As the sun gets steadily warmer, stays later and becomes ever more brilliant in our little haven at the water’s edge, spring has exploded in a wave of green, yellow and purple. Memories of times past bubble to the present, like early morning plunges into the icy fjord, campfires in the forest, or the simple things, like being comfortable outdoors in a t-shirt. Time seems to have hurried through our lives here in Sweet Home Ytterjärna, with the apparently never-ending winter bringing much social fruits that only now display their sweetness. This crew of diverse and confident individuals, thrown together by some excellent force, have shifted, wriggled and tested their way into love with one another and become united in a new and rich variety of acceptance and understanding (and continual testing). It has certainly not been a simple road, and a few more twists undeniably lie ahead, but if you ask any one of the gathered souls if the journey was worth it, I’d bet my soul not one of them would reply in the negative.
This month, after a briefing on the past weeks, we are going to have a look at one aspect that makes it possible to arrange such an innovative program like YIP: The Finances. It is surely not, by any stretch of the imagination, the only aspect, but money is an imperative cornerstone. And in consideration of its importance, we are proud that the Fundraising, Finances, and monetary needs of YIP have not played a central a role in the Newsletters so far this year. These Newsletters should be (and hopefully have been) our outreach into the greater community; an opportunity for those that read, to peek behind the veil and get a taste of what is going on in Sweden. But in respect to it’s importance and to the transparency and openness that YIP attempts to exercise, we would like to give an overview of this year’s Financial situation, speak a bit about the long-term hopes and dreams and ask for your continuous support.
We are currently wrapping up a few productive weeks of Project work. There were three main focus groups: Initiative Forum 2015, The YIP Garden and Phase 2.
The Initiative Forum group came leaps and bounds in the planning and configuration of what will prove to be an amazing week of input and collaboration. It will be filled with people from all over the world, lectures given by inspiring individuals, almost endless Swedish sunshine, collaborative meeting spaces, stories, workshops, incredible food and music; sweet, sweet music. If you haven’t already, you can register here!
The ideas for having a YIP Garden as also getting grounded, literally! With a small patch tilled and mulched and seedlings reaching for the sun on the windowsills of Tallevana, there will be plants in the ground in a few weeks time. The future is wide open, with possibilities of expanding the garden into a workable plot that will not only give the YIP participants the chance to learn how to grow their own food, but will also be a collaboration with the Ytterjärna community. A garden with multiple functions and a shared vision. Part of the idea, Plant it Forward, is that YIP7 would raise the vegetables so that YIP8 could harvest them when they arrive in the autumn, YIP8 would do the same for YIP9 and on it would go! We’ll keep you updated on the progress.
The planning of a second YIP year, or Phase 2 as it has been referred to so far, inspired many conversations, research and conversation. In short, the idea would be to support participants with their steps after YIP and their work in the world. Whether it is a project of his or her own, an experience collaborating with another organization or initiative, knowing that YIP is in the backspace could be empowering and encouraging. We came away from these weeks with a few scenarios of how a complimentary program might look and what role YIP as an organization would play in mentoring and guiding the participants. Expect more news soon! And if you would like to participate in a Questionnaire, please send your contact details and relationship to YIP (Alumni, Contributor, Parent, etc.) here: [email protected]
Text by Silas Beardslee
The finances at YIP have always been a delicate subject. How can we keep the program financially accessible while also making sure there is enough money to avoid a deficit? Is there a sustainable way to form the budget? Looking at the long-term for example, is there a way that the budget for the current year could already be covered, so that the Participation Fee can cover expenses of the following year? In that sense, the current YIP Participants would “pay it forward” and provide the financial foundation for those that follow in their footsteps.
Money should not become static. It should not sit in a bank account somewhere collecting interest and dust. It should flow. It should go through spaces where it can be utilized, transformed and passed on. The essence of money is the movement of it; it is a symbolic gesture of exchange. Who decides the value of the dollar? The Kronor? The Euro? These objects only have the value that we agree upon, and in and of themselves, have no value at all.
If I look back on my life, the wealth that I have been privileged to experience has not come through money alone. More often it has come through relationships to places and to people. It has come through the ever growing and constantly evolving state of those relationships and the opportunities that those people and places have offered. I am fortunate to have always had food on the table, clothes on my back and a roof over my head, and thus have had the security and space of mind to ponder these complexities of currency and exchange. But in many cases those luxuries did not come about because I had a full wallet or money on a bank account. They came about because of my connection to and interest in people.
The reality is that we live in a world fueled greatly by a desire to obtain money, because money, in the eyes of a capitalistic society, is the threshold to freedom. I question the value of that kind of freedom. I would like to be part of a new mentality; one in which wealth and prosperity rely on respect, mutual support and consideration; one where we see the effect that our decisions have on the planet as a type of currency, holding a value that surpasses the wildest possessions imaginable.
The structural integrity of the organization we call YIP is built upon, and in fact, comprised of these interconnected and constantly evolving relationships. It is Participants and Contributors. It is the Alumni and Organizers. YIP is the Parents who swallowed tears as they sent their sons and daughters to Sweden, and the friends who witnessed them return, changed. It is a network of hardworking souls from many corners of the world striving in their aliveness to unveil a bright future, and for this YIP is rich beyond measure.
And yet, as a functioning organization, we must operate within the current economic framework in order to survive. Despite the abundant social wealth described above, we must also set up a financial condition that is reliable, and hopefully, sustainable. Although the results for YIP7 are not completely in, as the year is not yet over, from a financial perspective, it looks like we will break even by the end of the term, and that is very good news! From a social perspective, we have amassed a great deal of wealth this year…
So, as the time is upon us to focus some attention toward the planning of YIP8, it is here that YIP must call upon you for your support, in whatever form you can provide it. One invaluable way is speaking about YIP and spreading awareness of its existence in the world, so that those who are meant to can take part. Another is to give money, and request that others do the same, so that when the futures Participants arrive, YIP will be able to carry them.
We have a few accepted participants for next year who are coming from challenging socio-economic backgrounds, outside of Europe and the Americas and are going to need some financial support for YIP8. This reality is welcomed and provides a richness and diversity that makes YIP into the provoking and life-changing experience that it is. As OT’s, we feel committed to make their participation in YIP a possibility. Therefore our campaign this year is to raise money for the Scholarship and Diversity Funds by reaching out to you, our network of Alumni, Parents, Contributors and Friends, to help make their participation a possibility, and others in the future.
If you would like to make a donation to YIP and/or the Scholarship Fund, you can do so via Bank Transfer, PayPal or TransferWise with the following details. If you yourself do not have the means to support YIP financially, but know someone who you think might want to, please pass this message on to them. If none of these options are possible but you still want to support, talk about it. Spread the knowledge of YIP in the world. By making more people aware of its existence, you expand the network and make it possible for YIP to grow and evolve.
On behalf of the current Organizing Team,
Silas Beardslee (YIP1)
PayPal: [email protected]
TransferWise: Use the Bank Details below, or send to [email protected]
Beneficiary: YIP or Scholarship Fund
Beneficiary’s address: Kulturcentrum Järna 25, 15391 Järna, Sweden
Bank: Nordea Bank Sweden AB, Hamngatan 10, 10571 Stockholm, Sweden
Account #: 47 86 47-1 SEK (Plusgiro)
IBAN: SE45 9500 0099 6026 0478 6471
A Huge Thank-you:
YIP7 was made possible by many people all over the world. Whether it has been participation in the program, support with a financial gift or otherwise, we are grateful for your trust. We would like to thank the following foundations for their generosity this year:
Stifetelsen Agape, Järna, Sweden
Iona Stichting, Amsterdam, Netherlands
Triodos Foundation, Zeist, Netherlands
Stiftung Edith Maryon, Basel, Switzerland
Evidenz Stiftung, Arlesheim, Switzerland
Rex Roth Stiftung, Bochum, Germany
Mahle Stiftung, Stuttgart, Germany
YIP8 – Where it’s at:
The question: “How many people have applied to YIP8 so far?” is a common one. We are all curious about who is applying, what their story is, where they come from and how they have heard about YIP. The interest in YIP is clear; every week we receive emails with applications coming in from all corners of the world. So, here’s the gist:
As of right now, we have 14 participants that we have accepted with great joy and admiration! A diverse group in age, experience and culture that will give YIP8 yet another unique flavor. Our most recently accepted participant is from Spain. Then we have Germany, Australia, Zimbabwe, Great Britain, the United States, Brazil, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Sweden, Italy and Egypt.
To give you a little window into their lives and the efforts they have put into coming to YIP we introduce you to Freya Thitheridge. She has been fundraising for her participation fee in all possible ways: writing letters to possible sponsors, collecting all the jam pots from work and filling them with delicious homemade jams and chutneys, organizing a so called ‘sausage-sizzle’, and so on. We want to wish all the future participants who are preparing for this adventure the best luck in their process! And we are looking forward to meeting you here in August…!
Applications are streaming in! Join us for YIP8! Apply here, or spread the word!
Are you working with or planning to work with a project or initiative that you would like to share with others? The Presentation Space is intended for you to present your initiative publicly at IF. Presentations will be followed by an Initiative Marketplace, where you will be given a small booth to visually display your work with pamphlets, photos, flyers etc., and have the opportunity to be publicly available for entering deeper conversation around your initiative and finding possible future collaborators.
If you are interested in presenting, please contact us at [email protected] with information regarding your initiative, and we will pre-register you for a Presentation/Marketplace slot. And if you still haven’t registered, do it here!
YIP was able to send Rose Nekvapil, one of the founders of YIP, from her home in Australia to the inauguration of Orientation Aotearoa, a new study program in New Zealand organized by severl YIP Alumni. This is an excerpt from a reflection that Rose wrote on her experience in New Zealand:
…The morning of the opening came and it became very real. Participants started to arrive, received by excited Organizers, a little dazed with disbelief that it was actually happening. The participants seemed excited and nervous. A small group of 9 – 5 male, 4 female. But full of enthusiasm and commitment!
There were about 80 people at the opening, a huge community from all walks of life coming to show their support for this new initiative taking flight. It started with a welcoming to the land and place by Māori elders. They spoke in Māori and sang songs with the participants and the team, who sat up at the front facing the audience. They spoke in English about the strength and courage of these 4 young people who have created OA; that it is so easy to see what is happening in their country and to just become apathetic or overwhelmed, and especially with youth suicide being so close to it’s heart. But these young people are doing something. They are creating healing in the world.
At this point I couldn’t stop the tears flowing down my face, quietly crying in the audience, being gifted with the most incredible moment of fruition. All the meetings and ideas and hopes and dreams of YIP. Reinoud and I used to sit in fundraising meetings and talk about these young people who were going to go back to their communities and create initiatives to bring social nourishment and renewed forces to their communities. I sat as their community acknowledged them, as they stepped into there own task in the world….
You can find the full article here.
It seems all too appropriate that next week we will be spending time with Charles Eisenstein exploring the idea of an economy based on the Gift. From Wednesday, 13 May, to Friday, 15 May, Charles will be working morning and afternoon with the YIP participants. There will also be a public event from 14:00 – 18:00 on Friday, the 15th, with a lecture, guided conversation and a meal. Are you in the area? Would you like to attend? Please send an email to [email protected] so that we can get an idea of numbers before next Friday. Following our work with Charles we will be visited by Roi Gal-Or, long-time YIP contributor and professional Story Teller. He will be joined by YIP Alum, Hannah Steenbergen, and together guide us on a explorative journey of the word and the life-changing power of Story. Simultaniously, the Yippies will be preparing for the following week and their public Personal Project Presentations! When this week is over we will sigh a breath of fresh air on our Participant designed Outdoor Experience: a canoeing and camping trip on the lakes, rivers and islands to the west of Järna. When we return, it will be go-time, with Initiative Forum 2015 just around the corner.
The Newsletter is a monthly mailing update on the life and times of YIP and is a wonderful way to remain connected. It is sent out once a month and gives an overview of what has happened, what is happening and what is on the horizon. Every quarter (3 months) we plan to put out a more in-depth issue that looks into the Organization of YIP from a similar lense.
Please spread the good word of YIP by forwarding to friends and family and inviting them to sign up!
If you have any questions or concerns regarding the newsletter or feel that there is something you would wish to see more of, contact [email protected]