Spark to Flame

Dear Friends of YIP,

The Yippies have flown off to their internships and here in Ytterjärna the skylark and crane have returned. The sun is getting warmer and warmer, the days longer and the last layer of snow has yet again melted. In short, spring is around the corner!

During the last month the Yippies worked very hard to create the Spark to Flame Forum. Intensive coaching sessions, nightly work cafes and master run sheets. Organizing the Forum was full on! After a well-deserved break, the Yippies have now all left for their internships. From Chicago to Caïro and from Dehradun to Kathmandu. Bringing the sparks from their Forum into the world. In the next newsletter the Yippies will share some of their internship experiences at the different host organizations.

In this newsletter, Irene shares her experience about the Self-Designed Curriculum Kickstart, the last week before all noses turned towards the Forum. David writes about the Art of Hosting in relation to the preparation for the Forum. Soma walks you through the creation of the Forum, from the first stages until manifestation. Finally, Noam reflects on the actual event, providing you with a concise summary. We also share with you the aftermovie of Spark to Flame.

May it inspire you!



In this newsletter you will find: 

– Self-Designed Curriculum Kickstart written by Irene Fernandez Arriolabengoa

– The Art of Hosting II written by David Adámek

– The Origin of Spark to Flame written by Soma Baker

– Looking back at Spark to Flame written by Noam Marei Hitsch

– Aftermovie Spark to Flame

Self-Designed Curriculum Kickstart

This week was a very nice and relaxed week for me. There was time to do other things, to disconnect from the normal routine and connect with other things. Time to work on our Personal Initiatives, on the Initiative Forum and also to take action and host different activities for other Yippies. Since it was self-designed, the Yippies organized different activities and whoever wanted to join was welcome to do so. Here at Yip every week is full of activities and things to do, and somehow this week felt a bit different. There was also a lot going on, but it was coming from us, from the Yippies, and it felt refreshing. I took some time to rest, worked on my Personal Initiative and I hosted a photography class along with another Yippie. We enjoyed it a lot. We all explored our different ideas for pictures, and helped each other understand how to use a camera, talking about light and shutter speed… It was a week of break and connecting more to each other.

by Irene Fernandez Arriolabengoa

Photos by Irene Fernandez Arriolabengoa

The Art of Hosting II

– with Isabel Chender, Mansi Jasuja, Stephanie Blake and Helle Solvang –
Photo by Dowon Kim

Exactly thirteen days before our Initiative Forum, we had the pleasure of welcoming back our Art of Hosting friends after having a week with them in October already. This time they came to help us prepare for our Spark to Flame Initiative Forum. Mansi, Helle, Isabel and Steph helped us to go with ease and certainty into our Prep Week for our IF. Different from the first Art of Hosting Week in October, we had more personal sessions, where they coached the day hosts for example, to give them more clarity on what their jobs during IF would be like. Since being in the Moms Group (the Overview Team of The IF), we had the task of designing the week after AoH, the so-called IF Prep Week and Isabel gave us a lot of insightful tips. She joined our meeting to help us to come together as a team and to plan the following week. The AoH team helped us out in different ways, but the one that I’m personally the most grateful for was the Google Drive. Since we had eleven different groups working on the IF we had to find a way to let the others know what we were working on, and the easiest way to do that was via Google Drive. The only problem was that the Drive was a complete mess.. So, I sat down with Isabel, and she helped me figure out the best way to redesign it. One afternoon later we had a usable Google Drive, that we annoyed people long enough with, until they used it.

Thanks to the help of our AoH fiends, we were able to create a great Prep Week and an even greater Initiative Forum. We are very grateful for Mansi, Helle, Isabel and Steph, who, in their funny and laid-back way, led us more confidently into our Initiative Forum.

by David Adámek

The Origin of Spark to Flame

Photo by Nicole Asis

Since the conception of our Spark to Flame forum, us Yippies have been talking about the importance of connection in our lives. After being prompted to think about what theme felt most alive to us at the beginning of our year, we found that generally speaking the thread tying all of our topics together was connection. Whether it was in the realm of our interpersonal relationships, how society at large and technology today leaves us feeling separate from our commonness that we share, or a look at how we view the natural world around us lacking the ability to listen to and work along side nature towards a healthy growing planetary body. This overarching theme posed to hold all of our inspirations and concerns about the world today. We followed this process further until we soon came up with the three topics within connection (Self, Others and Nature) eventually fitting them to three core days at the future forum. Then we brainstormed collectively through a few “YIP” methods to harness what is alive in the group and at last came to the title: Spark to Flame – reigniting the connection with ourselves, others and nature. We continued to hold group meetings at least once a month to dive into our forum and then we split into many small groups to begin our collective work towards the manifestation of Spark to Flame in March 2023. Our workload grew as the days became shorter, and the many pieces of our puzzle began to fall into place after the new year, reigniting our own connection to the forum and inspiring further enthusiasm in the collective.

With a month to go, we were joined by Brenno Kaschner Russo a former Yip alum and together created a Spark to Flame prototype event to assist in our marketing of the event and to increase our ticket sales, through something called the Mesa method, furthering our own capacity to work together towards our collective goal, splitting up again into more groups. As we neared the launch of our forum, we had a final week of intensive preparation with a small team from the art of hosting who helped facilitate our sign ups for the hosting of each space at the event, ranging from the Opening ceremony to hosting individual contributors, along with rehearsals. With this step complete, we came to the doorstep of our Spark to Flame forum ready to take the first step together into our collective creation.

by Soma Baker

Looking back on Spark to Flame

Photo by Dowon Kim

The sun was on our side during this Spark to Flame Forum. After a dark Swedish winter we finally had wonderful sunshine as the first participant arrived. During the night, next to crystal clear stars, we saw first some shimmering green which became stronger and stronger. We almost didn’t trust our own eyes: Northern Lights! What a blessing. The days started early and the sun stayed with us throughout the whole forum. Some went for morning runs and some even dipped into the icy fjord. We listened to Jannis Keuerleber. He talked about the moment when we are truly able to see the other and listen to them. Who else is present during these moments? Perhaps everyone and everything that made it possible for us to meet. Present in this moment of pure creativity are all the futures made possible by this encounter. Some other highlights were the roasted carrots with tahini that we had for lunch, folk-dancing and singing, the various workshops, and an open mic evening where everyone could step up and share their talents with the audience. Ursula Flatters spoke on the topic of connection to self. Could it be that if we said “yes” more often and tried to take down our boundaries we would find a deeper connection to ourselves? She spoke about the “silent I” that talks to us in quiet moments where we are free from any outer influences and identities. She illustrated how connection to others, self and nature are not able to be separated. Because of this, she showed how devotion and humility can help us participate in nature. This is what moved me when I heard Lien de Costers lecture the following day about the connection to nature. Her lecture was pure love and devotion towards nature. I was reminded of what our ancestors knew: they turned to nature when they had to pass a threshold in life. The process of becoming an adult requires courage and solitude which can be found in nature. I gained many sparks for further thoughts during the forum. As I perceive nature, does nature also perceive me? How can I participate in this world to bring more moments of transparency, moments where two “I”s can really meet? Can I commit to making space in which I can listen to my “silent I”? May each of our sparks carry forward, and one day meet again.

by Noam Marei Hitsch

Spark to Flame Aftermovie


The applications for the 16th edition of YIP (2023-2024) are open! It is very exciting to see your applications coming in.

Our next LIVE CHAT is scheduled for Tuesday 11th April 10:00 CET. If you would like to hear more about the program from an Organising Team member and ask your questions, com along!

If you have any questions or would like the Zoom Link for the LIVE CHAT, please email

We look forward to receiving your applications!


YIP Organising Team

In the Next Newsletter you will find:

Internship experiences

  • Navdanya, India
  • Elderberries, US
  • Stensunds Folkhögskola, Sweden
  • Hebet El Nile, Egypt
  • Satang Diabang, Senegal
  • Kufunda, Zimbabwe
  • TAM, Bulgaria
  • MOVI, Lithuania
  • Sustainability Institute, South-Africa
  • Holy Green Agro Farm, Nepal
Photo by Annie Meijer