History of YIP

YIP started as an idea and topic of conversation amongst a diverse international group of young people connected to the YouthSection of the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland.This came as a response to answer the request and call from young people for an educational approach that allowed them to meet the challenges of today’s world in a practical, intellectual and social emotional perspective, taking into account the value of community and individual autonomy. The energy and momentum to create YIP kept building during a variety of youth gatherings and network events. It was in January 2007, during one of these international youth gatherings in Switzerland, that a first draft for the program was designed and a small group committed themselves to taking the initiative from being a great idea into an actionable project.

That same year the association called The International Youth Initiative Program was founded as the legal body to carry out the program. Additionally the agreements, partners, seed-funding and the location were established in order to launch the first year of the program. Whilst aiming to establish programs around the world, the first version of the program was planned to launch in Järna, Sweden.

In June 2008 the first organising team gathered in Järna to prepare themselves, the facilities and the curriculum. In August 2008 the first year of YIP commenced. Over the years that followed, the program has kept changing and adapting to the current needs, interests and trends in the current global debates and developments.

The program and its curriculum, as well as the staff and organisation has a rapid turnover and change on a yearly bases. Nonetheless, since the start, the program has managed and remained committed to meet each individual student, whilst also offering a coherent educational program.

Each year has been attended by participants from between 15-20 nationalities on average. In total, YIP has been attended by participants from over 40 nationalities and all continents.

After being operational for many years, the initiative YIP is no longer only an innovative educational platform and program, but also a global, and growing network of social and societal entrepreneurs.

Since the beginning, the organising team has welcomed many and changing members, assistance and volunteers. The frequent change over has made for a fresh, dynamic and diverse group of organisers each program year.

The first and founding Organising Team for the program was; Sussie Hansen, Reinoud Meijer, Rose Nekvapil, Ani Hanalius, Pernilla Fogelqvist and Mathias Bolt Lesniak.


YIP acknowledges that the different identities of the world access the common reality of humanity in different ways. It understands Anthroposophy as one of these ways, but is open to other comprehensive/integral or even specialised views of the world that authentically strive to advance human civilisation.

The term Anthroposophy links the Greek roots Anthropos, human, and Sophia, wisdom. One can translate it as, “The knowledge of the nature of being human.” In these terms, YIP seeks to advance comprehensive sustainable development based on an integral understanding of this ‘nature of being human’ and all its expressions in society.

YIP is committed to a wide-ranging exploration of important issues affecting the human condition and the future of mankind and society. YIP seeks ways to understand the common principles and forces that are active in shaping both self and world, to ensure that the actions directed out of a more integral knowledge/understanding may be for the benefit of sustainable development of both humanity and the planet. It understands Anthroposophy and its practical applications as one of these ways.

Given the above understanding and interpretation, YIP and its organising team consider themselves Anthroposophically inspired.

why YIP?

YIP was created to provide a platform for young people to expand their global, personal, and relational understanding so they can develop their fullest potential and find their authentic task in society and the world. YIP aims to support young people to become leaders of a new, more sustainable and integral lifestyle and future.

The program bases itself on the integral understanding of the world as one living, interconnected whole in which everything influences everything. This fosters a global and multi-factorial consciousness vital for healthy living today. 

YIP seeks to support young people as they explore this integral understanding of the modern world. It gives the opportunity to study and test entrepreneurial principles and skills and apply these within existing integral initiatives or to create new initiatives that foster this understanding of our interconnectedness. The term societal entrepreneur as used by YIP, does not describe a limited group or profession but rather describes people and initiatives that base their actions on this integral paradigm. Through allowing young people to explore this paradigm shift and with it face and develop themselves and society, YIP seeks to support these young people to become leaders of a new, more sustainable and integrated lifestyle and future.

Fundamentally, YIP is committed to provide a safe, nurturing and creative “home” for the exploration of deep human questions.

Independent education & educational independence

YIP offers an educational platform to young people that has at its core the wish to inspire and support the capacity for initiative in its participants. In order to do this, the program does not demand uniform set outcomes and results but works to embody each unique individual’s self-defined aims and objectives. In this way, each participant is encouraged to value their own autonomy and experience their creativity and capacities while taking full responsibility for their learning and their impact in the program and the community. All participants attend the diverse courses offered at YIP but every outcome is unique and highly individual.

This level of freedom calls for high self motivation and independent thinking from participants.

In order to maintain this individualised education, YIP does not receive government funding but is reliant on the grants and donations from organisations and individuals that share the vision and strivings of the program to complement the fees paid by participants. 

Educational Principles

YIP is an attempt to bring together all content and activities necessary for a balanced program. It is a space of constant improvisation, an ever-changing configuration, striving to meet the needs of its participants, the needs they seek to address in society, as well as staying relevant to a rapidly changing educational landscape. To steer and orientate the design process of each year, YIP uses a set of guiding principles that help to promote a healthy, effective and comprehensive curriculum.

Gain a comprehensive overview of the world

The participants investigate key current challenges faced by humanity with expert contributors who actively work towards creating positive change in their individual fields. YIP encourages an active, aware, supportive and responsible attitude to the world.

Practice moving from idea to manifestation

YIP empowers and trains participants to use entrepreneurial principles and skills to become active shapers of their lives and cultural surroundings on multiple levels. It supports the participants to take their self-design and self-selected project/idea from vision to manifestation.

Strike a balance between inward and outward exploration

YIP recognises that the health of the inner life is intimately connected with the health of the outer life, our societal structures and systems. The polarity and balance of inner and outer is used for the overall design of the year.

Live and learn in a diverse community

Experience and practice celebrating difference and diversity through valuing the complexity of differing perspectives and ways of life. Develop the capacity to harness the potential of diversity for positive change and to honour the contribution of each unique individual.


Take charge of your own learning by moving from participant to organiser

At the beginning of the program, participants are hosted and facilitated by the organisers of the program, but over the course of the curriculum, more and more of the hosting, facilitating and design is transferred to the participants, resulting in further self-directed and self-designed learning and project work.

Be your authentic self in order to serve the collective

YIP supports young people exploring themselves, society and the interconnectedness of both through various intellectual, socio-emotional and practical activities, ultimately to allow for choices matching the skills, interests and ability of the person whilst meeting and serving a need in society.

Value and work with the cycles of nature

The natural environment and the seasons have a huge impact on the whole mood and character of living and studying and the curriculum is designed to reflect the movement of nature in the local area of Sweden. The seasons are impossible to ignore spanning from hot days with 21 hours of daylight in summer to 6 hours of daylight at minus 25 in winter. As the light recedes the curriculum turns to inner awareness and self exploration turning out into collaboration, hosting and initiative as the light returns.

Activate agency of choice and behaviour in creating the world you wish for

Through raising awareness of the impact and creative power of choice, the participants are encouraged to activate and use their agency over their behaviour. This includes their behaviour as a consumer, their social impact as well as their mental and emotional choices and habits.

Legal form of yip

The legal body of YIP is a non profit association registered in Sweden. The association is managed by its board and bound by its statutes.

Every natural and legal person can become a supportive member of the YIP Association, providing it has an active interest in the achievement of the association’s’ purpose. The annual membership fee as decided by the Board is currently a minimum of SEK 250 (approximately EUR 25).

You are free to pay more. Any additional money will be registered as a donation to YIP.

Current Board:

Frida Thörn, Göran Nilo and Reinoud Meijer