Sheela Birnstiel

Lead character in the Netflix documentary series "Wild Wild Country", former personal secretary and spokesperson to spiritual master Osho

Speaker for Urban Planning & Society at Gather 2018

Marcelo Coelho - Gather 2018
The figure of Sheela has become known worldwide thanks to Wild Wild Country (Netflix, 2018), a documentary series that looks at her key role in the development of the cult of Bhagwan Shree Rajneesh (later known as Osho) and addresses issues such as conspiracies, alternative post-hippy religious cults and culture shock, among many others. As Osho’s personal secretary, Sheela was in charge, of implementing the huge experiment that prompted the collective to buy a 260 km2 ranch in Oregon, in the States, to set up a vast commune with its own laws. There she became a charismatic and controversial media figure, the visible face of confrontation with the former inhabitants of that region, first, and then with the US authorities. This confrontation led to 29 months’ imprisonment, accused of several of the activities carried out in the community.  

Sheela and Osho created what they believed a society could look like. Sheela stood up against a world lead by men and criticized the way societies was lead and she went through brick walls for the sake of her belief. Gather is not supporting the decisions Sheela has made, but this is a story that creates reflections, frustrations, inspirations and much more. That’s a story of change, and that story belongs at Gather.

Related Speakers

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Sepehr Mousavi

Sustainability Expert

Mimi Onuoha - Gather 2018

Marcelo Coelho

Awarded Computation Designer

Helena Samsio - Gather 2018

Jennie Perzon

Senior Manager Accenture Sustainable Strategy


Urban Planning & Society

In one of five Themes, Gather 2018 will explore the impact of Self-driving cars, vertical farming and everything else we’re facing in the future, posing the question:

What does a smart city mean in reality?

Urban Planning & Society - Gather 2018

What is Gather?

Gather is both a conference and music festival where you will meet your new best friend, dance with your future love, and innovate with your next business partner.

Gather 2018 takes place in Stockholm, September 13–15 and will include 50+ speakers, performances from all around the world, music at several venues and Innovation labs solving actual business challenges.

Think Different


Standard Tickets out now

Conference September 13–14
Music Festival September 13–15
Gather Labs September 13–15

Want to join the Gather team? Check out the Jobs Page to see our current positions: