Welcoming the New Year News from YIP – January 2021

Tree in the Snow

Dear friends of YIP,  

We hope you had a peaceful transition into the new year. It is with great pleasure that we share our first newsletter of 2021.

Here in Ytterjärna, snow covers the fields, icicles adorn the rooflines and the fjord has become a tempting playground.   As the cold of winter brings nature to stillness, the Yippies colour the environment with their activity. Life in the Hive is busy! The Community and Collaboration block of the curriculum is well underway, and the Yippies are learning through doing. They have come together as a collective to co-create their Initiative Forum, they are preparing for their Learning Placements in their smaller respective groups and they are supporting each other with their Personal Initiatives.  

In this newsletter you will find:

• Arriving after the Christmas Break written by Aaron Johannes Scholz
• Placemaking written by Michael Chiunda
• Project Skills Week 1 written by Lilith Wūller
• Project Skills Week 2 written by Samuel Hernandez
• Initiative Forum Update written by Pauline Wenzel
• Learning Placement Update written by Christopher Becker
• YIP 14 Update Applications are now open! 

With that being said, 2021, we welcome you with open arms!

Written by Ami Cochrane

group picture of yip 13

Arriving after Christmas Break

Dear Yip Community,  

“To live from pure trust, without any assurance of existence, from trust in theever-present help of the spiritual world” – Rudolf Steiner 

I would like to welcome you warmly in the new year 2021 and give you an insight into the first days after the Christmas holidays. On December 18th, 2020 the Yip year ended with the final heartwarming storytelling evening and in the following days some of us Yippies returned to our homeland by car, train or plane to celebrate Christmas with the family. 

Some Yippies went to Canada, UK and Germany, among others. But also some of us stayed in Ytterjärna and celebrated Christmas together with a Christmas tree and delicious food. The turn of the year followed and 2 ½ weeks of vacation ended on Thursday evening, January 7th, 2021. This day was the desired day to be back and come together again on this “island”, where Corona is only noticeable to a limited extent because of living on the countryside. There was a delicious dinner where we got to know the two new members of the Organization Team Janne and Ami, who will carry on the work that Adela was doing before she left at the end of the year 2020. New positive energy from two Yip 12 participants, whom we as Yip 13 welcomed warmly and with joy.

At this point, thank you very much Adela for everything you did for us. Your engagement and energy were nice to experience. We will miss you and wish you as Yip13 all the best on your life way.

On Friday the second half of the Yip 13 journey started with a community meeting, including a foresight on the coming weeks. The meeting was followed by two 1½ hour Initiative Forum Sessions. Subject: What’s the purpose of this forum? and will the Initiative Forum be able to take place online or somehow offline here in Järna due Corona Virus? The next big goal is to prepare for the Initiative Forum at the beginning of March which will be online. The last nice item on the program of this Friday were the Check-In meetings. Janne will now lead the 3rd check-in group. It was nice to be able to share the experiences of the 12 holy nights and the days around the turn of the year in this safe space. It was followed by a relaxing weekend before the new topic “Place Making” started on Monday, January 11th.

But back again: the time around the turn of the year offered us the opportunity to look back on 2020, which will go down as a difficult year in history. Covid came and stayed and it will probably never be the same again. This Virus has changed our everyday life and pushed issues such as climate change into the background. We had to redesign our everyday life, had to adapt to the changes and were given the opportunity to think about how we live and how each individual behavior contributes to a world that is facing another challenge with the new Virus. This Virus is an attack on love and there is a risk that relationships will negatively change through distance. Humanity is facing the biggest problem nowadays: The Climate Change. We have to learn to become more conscious, to reflect our behavior more ourselves, to be more grateful for what we have.  

Let’s dedicate ourselves to the problems in the world in order to look for solutions and implement them in order to preserve the most important thing that we have: this planet with all its diversity. 

“Because the real cause of climate change and the rampant destruction of life is ournormal everyday life” – Maja Göpel 

“Everyone wants love, peace, overcoming poverty and a beautiful and safe environmentso why don’t we just do it? What is holding us back as society?” – Maja Göpel 

In this sense: Are you listening to the problems of the world? Act and change now! 

Written by Aaron Johannes Scholz

Personal Initiative

with Kiara Nagel & Esmée Begemann

The day before today

While the glorious sun stood still behind the veil of the nimbostratus


Uncharming and timid

Snowflakes: elegantly raided the greywhite skyline

Perching effortlessly on green Christmas trees

Nestling on the pale ground

And as I paced to the Hive almost late

I stuck out my tongue

And as it melted away it didn’t make a sound

The day before today began with a song

A song of hope and enchantment

And a circle of some general morning announcements

The day before today

We broke away into glistering smaller constellations spread across the Hive galaxy

Each constellation holding in perfect balance the weight of light and darkness

Light and darkness pulling and pushing through word and action

By sharing a little piece of self

And by sharing time and space to listen

To the quiet

To the silent voices

Because silence is not synonymous with emptiness

The day before today

We spoke about our past

Like history

Like a faint disjointed memory we recall in parts

A collapsed iconic moment we sometimes pick apart

In the rubble

To find the Matter and the Margin

And the marginalized capsules that shot us down like an assassin

Like a pinky promise turned blue

Like for some how it all began when we were younger

In high school

Which draws the question

If it all began when we were young the discrimination

In institutions or spaces that are meant to protect and educate us

If their sole purpose is to show us we are different to alienate us

Then it feels like learning about power privilege and oppression is doing both

Us and them a favour

The day before today

Was a reminder

That sometimes good people with good intentions may not necessarily make good choices

That being a minority and having to explain yourself can sometimes be exhausting

That even when you have done the education as an ally, a textbook opinion does not outweigh a lived experience

The day before today was a reminder

That we did not choose this skin

Or the land we were raised

But I hope we do choose equality over ignorance

That we choose to listen

To others to ourselves

In my experience everyone loves a good story

Written by Michael Chiunda

Project Skills

Project Skills Week 1
with Maira Rahme

Week 1 of Project Skills was hosted by Maira – a project and art of hosting genius as well as YIP alumni and humorous passionate story teller.

The first thing that comes to my mind when I think about this week is something Maira said on the first day: “You can do this.“ Yes we are complex beings in a complex world and we can do this. This was a key message in all of Maira’s practical advise, knowledge, experience and guidance – the possibility that everything we imagine can come true.

What we focused on this week was the Initiative Forum which we continued working on even more intensely in the second week of Project Skills. We learned to re-energize our purpose – the highest collective aspiration of any group. We revisited the need we see in the world, and what we want to meet in the forum. We found the sweet spot where these overlap and open a window into a more beautiful world. Talking about our vision we also talked about limiting beliefs we have, and reframed failure – “Who am I to do something?” and, “What if…”

We spent a lot of time in the different teams we are in, defined our strengths weaknesses opportunities and threats, and set principles for our work and time together.

“If this team should live up to its fullest potential – what do you dream possible for initiative forum 2021?“ (Maira always sprinkled in interesting questions to reflect on!)

There were a bunch of triangles squares and circles as well to explain the human element in every project and how to move forward with which method. One sentence really stuck with me in that session: “You can have as much influence in the system as much as you are ready to take responsibility.“ And the realm of responsibility is definitely something we are exploring right now (sometimes painfully).

Structure and economy is something I will not go deeper here because money and time is not interesting enough to get attention in this newsletter 😉

On a second layer we all thought about our personal initiatives that are constantly evolving, changing, forming, setting and changing again.

A cheer for the collaboration block! And a huge thank you to Maira <3

Written by Lilith Wüller

Project Skills
Morgan and Sam opening the Initiative Forum Showcase

Project Skills Week 2
with Brenno Russo

Project skills Dos (2) was a fun week that challenged the group in multiple ways. It gave us the opportunity to look into the weaknesses in the group and offered a space in which we could work through these difficulties and find ways to strengthen the group.

On the first day, our Instructor Brenno opened up the space by introducing himself, his work and MESA (I will speak more about as I go along). Then he offered us the space for us to share about ourselves. It was a beautiful introduction to our rollercoaster of the week to come.

On Day 2, we where surprised to get to class and see that there was a really long table in the center of the room. Brenno explained that when we work with MESA (which translates in Portuguese to Table) the space is held around the table. He further explained that in many cultures the table is where learning happens, where people come up with ideas, jokes or just get to know each other better and that we will be using the table to solve problems and discuss how we could create a small 1 hour festival focusing on the achievements we accomplish this week. We wanted to give our guests an idea of what our online Initiative Forum will look like and that we are ready to start sharing with the world our vision for this year. On this day, we created our mission for the week and we were given the opportunity to meet Barbara who founded MESA. She gave us a brief history of MESA and showed us practical ways in which this tool has worked to help many companies achieve big goals in a short period of time.

Day 3 was about making important decisions. We worked in the teams that needed the most support, we set goals for the teams and strategized how we could meet our goals for the week.

Day 4 we got active. We met with our teams and worked on what we were planning to present on  Friday to our guests. We worked really hard this day and spent all of the evening developing the program for Friday. It was beautiful to see everyone in the common room working together to present a beautiful mini version of the Initiative Forum.

Day 5 Friday was exciting! We presented our achievements of the week. I believe we had a standing ovation but we aren’t sure since all our guests were on zoom. If you weren’t there, well you missed out, but its OK. You can join us for our 2021 YIP13 Initiative Forum.

Our tickets are on sale now!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Written by Samuel Hernandez

Learning Placement

Learning Placements Update

To start with, a big THANK YOU to those who supported our crowdfunding action! With your help, we have managed to raise around 1200€.

Our vision as YIP13 is to create a more connected and compassionate future and we believe that together with you, we can co-create an ever-growing community with an important and necessary impact. To get a better feeling and understanding of who we are and what we are looking for, we made a video of our vision. Click here to view. 

Since we have not yet reached our goal, we again ask for your support. A donation of any kind and/or sharing of our crowdfunding page to your network would be very much appreciated. For different donation ranges we thought of original ways to thank you. Click here to check them out. 

Regarding the Covid reality, we are facing an interesting challenge with the learning placements aka internships. How do we deal with the current situation? The restrictions? And is it responsible and reasonable to travel? These are some questions alive in our community. Unfortunately complex situations cannot be solved with yes/no answers (at least not at YIP), this is why we are in close contact with our host organizations to find tailored solutions for every learning placement group. It is an interesting process to be in, and it is well held by the OTs. We will keep you updated.

Written by Christopher Becker

Are you listening?

Greetings from YIP 13!

While this wasn’t exactly what we first envisioned, moving online means that this forum will be more accessible than perhaps ever before. The program will be designed to accommodate people from different time zones all over the globe, and we look forward to transcending restrictions and limitations by joining together in community with folks for whom travelling is not an option.

In addition to interactive workshops, lectures, open spaces, performances & more, there will be plenty of space within the program for fostering connection and conversation. At the Initiative Forum, we hope you will laugh a lot (wait till you see what our arts & culture team is cooking up!), listen deeply, be truly heard, and experience the power of community, which no distance can dull. We can’t wait to meet you!

For tickets click here!

To stay updated follow us on Facebook or Instagram

Apply Now!

YIP 14 Update: Applications are open!

Warm greetings from the YIP organising team,

We are excited to announce that the applications for YIP14 are now open!

The current restrictions on travel and gatherings present a change we will all need to navigate to the best of our abilities. The ever-changing nature of the rules and situation and the difference between countries, requires that all involved stay open and adaptive to changes.

Constant change is part of the YIP ‘DNA’, but to the extent now required, is more than we are used to.

Every year, whilst the participants are on their International Learning Placement, the YIP team takes the program back to the drawing board to design the next years curriculum. Each year has always been different than the one before and offered a unique experience. The core of our effort is to offer a space for deep exploration of what it means to be authentically yourself and in service of the collective.

We acknowledge the reality of the current situation around the COVID-19 pandemic and will not turn a blind eye to it, but we still choose to design for the future and education we wish to see and be part of. We are tweaking the designing process of the curriculum in order to be able to keep offering an in-person, multi-dimensional educational experience.

So keep an open mind and heart for changes and adaptations, share the word and get excited about what YIP14 will have to offer! 

Click here to apply!

Looking forward

In the next Newsletter you can expect:

• Encountering the World, Learning Placement Update

• Physical Theatre 

• Art of Hosting 

• Initiative Forum