Sophia 2015 – agile takte/agile beats

Opening Night – many people, cultural sites and temples of dining, good food, various contacts, lively conversations, an entertaining evening – content.

Day One – arrival at Praterinsel, surprisingly different location, irritation, demolition style, no doors, graffiti and chunks of wall, exposed pipes, chaotic setting, recognizing freedoms, wanting to engage, widening horizons, using multitude, pleasingly different, horizons widening, exciting workshops, about feelings, processes of participation and refugee crises, city development in scrum logic with a suitcase full of Lego bricks, top improvisation theater with Ulan & Bator, full attention, entertaining, humorous and surprising, colour games and wonderful dinner, tango impressions as a finale – quickened…

Day Two – contrasting program, CityBound at AllianzArena, back to the roots, typical conference atmosphere, cushions instead of chairs, conversation with the Munich Philharmonics’ orchestra committee, hierarchy and democratization, inspiring workshops, about personalities, cyclic intelligence and further to tribes, dolling up full of suspense, airy dinner at the Sky-Bar, interview with Munich Philharmonics’ general director Paul Müller, great anticipation, vibrating opening concert, followed up at Martini Club, cocktails and dance – entranced…

Middle of the Night, back at the hotel – conclusion at the bar, shattering news from Paris, the dream is over, dead tired and wide awake – distressed…

Final Day – despite everything start in the hotel, agile transformation in the opening panel, about demands and realities, trends and grounding, location change to Gasteig, waiting for the Maestro, impressive Valery Gergiev, inner motivation, powerful agility, a life full of music, far and yet so close, Jazz and participation, officially dawdling about in concert, concluding panel full of gratitude, wanting more, fresh air and distance, enjoying the surroundings, now more than ever, two concerts in the evening, rich and light, Andreas Hofmeir playing the tuba, a successful crossover, great Till Brönner meets MPhil, stunning, senses sharpened, bodies rocking to the rhythm, improvisation and perfection, the air is on fire, the audience enthusiastic and we are – utterly inspired…

And what remains – waiting for Sophia 2016!

Renate Standfest

»If music be the food of love«

»If music be the food of love, play on!«
(William Shakespeare)

The Sophia workshop is important to us.

It is a symbol of creativity, sociability and enjoyment, of shared education. Education, the essence of enlightenment. This year, Sophia took place in spaces that could not have been more different. There was Haus 3 of Praterinsel: shabby bohème. Then there was the four-star hotel: conventionally dignified. Finally there was the concert hall – wooden bourgeois – and the Arena – excitingly sober. The spaces have colours that diffuse within us as feelings. While one person will experience a given space as cloudy warm, another person will find it crystal blue. That is the moment where we meet.

Ulan & Bator aka Sebastian Rüger and Frank Smilgies used improvisation theatre to show us that the spirit is energy and can be directed by us. They taught us to play, to take care of each other, to ground ourselves, and at the same time pay attention to our opposites. We learnt to consciously perceive our own views, positions and positioning – as well as those of others –, to understand them and actively encounter them.

The Sophia program is varied, agile and creative. Workshops on effectuation, person and personality, feelings in groups, participation, cyclic intelligence, tribes and a scrum plan game gave us the opportunity to explore new dimensions of the notion of agility. We learnt that agile methods of work do not necessarily immediately result in agile actions.

A stupefying mixture of historic and monumental composition

On the evening of November 13, 2015 we were seated in the Munich philharmonics’ concert hall. The orchestra flooded the room with the sounds of Schönberg, Skrjabin, Wagner. A stupefying mixture of historic and monumental composition. Gergiev’s decided reticence had an unexpectedly exhilarating effect.

At the very same time, the heart of enlightened milieus was hit. We are grieving, full of bitterness, appalled. Before any real insight has come to pass, the world begins to position, make diagnoses and assign guilt. Adorno once said that it was an almost unachievable task to allow neither others’ power nor our own lack of power to dumb us down.

The development of humans and organisations needs forms of learning, to open up perspectives and shift standpoints. It needs inquisitive amazement and true joy in the other. With Sophia, we position ourselves and use the entire range of cultural potential in order to design lively learning. Culture and art make insight possible.

Sophia is wisdom

Our lives are shaped by freedom, even if it cannot protect us now. We pledge our allegiance to humanism, we will not be stupefied. Be it in my company, my circle of friends, my family, myself: there shall be spaces in which we can name joy, shame, fear as feelings so that there shall develop a sense and spirit for community. We will not be shamed. In these days, Sophia attains a new level of significance for solidarity.

Hanna Göhler