works, the 7000 Oaks has contributed to and inspired a field of global interest in tree projects, tree planting, and reflections on the relationship between human beings and trees.  And now it has given birth to 7000 HUMANS: a global initiative launched during the Kassel21-Social Sculpture Lab’s Proposals Week in September 2021.

The initiative, which runs from Dec 2021 to Dec 2022, coincides with the 40th Anniversary of the 7000 Oaks in Kassel and has the blessing of the city’s cultural office.

7000 HUMANS is a new contribution 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 in parallel to the 100 days of documenta 15 in 2022, but lifts the field of social sculpture out of the global artworld into a space accessible to all.  


7000 HUMANS began as a collaboration between Shelley Sacks and Ulrike Oemisch, a regular participant in the Kassel21-lab. Shelley Sacks is a social artist, inspirer and cultural activist who worked with Joseph Beuys in the Free International University and later for many years, in many countries, developing the 'Connective Practice Approach' in the field of social sculpture and transformation. Ulrike Oemisch is a global permaculture trainer, facilitator of Citizens’ Climate Assemblies, and a core member of the Institut für Partizipatives Gestalten IPG [Berlin]. 

Several others from the Social Sculpture lab and beyond are now also part of the growing team and ‘multipliers’ network.

These include: Karsten Winnemuth [Germany, Kassel] / Kyoco Taniyama [Berlin, Tokyo] / Sharmila Samant [India] / Petra Johnson [UK/China] / Clarine Campagne [Holland/Global] / Jin Lipeng [China] / Veronica Weinstein [France/Colombia] / Silke Tobaschus [Germany, Kassel] / Jess Hall [Wales] / Khanya Price-Evans [UK] / Anna Backmund [Germany] / Declan Kennedy [Steyerberg/Global] / Kohei Nishiyama [Tokyo] / Fabio Montagnino [Cyprus/Italy/Global] / Xinlin Song [China] / Gerd Pöll [Kassel, Germany] / Taylor Cheng Ming Yau [Hong Kong] / Karin Bönninger [Germany] / Leon Stenzel [Berlin] / Claudia Jabbusch [Kassel, Germany] / Nini Sakri [Dubai] / James Reed [Portland, USA] / Zhu Qing [China] / Erzsebet Strausz [Hungary/Austria] / Desna Whangaa [New Zealand] / Amrita Gupta-Singh [Mumbai] / Penny Hay [UK] / Tracey Benton [Queensland] / Andrea Pócsik [Hungary] / Belen Moro [Argentina] / Vladimir Ogula [St. Petersberg /Vienna] / Monica del Castillo [Mexico City] Silvia Guillen [Spain] / Erna Burai [Hungary / Switzerland] / Maaya Miki [Japan]

New co-workers will be added to this list. This section will be updated regularly as the team grows.

We welcome inspirers / co-workers As a co-worker you gift your skills, time and expertise. In the coming months 7000 HUMANS needs technical support for the online assemblies, and for making podcasts, videos and other means of sharing the insights. At various moments in the year when there are specific opportunities for joining us e.g. sharing know-how and enabling the technical systems that support large online assemblies - we will put out specific calls for coworkers, via our email networks, through the Blog on this site, and via social media.

The best ways you can support the 7000 HUMANS are to reach out to and inspire others to participate, to become a partner, and to contribute to the 7000 HUMANS COMMONS POOL [See Support page].


7000 HUMANS is delighted the have the following organisations, institutions, groups and networks as our official partners. Each plays a different role, but they are all inspired by 7000 HUMANS and committed to lending their support in different ways so that it grows and thrives. Partners will be updated here along the way. There is no cut off point for becoming an official partner. See SUPPORT page.

WHAT PARTNERS MIGHT DO - inform others about and advocate for 7000 HUMANS beyond the members of the partner group or organisation. This is similar to an individual multiplier, but here the organisation reaches out / offers introductory sessions in its name, beyond its own members and informing/encouraging/inspiring other local /regional/ international individuals and groups. - make space available for regular local assemblies - as in Japan, Germany, France and China, on the ground or online, in languages other than English. - inspire people to give donations to support the 7000 HUMANS work or to build up the 7000 HUMANS Commons Pool [see Support section].

Creative Commons

7000 Humans/Social Sculpture Lab e.V 2022.

See Creative Commons policy.

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