Community & Collaboration

Dear Friends of YIP,

I hope this newsletter finds you well.

Here in Sweden we were gifted with the most beautiful sunshine throughout the last weeks. Now, here and there you can see the first spring flowers heading towards the sun. Birds are chirping in the apple trees and if you look closely you can see the first tiny buds showing signs of Spring.

Shifting focus towards more attention on making and doing to address complex challenges was the theme of the last ten weeks. A time with a lot of excitement and joy for the opportunity to host an in-person event in Ytterjärna in the beginning of March. YIP 14 lived and breathed Community and Collaboration as they worked hard to manifest their idea of The Lighthouse Festival.

What does it mean to live, learn and create collaborativley and in community? How do we work together collectively and in smaller teams? How do we find our individual roles that serve the collective intention? How do we encourage everbody to bring their individual and diverse qualities in the process and be empowerd by the group? What can be created when we work collectivly with a shared vision?

by Pauline Wenzel 

In this newsletter you will find:

• Project Skills II by Rike Altmann

• Slava Theatre by Emma Wulterkens

• The Art of Hosting by Matara Scott

• Prep Week Initative Festival by Anika Jensen

• Learning Placements by Tazin Akter

• ‘Food for the Soul: An Intercontinental Cookbook.’ by YIP14 

• YIP15 Applications and Live Chat

Photo by Pauline Wenzel

Project Skills II

I wrote this text five days before the festival. Our week with Brenno was 14 days ago, but when I look at everything we achieved since then, everything that came to life in this time, I just can’t believe that just two weeks have passed. The time with Brenno was sort of the beginning of the final festival planning and preparation. He started the week by sharing his way and some of his incredible projects with us. I felt so inspired by his personal story and the way he looked back at it, that I just wanted to start immediately with my own projects and dreams.

But that is not what the week was about. From Tuesday on, we started with a method called MESA. To be honest, no one really liked it in the beginning. We all had a huge list of things that needed to be done, so we just wanted to start working, and to actually make things happen. But the next two and a half days, we were spending a lot of time talking, planning, sitting at the table and having long and tense conversations, while Brenno repeated over and over again that we should trust the process. I think we all got very frustrated at some point,, apart from Julia and Matara, who were the two guardians of the MESA working late into the evenings to design the mission with Brenno.

But then the day finallty came, when we started to work practically on our mission. Our goal was to create the prototype of the opening ceremony of our festival. We started to appreciate the tiring discussions and long conversations that we had in the days before. Out of this process, we came into strong teams with clear roles and divided tasks, and had the best basis to bring the first version of the opening ceremony to life. We sent out invitations, collected candles and jars, made torches, created stories and performances and one day later, on Friday at 11 am, we presented to our very small, but nice audience, the prototype of the opening ceremony. What a week!

by Rike Altmann

Photo by Janne Bierens
Photo by Janne Bierens
Photo by Janne Bierens

Slava Theatre

In between all the festival preparations and practicalities, which at that point was like a storm that brought a lot of new ideas and new frustrations, we had a week of Slava theater. I had my own ideas about what theater is. Slava was something completely different. I remember thinking on the first day that I would be trained to go to war and on the second day it felt like I was joining a cult. There was a lot of running and falling and stopping and breathing. We ran outside, as one group, for one and a half hours… While singing! I never thought I could run that long, but having the support of the group and the powerful song helped me, I think. We practiced carrying people from the ground up into the sky. Some things we did felt more like circus than theater but… On friday everything we learned, the falling, the dancing, the running as a group, carrying people, and the dancing, came together in a theater improvisation. This is when I could finally find out what all the sore muscles were for and it was beautiful! I’ve done theater all my life and I have never made a play in this way. It was super nice to move a little during all the festival stuff (that is still going on as I am writing this), our hosts were just the best, my definition of theater definitely grew this week and it was so cool to feel the trust of the group and something tangible.

by Emma Wulterkens

Photo by Janne Bierens

The Art of Hosting

Last Monday, the Art of Hosting team joined YIP14 for the second time in the curriculum. After a weekend of preparations with the various initiative festival teams, the AoH contributors held the intention of guiding us into the next stage of planning our upcoming ‘Lighthouse Festival.’ With the help of the experienced AoH facilitators, we were able to complete a relatively smooth transition from the abstract to the concrete in terms of the plan for our event. The week helped us step into the world of hosting, remembering the 4fold elements: being hosted, hosting myself, hosting others and being part of a team.

With a sense of anticipation, the YIP group began the week by gathering on the top floor of the Hive to participate in a world café event. We touched again on our reasoning behind organizing the festival, and what inspires us to co-create an event. We noticed that it is important for the participants to appreciate their own individual gifts and how they can contribute to the positive collective energy of a group, whilst also demonstrating this within our own teams. We co-wrote a short poem to remember these discussions, which included the line: ‘if everyone did what they really loved, then even petrol stations can become beautiful, colorful and funny places.’ I think this encapsulates the potential of the collective and our capacity to implement social change.

A few key moments stood out in the week. One being that the Art of Hosting team facilitated a shift in teams, as a chance for people to switch which core team they were part of for the final couple of weeks before the festival. Also during the week, the Pro-Con (Programme and Contributors) team, in collaboration with the Arts and Culture team, presented a finalized programme for the event, with particular attention to the flow of the days. The yippies were reminded of this flow, which proceeds as follows: Day 1 ‘Arrival’, Day 2 ‘Narratives and Storytelling’, Day 3 ‘Being Human – What is my Potential?, Day 4 ‘Action – Collaboration – Inspiration’ and Day 5 ‘Farewell.’ The Golden Eagle team (those who hold the overview) also took the yippies on a process of identifying stress reactions, in an attempt to understand ourselves and each other better as the planning becomes more intense.

Finally, the yippies had the chance to sign up to play a role in the lectures and workshops, either as host or harvester. Following this, we were coached for these roles by the AoH team. It is my observation that the initiative festival, as a core part of the curriculum at YIP, is giving the yippies the chance to do something real. As we put all that we are learning about hosting into practice, an actual event emerges, one that will start very soon and inevitably be a memorable part of our YIP experience.

by Matara Scott

Photo by Janne Bierens

Initiative Festival Preparation Week

This week was a whirl and dizziness of things to do, places to be, and souls to light! And in the frenzy of it all, the 35 of us threw ourselves into preparing our house, campus, workspaces, and the wonderful vidarkliniken building into a space for our festival!

Hosted by our Golden Eagle team, this week was planned out to follow a general schedule of check-ins in the morning, announcements and an overview of the day before going with our teams to prepare for the festival.

Although there was definitely stress in the air, I also felt a curious sense of being streamlined compared to the previous week, and a sense of newfound clarity in my role as a part of the Harvest team. And to that, as we all signed up to host sessions, contributors or cleaning slots we also had the opportunity to settle into our roles and prepare mentally for the manifestation ahead.

The weekend was also fraught with tasks to be completed, and on Sunday/Monday we began to receive our first participants!

In general, there was a lot of hard work being done and satisfaction in completing small tasks, even though the festival itself was still to come. 

by Anika Jensen

Photo by Pauline Wenzel

Learning Placements

Hello everyone!

Thanks to all of your generous donations, we have managed to reach our fundraising goal of 7,500 euros! Without you all, this definitely would not have been possible. 

As of this week, our whole group have taken off and are now exploring and learning from all the wonderful placements. We will gather back in Järna in week 16 and will be presenting our experiences from the Learning Placements. You are all invited! Please keep an eye on YIP’s facebook page for the details. 

We look forward to sharing our experiences and learnings with you all. 

Thank you once again. We are so grateful for your help in making our visions for a better world possible!

Burn bright!

– YIP14

Photo by Matara Scott

Food for the Soul: An Intercontinental Cookbook

As part of the fundraising efforts for our learning placements, Tessa and I collected over 70 recipes from all of the yippies to create ‘Food for the Soul: An Intercontinental Cookbook.’ The diversity of our group was reflected in the diversity of recipes, from ‘Yoh’s Sushi Party’ to ‘Simon’s Porridge for Friends’, ‘Shirin’s Iranian Yogurt Dip’ to ‘Ella’s Spinach and Pistachio Frittata.’ The cookbook became more than we could have imagined as the individual contributions of the participants collectively created something colorful, beautiful and varied.

The intention behind making this e-recipe book was not only to contribute towards our travel all across the world, but also to memorialize all of the beautiful food that we share at YIP. It feels like such a blessing to have the chance to live with people from 16 different countries and therefore have the ability to experience authentic diverse food, and why not share a part of this joy with the friends and supporters of YIP. The process also allowed us to reminisce on the favorite meals from our lives: dinner from our grandparent’s kitchen table, food that nourished us as children or meals connected to a specific place.

Eating is a sacred act that not only connects us to each other but also to the land that sustains us without question. We hope that ‘Food for the Soul’ can connect you to us and will give you a taste of the diversity of YIP14.

by Matara Scott

Photo by Iren Barnum

As YIP14 set off on their Learning Placements, we on the Organising Team will also be going on a journey of sorts. We will travel back in time to review the past six months of YIP14. Taking in the feedback from the participants we will reflect on each course week and the different elements of the curriculum. 

We will then travel into the future to dream up the curriculum for YIP15. What are the current global challenges that we face? What are the questions alive in the youth of today? What are the capacities and skills needed to take initiative in such times? 

We look forward to sharing the new curriculum with you! 

Application Update 

The first round of applications for YIP15 have now closed. Many interviews, different time zones and stories of hopes, fears and dreams. The cohort of YIP15 is starting to take shape! 

The next deadline for applications is June 15th. Having said this, we will be accepting participants on a rolling basis, so we encourage you to apply as soon as possible if you would like to secure your spot in YIP15. 

We look forward to hearing from you! 

Please feel free to reach out to if you have any questions about YIP or the application process. 

We will also be holding a LIVE ONLINE CHAT and Q&A on April 23rd at 20:30 CET. If you would like the Zoom link please email

Love from the OTeam