Newsletter September 2018

After a long, warm summer, full of (re) connecting and initiatives, YIP 11 has started. Twenty five young people have travelled from all over the world to spend the next 10 months together as a learning community. The first courses have started and the group is very enthusiastic to learn.

Newsletter Contents:

1) Arriving at YIP
2) This is YIP11!
3) Opening and introduction week
4) Open Masters with Alan Webb
5) The Art of Hosting
6) Greetings from Isabel Chender, Full time OT

Arriving at YIP

Coming from Germany, I brought a whole chest of drawers with me. Hard to bring it in the plane actually… Had I over packed? But then it was also so easy to take everything with me. Everything nice and tidy, organised in my drawers. Everything was already in there. No further thoughts or decisions needed. Nothing to leave behind.

Arriving at YIP proved my chest of drawers was actually not worth taking with me.

“Drawer thinking” is actually an expression we use in Germany for organising new situations into previously made categories. That is what my brain has been trying to do since coming here. But I recognised that YIP does not fit in any of the drawers (or categories) I brought. I was overwhelmed by so much newness and things that are totally different from what I have ever experienced before. That was challenging but also great! Exploding drawers, the liberation of stuck thoughts, the overwhelming feeling of beginning something new and overthinking.

That is the spirit of arriving at YIP in Ytterjärna, this beautiful place.

Written by: Blandia Langniß (YIP11)

This is YIP11!

From left to right: Mariam Evens, Yona Kim, Lincoln Hill, Eun Woo Jeon, Mien Stoffels, Zoe Street, Ilias De Quidt (OT), Flora Boer, Blandia Langnis, Isabel Chender (OT), Viola Tavazzani, Isabella Poulos, Olav Immanuel Børjesson, Debby Chen, Gabriel de Oliveira Mosquera, Leonora Meier-Nielsen, Jasmijn Steneker, Karen Steinman Martini, Ayano Watahiki, Rhea Warner, Alma Vandewalle, Annie Meijer (OT), Moritz Siesck, Naomi Richards, Amber Tsai, Rachel Morawski Henry, Miley Lee, Camilla Shütt, Roos Buskes, Reinoud Meijer (OT) and Christianne Sinoo (OT).

Opening & introduction week

The first week of YIP11 felt like much more than a week, the strange elongating of time that came from the amount of newness and activity packed in. The creating of new connections, the shaping of new ideas, questioning old habits and just beginning to set intentions for new ones. One metaphor that stuck with me from the week came from Alan Webb, the wonderful contributor for the ‘Open Masters’ who compared the mind and it’s habits to a field of wheat, the easy and obvious path is the one well trodden, forged through the crop, the path of habit. To begin a new path, treading it the first time is the hardest, only over time and with effort does it become easier. A lot of the first few days were focused around ‘landing’ and getting a sense of the amazing community and region we find ourselves in and there was a careful balance between the physical arrival as well as the mental and emotional one and an openness and welcoming of all stages of this process, as well as much appreciated encouragement to listen to ourselves and take time out when necessary. Never before have I experienced a ‘new beginning’ that felt so well thought through, so I end this first week with gratefulness to the consciousness, consideration and hard work of the organising team.

Written by: Naomi Richards (YIP11)

Open Masters with Alan Webb

YIP 11 has begun! After a few days of grounding and landing, the group is still new and a bit unsettled. This new place and community has an impact on everyone, bigger and smaller.

I personally, was impressed by this area, the buildings, the people, living in community. My world grew when I entered this little village, Ytterjarna.

That Friday on the 31th of August, the Open Masters trial began officially. I didn’t know what to expect at first, but I was excited for what it would bring me, but also to meet each other in a different way. Alan came into our little YIP community. His cheerful attitude and sense of awareness suited our first steps of getting to know ourselves and each other very well.

We started with talking about community living. What are the maximisers and minimisers in such a way of living? How are we in a group and how far reaches our sense of awareness? I was very interested by this, because this way of living together was and is in a way still new for me.

The second day was more on a personal level. This day made a big impact on me, I only realised afterwards. We made a spectrum, referring to all kinds of questions. One of the questions were about why you have chosen to come to YIP. Are you here to reflect on your past, or are you here to take action? Are you a solo person, or do you feel more comfortable in groups? I ended up being a solo person who wants to take action. I felt that I was ready for that, that was one of the main reasons that I came here.

The wayfinder mandala was the next task that really stayed with me. What is your own in your present life, what do you want to get more involved in or are there dreams you want to follow in the future? Are there things to let go of? It is a tool to get things organised in your life and it gives you a good perspective of where you are. It wasn’t hard for me to write things down in this exercise. I have many interests and there are many skills I want to improve in the future. It was hard to think about things to let go of, and there was only a vague connection between the different aspects in my mandala, while others had a much more clear connection between their future and present in their mandala. I thought about this for a day and I realised that I just didn’t know what to do or where to go. I know that I am here at YIP to find these answers, but that didn’t make things clearer for me that day. I thought I needed to take action, and get deeper in my interest. But I really didn’t know where to go that day.

I was still waiting for answers, when we got introduced to the seasons and there meanings. We used the characteristics of every season to approach different parts of processes in our lives.

Spring is for planning and getting started, summer for exploring and making, autumn for harvesting and celebration and winter for rest and reflection. Alan asked us in which season we felt most comfortable and in which season the least. We walked around and I thought about it. I found out I wasn’t comfortable being in spring. I didn’t feel comfortable with planning and going. I sat down and saw I wasn’t the only one who had troubles with this. That comforted me in a way, to see that I wasn’t the only one who had troubles with getting started. Maybe I’m not ready for taking action yet, maybe I first need to find connections in my previous experiences and in my present skills and intentions. I realised I felt way more drawn towards autumn and winter. I need time for reflection.

These few days opened up a lot for me. The Open Masters challenged me to stand still and think about my own directions and were I am right now. I faced the fact that I’m not ready for the next step, but I first need to settle down and look into the past. And not only on a personal level I experienced a lot, I also felt more part of the group during the Open Master trial. We talked about community living and how to be a functional community ourselves, but we also got the chance to get to know more about each other, by embodying each others stories and sharing personal struggles and motivations. Alan, you also inspired me by telling your story about the founding of the Open Masters. Your motivation and perseverance really got me thinking about my own beliefs and how to see them through, and how I will stay in my “growth zone” without going to my “panic zone.” I am excited for the upcoming year and I will take the experiences I had during the Open Masters with me on my journey of reflection and growth.

Written by: Anne Jasmijn Steneker (YIP11)

The Art of Hosting with Kajsa Balkfors, Emilia Regenstad, Rachel Derrah, Severas Svedas and Isabel Chender

In our second week of YIP, we welcomed Rachel, Emilia, Kajsa, Severas and our own Isabel as the team of The Art of Hosting. Actually, the full name of the training is The Art of Hosting and Harvesting Conversations that Matter, something that really speaks to me and I was really excited and curious for these three days.

The team offered us some theoretical principles about (self) organisation and a lot of tools to implement this in real life – but I guess most importantly: we actually got to do it ourselves.

We all got the chance to sign up for hosting a part of the second day of the training, ranging from hosting a Story Trio, an Energiser, an Open Space (oh how I love this concept!), a Check-in Circle, … It was really beautiful to see all of us yippies stepping into this role of host. I was really impressed by the natural talent that all of a sudden was so visible in our group.

As for myself, I got the honour to host my very first Check-In Circle. We were coached by Emilia and Severas, and they shared so much valuable information about conversation circles, about the importance of some beautiful basic principles, about how this practice originated a very long time ago already. I enjoyed it very much to think about the big and small things that make a circle into a safe space, enjoyed picking flowers from our backyard in Tallevana and looking for the right talking piece for my circle. I was a little nervous when I opened it, trying to do it in a way everybody felt at ease and ready to share. As we were talking, I sensed how much I enjoyed being the host, being able to hold this space for others. At the end we all sang together, which was a very powerful way for me to end my first conversation circle.

So I would like to express a big thank you to the whole Art of Hosting team for offering me and all of the yippies this experience. I think I can speak for the whole group when I say we’re very much looking forward to you coming back to YIP after our internships!

Written by: Mien Stoffels (YIP11)

Greetings from Isabel Chender, Full time OT

Hello dear everyone. I am writing to you from the YIP office in Ytterjarna, as the sun streams through the windows to create beautiful patterns with the plants. I feel calm and curious to be transitioning into the role of full time organising team member for the coming years. It is such a joy to meet YIP11 and to get to know our team. The land, people, physical structures, food, and contributors are providing a nourishing container for learning.

An avid listener and learner, I have been working across sectors and communities to foster collaboration. As an Art of Hosting steward and social sustainability advocate, my work focuses on creating conditions for people to work and be together. I work as a conversation host, graphic facilitator, and group process designer of meetings, conferences, and sustainability education curriculum.

Before arriving at YIP I was, and still am, a strategic and creative process consultant for Brave Space social innovation. At the same time I have been co-organiser (with Bruna of YIP 8!) of the Amazon Summer School  sustainability education program in Brazil, and an alumni of the Unschool of Disruptive Design. I am connected to the ALIA (Authentic Leadership In Action) network as it has been a rich training ground several years, and to MSLS (Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability) where I studied in 2014. I hope these networks and people can weave together with YIP in the years to come.

I am looking forward to meeting more and more alumni and members of the YIP network. Please feel free to reach out over email ( if you are interested in connecting over a call or cup of tea/coffee. I met a few people at the YIP 10 Years Gathering and would love to know more of you.

Until next time!

Pictures by: Ilias De Quidt, Christianne Sinoo and Reinoud Meijer