The EUSG Vorkurs retreat

The EUSG Vorkurs retreat

European School of Governance, course description, Vorkurs 2022

“I beg you, to have patience with everything unresolved in your heart and to try to love the questions themselves […].
Don’t search for the answers, which could not be given to you now, because you would not be able to live them.
And the point is to live everything. Live the questions now. – Perhaps then, someday far in the future,
you will gradually, without even noticing it, live your way into the answer.”
Rainer Maria Rilke

The EUSG Vorkurs goes deep on the leading power of the questions we ask, individually and collectively. It shows how our lives are manifestations of the questions we hold. Our lives are answers. With the evolving questions our lives change, individually and collectively.

In the tradition of the Bauhaus art school the EUSG Vorkurs breaks with all traditions. We go back to the prima materia, i.e. our lived experiences from which our lives find their form and shape as answers to our questions. We allow for the Mind Shift as it grows from a process of inquiry and learning as a new shared understanding.

We are looking at dissolving the traumata of modernity and transcending postmodernism. The EUSG Vorkurs is a genuine metamodern synthesis. The challenges of the Anthropocene in the 21st century are met in an experience-based, relationship-oriented, co-created, co-facilitated, process of inquiry, learning, and understanding, embedded in epistemic humility, trusting our human potential and our humanity, realising the existentiality of love.

The challenge of all wisdom traditions has always been to transcend the individual not in oblivion but into the collective understanding and agency. How do our individual questions inform and form our collective questions? How does society find its shape and form based on these collective questions? How do we grow societal answers that dissolve the traumata of modernity and transcend postmodern fragmentation? The EUSG Vorkurs allows for answers and agency.

The goal

The goal of the EUSG Vorkurs is agency as a socially philosophical act. The EUSG Vorkurs is a sensitive, radical, transdisciplinary personal and collective process that enables participants, resonating with the whole, to understand their understanding to:
reform the relationships to their self, to others, and to our natural environment
conceive of sustainable practice in culture and science, politics and economics, social life and diversity
explore anti-fragile design and decision-making cultures in a world without certainties – from pandemics to ecological disasters –
develop and lead transformative parameters of political-social design
learn to think, to accept, and to shape through one’s own biographical-perspective settings.

The target group

The EUSG Vorkurs addresses all those who are or will lead and influence other people, who make daily and frequent decisions that affect the lives of others. The EUSG Vorkurs addresses those who in their decision-making and design processes strive to give priority to the good of the whole rather than the benefits of the next political election, shareholder profits, or small subjective career steps. The EUSG Vorkurs prepares to establish necessary attitudes and conditions in which decisions become the conscious shaping of reality as performative-creative, aesthetic acts.

The EUSG Vorkurs is explicitly not aiming for those leaders who seem to have everything under control with an intact world view. The EUSG Vorkurs is not a workshop, seminar, training, or boot camp in mental self-optimisation.

How it works

The EUSG Vorkurs is a non-curriculum. The core elements of the EUSG Vorkurs consist of anthropotechnical considerations and structured exercises in self-mediation, constellations of possibility, agency through cognition (experiential knowledge), artistic practice, constellations of non-intentionality, serendipity constructions, self-delivery processes, contact with nature, inner and outer Anthropocene, ability to analyse action and effect, self-relations to material and aesthetics, materia prima, meditation and reflection, antifragility, detox, cryptic, stillness.

The EUSG Vorkurs combines a holistic orientation and expands the approach to what we see as the next stage of development for political, as well as social-entrepreneurial leadership. In which to develop a more artistically inclusive, pragmatically relevant, and realistic perspective – self-leadership internally as lived leadership externally. Participation in the EUSG Vorkurs is a manifesto and statement, with point-of-no-return dynamics.

The structure is a learning journey, an expedition, a pilgrimage, a retreat. It is research, studio, workshop, process, laboratory. All processes follow the organic structure of the participants in the space in coordination with the mentoring facilitators. As a rule, there will be two mentoring facilitators. All additional co-facilitators are proven specialists with the relevant expertise and experience. The mentoring facilitators see themselves as space givers, expedition leaders and catalysts.


The skilled craft is in perceiving, hearing, seeing, drawing, writing, speaking, singing, dancing, remembering, guessing, dreaming. Physical activity, craft activity, artistic activity and strategy, reflective practice, deepening and consequence, systemic perspective, philosophical contexts, self-nature-the other, the nothing.

The EUSG Vorkurs is designed to be nomadic, pilgrimage, stalking. The central places are inside. Formal and outdoor are suitable from a 5-star hotel to a campsite or barn, a busy crossroads, a retreat centre, a park, a boat caravan, or hike with overnight accommodation in farmland ruts.

Inspired by the spirit of the Bauhaus art school the EUSG Vorkurs is an experience in social learning. It does not only address the question of how we get from the individual experiences to a collective design approach in a collective effort of growing a shared understanding. The EUSG Vorkurs is a social field like a Kibbutz living the social experience in the moment, cooking together, sharing a dormitory, and jointly caring for the together being.

The EUSG Vorkurs in the structural aspect of this social learning field convenes people from all walks of life. There is a social admission fee reflecting the individual’s capability to contribute. Those who can give more give more and allow for a universal invitation to participate.

Set-up and application

The prototypical EUSG Vorkurs is designed for full five days. Participation is only possible in full. Around-the-clock participation is expected. The process is structured like a retreat. Retreat means retreat. The EUSG Vorkurs is an experience of social learning. We care together for our together being; we cook together and care for the venue together. Sleeping in dorms is the rule, though well-reasoned exceptions shall be granted.

All activities, substantive procedures within the process are confidential within the structure. It is expected that participants work on group dynamic developments among themselves and do not make them a plenary topic. Openness to enter or explore situations of uncertainty, out side of rehearsed comfort zones, playful willingness to experiment, praxeological approach to gaining knowledge.

The curricular keywords are framework suggestions and serve as a preparatory framework, retention networks and are not work ed through in a linear fashion, but – if helpful – are integrated into the process. There is no set curriculum. The approach is iterative and structured through cooperative learning and experience. Each EUSG Vorkurs is as unique as its participants. Not two are alike. The target number of participants is 14.

The next EUSG Vorkurs retreat will take place in autumn 2022 on the Brandenburg countryside at Schloss Neuenhagen in Bad Freienwalde/Oder, east of Berlin, Germany. There is a social admission fee on EUSG courses and the invitation to value the course based on a voluntary participation fee of 1890€. This includes accommodation, meals, and facilitation. Well-reasoned deviations from the suggested participation fee are welcome, both ways.

In your application, please share what you want to gain from your participation and what it is worth to you. Prospective participants in need of a social reduction of the course fee may state so and offer an alternative fee of appreciation.

Your final admission is based on a preliminary interview.

Apply now at