start and development


The founders of the Iona Stichting: Jan and Ernée van der Linden-'t Hooft

March 17th 1966: Jan van der Linden and his wife Ernée van der Linden-’t Hooft decide to found the Iona Stichting. The architect and the artist borrow the name from the Scottish Isle Iona, once an important spiritual source for Europe.

The memorandum of association has a personal character. They want to build a bridge between social renewal, art and anthroposophy.

From the start the Iona Stichting is involved in many projects: lectures, exhibitions and concerts. Young artists are offered the possibility to show their work and to perform. There are scholarships for students and cultural tours for young people. 

In the seventies the Iona Stichting develops into a service centre for organizations with an anthroposophical tendency for renewal. Cooperating in boards, giving administrative and financial support, raising funds and organizing cultural and other activities in the field of (Waldorf) pedagogy, health care and therapy and organic agriculture (biodynamic).

In the eighties the work expands. There is a deepened interest for the connection between the arts, which results in the conference The Spiritual in Art in the Hague in 1987.

After the collapse of the Berlin Wall in the nineties the point of attention shifts to Central and Eastern Europe. In the countries that have become accessible there is a demand for renewal in the fields of agriculture, care and education.

From the start of the new millennium anthroposophy becomes more open. In society there is a general awareness and an interest for sustainability, social responsibility and transparency. This brings more coherence between the various fields of attention of the foundation.

Based on the above the Iona Stichting has developed a fertile cooperation with other national and international foundations. In all this the concept of being a learning organization plays an important part.