VIRGINIA BOWERS

The New Way, at the Dusk of the Corporate Age

Echinacea in the WALA gardens, Bad Boll, Germany

Echinacea in the WALA gardens, Bad Boll, Germany

In nature, there is no part of the whole that is not important. All parts are equally necessary and valuable in order for balance and harmony to be achieved.

Products which nurture and support the ecosystem from which they were made and on which we all ultimately rely, then, it logically follows, are the only way to support a healthy continuation of life. And as much as our modern industrial system attempts to deny it, we do, every one of us, rely completely on the continuing health of the one big ecosystem which is our planet.

I always thought the definition of a modern corporation to be a little wacky, and Michael Moore in the eye-opening 2003 documentary ‘The Corporation’ states it perfectly:

“I believe the mistake that a lot of people make when they think about corporations, is they think you know, corporations are like us. They think they have feelings, they have politics, they have belief systems, they really only have one thing, the bottom line ~ how to make as much money as they can in any given quarter. That’s it.”

This is why the German company behind Dr Hauschka Skin Care, WALA, has operated very differently since its inception 80 years ago in 1935. Dr Rudolf Hauschka, greatly influenced as he was by Dr Rudolf Steiner’s philosophy and ideas of freedom of the human being, founded from the beginning a rare and unique organisation.

Formed with the ethos of service and bringing humans back to balance ~ within themselves and without, back into harmony with the natural world ~ people were the absolute centre of all activities and profit was seen simply as a means to continue and expand the ultimate aim, to distribute anthroposophic medicines to those who needed them.

Apart from their ethical and environmentally aware production values and unique understanding of our natural rhythms, what caught my attention about WALA/Dr Hauschka Skin Care very early on was its highly unusual, in fact revolutionary, organisation structure, that has stood the test of time and has proved itself to be not only workable but incredibly effective and successful in the modern world.

Transformed officially from a general commercial partnership to a Foundation in 1986, WALA as a company exists solely as a means to fulfil the aims of the Foundation, and cannot be bought, sold or inherited. The Foundation owns 100% of WALA shares, and all profits are either invested back into the company or distributed amongst employees on a profit-sharing basis.

This unique model has stood the test of time, taking as it does the best of company functionality and structure that exists today, and gracefully releasing that what doesn’t work in favor of a holistic, nature and human centered approach ~ leading the way in the advancement to humanity’s next evolutionary stage.

“There’s not a single scientific, peer-reviewed paper published in the last 25 years that would contradict this scenario: every living system of earth is in decline, every life support system of earth is in decline, and these together constitute the biosphere, the biosphere that supports and nurtures all of life, and not just our life but perhaps 30 million other species that share this planet with us. The typical company of the 20th century: extractive, wasteful, abusive, linear in all of its processes, taking from the earth, making, wasting, sending its products back to the biosphere, waste to a landfill. I, myself, was amazed to learn just how much stuff the earth has to produce through our extraction process to produce a dollar of revenue for our company. When I learned that, I was flabbergasted. We are leaving a terrible legacy of poison and diminishment of the environment for our grandchildren’s grandchildren, generations not yet born. Some people have called that intergeneration tyranny, a form of taxation without representation, levied by us on generations yet to be. It’s the wrong thing to do.”

Ray Anderson, The Corporation (2003)

WALA Company information & products

Echinacea flower, WALA Gardens Bad Boll