News from YIP: December 2023

Wrapping up the Inner Awareness Block

Photo by Yander Fabri

Dear friends of YIP,

We hope this newsletter finds you well.

Over the last few weeks, the daylight decreased to a minimum, but luckily, the snow brought brightness, joy and amazement amongst us and gave us the energy to continue our learning and work.

As we closed the first term with the Storytelling Feast and a communal Christmas dinner, the snow started melting to give the earth the chance to catch a little bit of daylight. In this little bit of daylight, the Yippies started their well-deserved Winter break. Some of the Yippies went home to be reunited with their families and friends, and a few stayed on campus and enjoyed the beauty and coziness of the Swedish weather.

While nature was progressing through Winter, the Yippies found themselves finishing their preparations for the Light Festival and bringing light to the local community here in Ytterjärna. During the event, the cold weather caused both beauty and challenges. After the event, YIP16 reflected on their experiences and learnings throughout the whole process, and during the Personal Initiative Kick-start week, they looked ahead to what it is they can and want to bring into being during their self-designed curriculum in spring. During the last course of the Inner Awareness block, the Yippies explored the Art of Storytelling and experienced how powerful it can be to work with and share a story publicly.

Written by Yander Fabri

In this newsletter you will find: 
– Light Festival Prep Week written by Zuri Joseph de Gòes

– Reflection of the Light Festival written by Lies Vanderbauwhede

– Personal Initiative and Self Designed Curriculum Kickstart written by Amy Fowler
– The Art of Storytelling written by Lewis Macmaster

– YIP16 Internship Video by YIP16

– YIP-Alumni Project written by Matara Scott (YIP14)


– with YIP16 and OTs –

Photo by Yander Fabri

In preparation for the light festival held on December 3rd, Yippies faced a lot of challenges, but we also learned a lot. The courses we had leading up to the light festival helped us with organizing different groups to take care of separate aspects: a food team, cultural program team, place/space team, marketing team and finally a communication facilitation team. 

The latter is who was tasked with organizing our last week before the festival. In the mornings, we had group meetings and an opportunity to get an overview of the whole project. During the day, we were given time to work with our respective teams on getting stuff done – “geshido” as Nil taught us a few weeks prior. To aid in that, we had an interactive group calendar that we could place sticky notes on with tasks which still needed completing. This visually showed what group the task belonged to, and when it was finished it could be moved to another part of the calendar so we were able to admire all of the things we had done already.

Planning an event that would take place in below zero weather brought up a lot of things that we previously hadn’t thought about. What would happen to the candles if it started snowing? Would the yippies stationed outside be okay all night? What about the floaters? For the next round of yippies that do this, consider not limiting yourself to one group. It might have been nice to have new minds working on the problem, and to get a little break from your task for a bit. In my humble opinion, the light festival prep week was a huge success. I think it really set us up to do well for the actual event, and established methods of communication between groups that were healthy and productive.

Written by Zuri Joseph de Gòes

Photo by Lies Vanderbauwhede


– with YIP16 –

Photo by Tsu-En Chiang

I am surrounded by lights

On the ground 

I lay

Look at the stars above me

Shining bright all the time

No need for someone to light them up with a blue torch that smells like crazy

I wake up

Look around me

And see

A crescent moon 

Of lights

And a shooting star above my head

During the light festival I wrote these few words. 

Now during the winter break I discovered this text in the book ‘New Eyes For Plants’ which I am borrowing from the place where they collect seeds in Norrbyvalle. 

‘Snow crystals sparkling in the light look like stars shining from within the earth.

Even the snowflakes looked like falling stars when they fell in the countless six-membered variations, glistening in the darkness.’ 

It reminded me of that white bright night where we all together created something sparkling in the darkness of winter.

Written by Lies Vanderbauwhede

Photo by Il-Whan Kwon


– with OTs and Orland Bishop –

Photo by Yander Fabri

During this week – being post Light Festival, we only had two days to focus on the topic; our Personal Initiative Project.

On Wednesday morning, Reinoud gave an introduction to YIP’s middle name; Initiative. And how we will be creating our own personal initiative and presenting it at the end of May next year. Afterwards, Naomi guided us through a practice called “Wayfinder Mandala” created by The Open Masters. It helped us connect with four parts of ourselves; head, heart, hands & kin; and the present, the future and what we wish to let go of within these parts. 

We were also given a page of our YIP applications – My Impulse – and we reflected on this, seeing if we still had the same passions and impulses.

On Wednesday afternoon, we got the chance to meet with three YIP alumni on Zoom and they spoke about their Personal Initiative Project and their experiences with it. It was so interesting and useful to me to hear this from them so I could feel more clarity around the idea.

On Thursday, we were given the choice of two separate activities to do before and after fika in the morning. These activities were to shine a light on our question and personal project or interests if we didn’t have any ideas yet. The five options were Biography around your question – working with clay, The Flow game, the question game, one on one interviews, and solo time; given the prompt of going on a walk. I chose the interview and solo time. With the interview, it was so eye opening to discuss my passions and be asked clarity-bringing questions and vice versa. Then on my beautiful walk through the snowy forest and along the frozen fjord, I had many revelations and felt a burst of energy towards my personal initiative.

In the evenings, we got to have lectures via the huge TV screen on Zoom with the social activist, Orland Bishop. He brought more insight on initiative, and we got to hear from and chat with him about many amazing, impactful things.

I’m excited to explore this more in the months that follow. 

Written by Amy Fowler

Photo by Yander Fabri


– with Louise Larock, Jappe Delva, Jacob Slaatto –

Photo by Yander Fabri

Three tall strangers walked into The Hive.

They came like three great friends, laughing and smiling, though some had only just met each other. Little did we know we would soon all be the same.

The Yippies’ ears were pricked, intellectually ready, though their tails flopped as they had just completed their first major group initiative (the Light Festival) and were a bit exhausted.

Unperturbed by the Yippies’ tiredness, the storytellers forged on, bringing far-off lands and wild characters into the room. Mythical goddesses oozed flames, and we waited with bated breath as La Huasera, the bone woman, creaked past us on her way to collect a poor mortal’s last remains…

The Yippies traveled far and wide on the wings of these storytellers’ tales, and with ease, while playing games and chanting about tofu, these magical storytellers imparted their knowledge.

First, Yippies told little stories, then a longer one, then a bit longer. Our contributors guided us gently from listening to magic stories to being the tellers of them.

The classes were so fun and imaginative, yet woven in amongst them were key story-telling techniques and coaching, so by the time our last day came… We were ready…

The Organizing Team set up a beautiful banquet in the White House, guests arrived from the local community, creating a small crowd; and the fire was lit.

In trios, the Yippies told stories they had worked on during the week. Magic intertwined with real life, and the fire rose up in its hearth as the goddess Mahuika entered. The door behind the tellers creaked as we traveled from the ocean to an igloo with the Skeleton Woman, and the little audience laughed, cried (me), and cheered, showing so much love and support for the Yippies.

Then we feasted and toasted the end of the year and Annie, for it was her birthday. 

Thank you to our amazing contributors, Jacob, Louise and Jappe.

Written by Lewis Macmaster

Photo by Yander Fabri


After the Global realities block, YIP16 will depart on internships.

The yippies are preparing themselves with their little internshipgroups to look up the budget, to set intentions, to set up care structures, harvest methods…
They will experience a network, enterprise or organization that has positive social, political or environmental change at its core and will develop interest and wonder in the diversity of human capacity whilst maintaining a personal intention.

The yippies will travel in total to 6 different initiatives spread over the world. In the video shares a yippie from each internship place about their choice.

YIP16 is also fundraising money for their interships. To support them, you can donate money on their GoFundMe page.


It is lovely to see applications coming in and to read who the people are that might become a part of YIP17. Full curiosity and enthusiasm we are waiting for more people to apply that want to make a big shift in their lives and that are interested to learn more about themselves, community life and the world.

Don’t wait to apply, because the first deadline is on the 15th of March 2024.

If you’re curious to see what it is to be part of the YIP-program, come and join us for this years open courses:

  • Governance, Law and Power: Jan 8th – Jan 12th 2024
  • Economics: Jan 15th – Jan 19th 2024
  • Being Human in a Technological Age: Jan 29th – Feb 2nd 2024
  • Biodiversity, Food Sovereignty and Regeneration: Feb 12th – Feb 16th 2024

YIP-Alumni Project: Llwynbedw

YIP is a social entrepreneurship program, and each year the alumni network expands and a lot of projects are worked on. We are curious to see what these projects are that YIP alumni are working on, so we decided to include each month an article written by an alumnus in which they can explain their work and experience.
 This month we hear from Matara (YIP14 alumni) about Llwynbedw:
For many years, my friends and I have dreamt of buying a patch of land somewhere in the Welsh countryside, with visions of beautiful woodland, green fields, communal camp fires and living close to nature. I look out of the window of my tiny house on wheels to see a bullfinch hopping around in the hedge and I realise in the last six months, this dream has somewhat become my reality. To paint a picture: the land is made up mostly of sheep-grazing fields, with sections of woodland, a river and a few buildings (mostly derelict). A ridiculously wet winter has reawakened a dried-up stream, which leads to a larger river at the boundary of our 33-acre plot. The farm has been left to wild nature the last few years, meaning that we have a LOT of work to do to create a space which holds both us and the land that we have stewardship over. The vision includes extending the woodland area, to increase habitat space for all tree-dwelling creatures, as well as growing herbs and vegetables in a permaculture-inspired garden, planting an edible forest of fruit and nut trees, growing wildflower meadows to support biodiversity, building functional dwellings for us to live and to have the facilities in place to be able to host workshops and events for our wider community. This is the dream, but reality also pushes its way in. Reality includes: exploring drainage options – south-facing land is beautiful in the summer, but in the winter means we have SO much water flowing down the land and puddling in unexpected places. None of us want to live in a bog. Reality also includes, digging compost toilets, clearing overgrown areas of determined brambles, fixing broken gates, managing costs and many other not-so-magical tasks. Yet, despite the struggles and hard work, I feel so lucky to have the opportunity to be part of a project like this, with four other amazing friends. I see the world crying out to be cared for, and as I put time and energy into this small fairyland in the centre of Pembrokeshire, it gives back in ways I never imagined. I see Llwynbedw being a place where all life thrives, humans, plants and animals alike, as we create a home that encourages biodiversity of species and supports the wellbeing of us and our wider communities. I hope to be able to share it with yippies in the future. For more info, send an email to Matara: means “birch grove” in Welsh.) Written by Matara Scott (YIP14 alumni)
Photo by Matara Scott

In the next newsletter you will find…

 -Review Inner Awareness and Kickstart Global Realities

– Governance, Law and Economics

– Values and Economics

– Beyond Narratives: War and Conflict

– YIP-Alumni Project

Photo by Yander Fabri

Newsletter composed by Yander Fabri and Naomi Richards