Sweden is frozen, caught in what seems like a timeless spell. At each sunrise and each sun set it turns into some kind of fiery-frozen winter wonder land. Each branch and twig, each blade of grass, everything that has remained exposed from previous phases lies encrusted in the natures frozen crystals, wrapped in an icy stillness. And yet, things continue to change and time is speeding by, already well on its way into 2016; a New Year full of possibilities, experiments waiting to unfold, achievements awaiting and missions ready to be accomplished. Out, somewhere in the world, the Yippies are pondering over the realities of the world and the magnitude of its complexities. Working to further the unfolding of a new story, their story. Curiously investigating their place in all of it. Some have reported their good health from sticky and sunburned existences while simultaneously fending off hordes of persistent mosquitos. Others wished they had brought an extra sweater to the Himalayas. And here, in the bitter-cold beauty of Ytterjärna, we are happily hard at work, awaiting their return and situating the foundation stones for the future of our collective enterprise. Happy 2016. Here is to you, to us, to the world and to all the challenges and triumphs this year will bring.
Reflections on a New Year’s Gathering:
By Darius Matthies, YIP7
23 young and powerful human beings had the privilege to spend 5 days together in a Youth Hostel in Bernkastel-Kuess, Germany, to step together into the New Year. Hannes Bonte (YIP6) and Sophie Laura (YIP6) took care of space and food and together with a passionate organizing team of other YIP6 participants, they brought this gathering to life.
The night I arrived, a delicious meal and warm hugs welcomed me and I instantly felt at home. After we had all shared our intentions for the gathering, soon our improvised, co-created schedule-slots were filled with community-meals, singing, mediation, exercises to review, stepping into the new, dancing, painting and sharing of initiatives and projects.
An essential theme of the gathering was put in the form of a question: What does the world need right now? Within the 5 days we approached this question in many different ways. In hosted spaces we went into deep and vivid dialogue with questions such as: How can we collectively awake to our interconnectedness? How can we embrace diversity? How much time do we have? What is my authentic task in the bigger picture? How can we build bridges between the old and new paradigm?
On the first day of this brand New Year, we collectively celebrated by singing songs in the old town square of Bernkastel-Kues. What a powerful experience of carrying the spirit that we had created to the outside. We sang for almost 2 hours, ending up in a big circle on the square singing hand in hand with strangers. The session in the afternoon of the same day was named: Change-Action. This space allowed us to share projects and visions and gave birth to some promising future-collaborations. Initiatives like classroom Alive-Corsica, a project about the distribution of knowledge, a potential summer school 2016 as well as many other visions were presented, joined and further explored. In a circle at the end of the gathering each of us expressed what we were most thankful for.
The warm feeling of admiration and respect that I felt for these people that I barely knew before is still glowing in my heart each time I breath. With that feeling in my heart I look back and I am blown away by the self-organizing intelligence of a group of individuals intending to meet in consciousness, real interest and truth. Blown away by the potential of what we can create when we keep on empowering each other to be who we are. Happy New Year everybody…
The YIP8 Group is Complete!
From the beginning YIP8 was a group of 25 people, though each morning only 24 participants came to the course. Her name was on the door of her bedroom. She was in our hearts and on our minds and finally, finally she is here in Sweden! Manal Al-Khamri, a Yemeni citizen born and raised in Saudi Arabia, has probably had one of the most difficult journeys in the history of YIP to actually physically be able to come to Sweden and take part in the Program. Her visa process was long, frustrating and very difficult, something we can’t even begin to comprehend, but she is here now and will be joining the YIP8 group as soon as they arrive back from their internships.
Manal is truly perseverant, with much love and trust in her heart. YIP8 is complete now. Welcome to the family!
2016-2017 YIP9 Outreach:
While the YIP8 participants are on their internships around the world, the organizing team has been very busy with looking into the next year – YIP9…! Apart from re-designing the curriculum, looking at the Initiative Forum 2016 and the usual office duties, we have been working on reaching out to the world. YIP has more than 200 Alumni all over the world and no doubt they are our best Ambassadors. They are the true essence of what YIP is and can speak from their experience why YIP matters.
At the moment YIP welcomes this support from our larger network. You are our community, our tribe. Help us spread the word that the applications for 2016-2017 are open and let other young people find us!
If you would like to become a YIP Ambassador and/or order YIP flyers and cards, please, get in touch with us! [email protected]
501(C)3 Status: A New Way to Support
Since the beginning, YIP has had strong ties with the United States. The program has had many of its participants, contributors and organizers come over the pond and supported and gifted their time and efforts to the program.
As of next week, an additional, brand new possibility of engaging with YIP from the U.S. is opening up: YIP has been added to the Sponsored Project List of RSF Social Finance!
If you are from the U.S., you can make a tax-deductible donation through our fiscal sponsor RSF Social Finance, a 501(C)3 Public Charity. All donations are tax-deductible and you will be mailed or emailed an official tax receipt. To make your tax-deductible donation via credit card, select The International Youth Initiative Program (YIP) from the drop-down Sponsored Project list.
If you would prefer to donate via check or money order, make it payable to RSF Social Finance, adding The International Youth Initiative Program (YIP) to the memo line. RSF Social Finance’s mailing address is 1002 O’Reilly Ave San Francisco, CA 94129.
Please note: The included link will take you to a drop-down list of projects, to which YIP has yet to be added. If you don’t see us there yet, please check back in a week or so. Tack!
Kia Ora! A greeting from New Zealand:
“When we are dreaming alone it is only a dream. When we are dreaming with others, it is the beginning of reality.” – Hélder Câmara
Over New Years a group of YIP Alumni gathered in New Zealand, and in addition to partaking in much good food, sunshine and celebration, we began playing with some ideas.
We gathered for the New Zealand summer at the home of Orientation Aotearoa which we co-inhabited with some new friends and local Wellingtonians from Enspiral. They told us about how they support one another within their network with a website they have built called CoBudget. This stoked the fires of an idea that has been brewing in the network for a long time now. We should have a platform with money in it to support Yippies and Alumni.
Collectively as a network we have funded many things together in the past, but it has always taken a lot of work to make it happen. Some examples of what we have collectively funded include: printing the YIP Impressions booklet in 2014, supporting Classroom Alive, the attendance of past participants of the Initiative Forum, and the attendance of a permaculture design course.
We have now created the platform to support this collaborative funding – YIP Alumni CoBudgeting! Money can be given to this pool of funds by anybody via our Patreon page, and it is then distributed by all the Yippies, YIP Alumni, YIP Organizers (past and present) and YIP contributors (past and present) who have signed up for the CoBudget group.
Each month the money from the Patreon is put into CoBudget and then anybody in the group can raise a bucket for an idea or cause they think the group will want to support. Each member is given an equal allocation to distribute to the buckets they want to fund. In the future we might expand the criteria for joining this group, but for this prototype we are restricting the CoBudgeting part to just the groups listed above, however anybody who wants to support this can contribute via our Patreon page. Already more than 100$ has been pledged!
We are very excited about what this could mean for the future of our network and hope you will join us in it! If you have any questions please contact us at [email protected]!
Louisa (YIP4), Lyra (YIP4), and Mischa (YIP3)
YIP Finances: a Thank-You
to our Supporting Foundations:
A vital part of the income for Youth Initiative Program has come through the generous support of a handful of foundations. The income from these foundations has been for the last couple of years at around 1 million Swedish Krona (110,000 Euro) per year or roughly 25% of our income. So, we would like to thank the following foundations – and include some quotes from their respective websites who speak for themselves about why these foundations choose to support something like YIP. In addition, we’ve also name some individuals who have been helpful and even key to the support as YIP received it. Lastly, we would love to extend our circle of supporting foundations. Anyone reading this newsletter who has thoughts, suggestions, or is close to a foundation, corporation or similar who might consider supporting YIP, please contact us at [email protected]
The Vidarfoundation in Järna has been the most generous supporter throughout the years, supporting annually since the beginning.
The original Stock of money from the Vidarfoundation was donated by Åke Kumlander, father to the current president of the foundation Anders Kumlander, who was a serial real estate entrepreneur who gave all of his fortune to foundations supporting the Anthroposophical endeavors in Järna and elsewhere. “We are grateful for the opportunity to support innovation, progress and worthwhile initiatives which we can be part in creating.”
The Evidenz Foundation, Arlesheim, Switzerland. Our thanks go especially to Rolf Kerler who spearheaded the foundation from the early 1990’s until his death in December 2015
“The key concern of the Evidenz Foundation is the education and support of young people who face the challenges of our time with entrepreneurial spirit. People, willing to make a difference in the world, who shape society, and who do not lose sight of a healthy human development.”
The Triodos Foundation, Zeist, The Netherlands, is one of the spearheading initiatives in “new economy” endeavors, banking on values as their key guiding principle. Thank you Ted van den Berg and Peter Blom for your support and partnership.
“The Triodos Foundation makes donations to support research and development in the sectors in which Triodos Bank is active. The Foundation’s aim is to stimulate both national and international initiatives that initiate social renewal, especially in the field of organic farming, development, the environment, sustainable energy, art and culture, education and health care.”
The Mahle Foundation is a new supporter and has committed for 3 years. Thank you Jürgen Schweiss Ertl for your recent visit and your support.
“Social action – Having a lasting impact – Shaping the future” Each year the Mahle foundation supports approximately 150 projects worldwide. In doing so, it works in accordance with the central idea of “Donate today – with the vision for tomorrow”. The aim is to enable a better future by supporting innovative projects. In line with the Anthroposophical thinking and actions of its founders, the leitmotifs which form the basis of all of the Foundation’s work are appreciation of and responsibility towards other people, the environment and nature.
The Iona Stichting, Amsterdam, The Netherlands, has been a regular supporter of YIP from the beginning Thank you Ignaz Anderson for your continuously positive support and encouragement.
“It is our priority to stimulate the power of initiative.” The money from Iona comes from many different contributions from philanthropists. The founder of the Iona Stichting was architect Willem van der Linden.
The Edith Maryon Foundation, Basel, Switzerland, has mainly contributed to the Diversity Fund, making it possible to include participants from Non-European countries that would otherwise not be able to participate. This year, participants from Egypt, Yemen and Zimbabwe were supported. Thank you Klaus Jensen and Christof Langscheid.
“Stiftung Edith Maryon, a foundation dedicated to supporting socially responsible places of residence and work, was founded out of a circle of young people in 1990. The underlying concept emerged from discussions of fundamental social questions conducted over several years, and reflects the founders’ need to translate their ideas into practical action.”
The Alfred Rexroth Foundation in Germany is one of the new supporters of YIP. Its original goal was “to promote the integration of intellectual, social and artistic elements into new forms of education and labor.”
Is there a difference between Shoes and Immortality?
A piece by Rose Nekvapil, Co-Founder of YIP
In September of this year a group of 9 young people (26-43 years old) from around Australia met in Melbourne to work with the theme Moral Technologies – Being Human in the Age of Technological Development. This is an initiative of Seed Australia that seeks to foster an alive platform of young adults inspired by world and spiritual issues. Many of our generation feel the encroaching changes that the technological age is bringing to our physical bodies, our consciousness, and our view to the future and what it might hold far beyond our imaginations. We can easily be influenced by information that tells us we will lose our humanity, that robots and AI will become our masters or that 1% will have everything, the rest of us nothing… These things may happen, and they may not, what excites me though is the question ‘what are the possibilities?’ How is technology opening a vessel for our spiritual development, an entry that would otherwise not be possible? We are creating technology, and in return it is creating us. What is it giving as food to be digested into will forces, capacities, thinking, feeling? What is happening within my soul when I see human suffering up close through a screen, a scene I may never have seen otherwise? Is it working a muscle of empathy and connection, or apathy and the desensitizing of human pain and suffering?
“The most exciting breakthroughs of the twenty-first century will not occur because of technology, but because of an expanding concept of what it means to be human.” –John Naisbitt
In this small preparation group we found that when we started talking about Human Beings and Technology the conversations were endless – science, shoes, tools, ethics, atheism, human technique, spiritual science, human heart, bionic heart, etheric energy, transubstantiation, immortality, technological singularity, consciousness, unconsciousness, AI, child development, education, research, cyborgs, drones, war, good and evil, what is it to be human? What would make you not human?… This is a relevant and even urgent theme of our time, and we hope that over the planned Moral Technologies project Australia, and with the Anthroposophical movement here, we will become conscious and active with the work on this theme in this time.
In April 2016 we will host Nicanor Perlas (Philippines) to work with the theme Artificial Intelligence, Human Intelligence. (5 day workshop in Melbourne). Following on in 2017, Orland Bishop (LA, USA) will work with us on the theme The technological age of human life. 2018 is yet to be confirmed.
We hope that the event in April will carry more questions than answers, be very active, full of dialogue, discussion, reflection and definitely some discomfort!
It’s an exciting time to be in the world and this seems an essential conversation to be a part of. I hope we will see many of you there for the full event, or at the open Public Lecture (time and day to be announced). There is financial support for travel and participation for those who want/need, especially for those who are under 38 years old, although also for others.
IF 2016: Don’t miss out on the Early Bird discount!
The Initiative Forum 2016: Into the Foodture – Feeding Change
Early Bird discount ends on the 31st of January! Don’t forget to register and bring some friends!
Amazon Summer School, Brazil:
We are excited to announce that YIP is an official partner of The Amazon Summer School!
Have you always wondered what it would be like to sleep in a hammock in the Amazon forest? Wake up to the songs of birds? Get to know the local community and engage in a conversation around sustainability? If so, than this is for you.
Get ready to dive together into the globe’s largest forest for an experiential, action-based education program, hosted by facilitators trained in participatory leadership and other leading global sustainability experts. The program will use a conceptual framework for sustainable development, an overview of relevant history, and application to current issues in order to understand global challenges and the inherent complexity of the system.
The program will take place at a training center in the community of Tumbira, which is located in the Rio Negro Protected Area of the Brazilian State of Amazonas.
For more information go to www.amazonsummerschool.com and make sure to apply before March 1st!
Special offer for YIP Alumni – if you are interested in the program, email [email protected] for 20% discount!
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]