History of YIP
YIP started as an idea and topic of conversation amongst a diverse international group of young people connected to the Youth Section of the Goetheanum in Dornach, Switzerland. The energy and momentum to create YIP kept building and continued to flourish during a variety of youth gatherings and network events. In January 2007, during one of these international youth gatherings in Switzerland, the first draft for the program was designed and a small group committed themselves to taking the initiative from idea into an actionable project.
In June 2008 the first organising team gathered in Järna to prepare themselves, the facilities and the curriculum and in August 2008 the first year of YIP commenced. Since then the program has kept changing and adapting to the needs of participants and the wider community as well as to changing global debates and societal developments.
Each year has been attended by participants from between 15-20 nationalities. In total, YIP has been attended by over 300 participants from over 40 nationalities and all continents. After being operational for many years, YIP is no longer only an innovative educational platform and program, but also a global, and growing network of 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.
The program is a response to the call of young people for an educational approach that allowed them to meet the challenges of today’s world from a practical, intellectual, social and emotional perspective while taking into account the value of community and individual autonomy.
YIP provides 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.
At the core is a mission to create a highly individualized learning environment that trains and develops personal entrepreneurial capacities while orienting in service of the world’s pressing issues.
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.
Ethos and Educational Principles
In 2008, the International Youth Initiative Program was launched as a response to the call of young people for an educational approach that allowed them to meet the challenges of today’s world from a practical, intellectual, social and emotional perspective while taking into account the value of community and individual autonomy.
The ethos of YIP includes the following:
1. See the world as one interconnected living organism
The program bases itself on the integral understanding of the world as one living, interconnected whole in which everything has an impact/an effect. This fosters a global and multi-factorial consciousness vital for healthy living today. YIP provides opportunity to study and test entrepreneurial principles and skills by applying these within existing initiatives and/or creating new initiatives that foster this understanding of our interconnectedness. The curriculum supports participants to work with interconnection as they move through different course modules that highlight global and interpersonal connection and train project management and facilitation skills that incorporate multiple sectors
2. Explore the relationship between freedom and responsibility
YIP encourages participants to balance their responsibility and freedom in their relationship to the world and awaken their capacity for service to the collective whilst maintaining healthy personal lifestyles and inner resilience. This invites participants into awakening to the balance between their responsibility and freedom in their relationship to themselves, each other, their actions and the world.
3. Activate intellectual, social, emotional and practical capacity by engaging the Whole Human Being
YIP recognizes three core “gestures” of the human being : thinking, feeling, and willing. To be truly aware of how we impact and can change the world, we need to act as integrally developed human beings. The “Whole Human Being” principle includes and incorporates the different ways people learn and understand a topic. The process of understanding is not only cognitive and emotional, but also practical. In the core curriculum, all three qualities are given attention.
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 AN OVERVIEW OF THE SYSTEMS IMPACTING THE WORLD
The program bases itself on the integral understanding of the world as one living, interconnected whole in which everything has an impact/an effect. This fosters a global and multi-factorial consciousness vital for healthy living today. YIP provides opportunity to study and test entrepreneurial principles and skills by applying these within existing initiatives and/or creating new initiatives that foster this understanding of our interconnectedness. The curriculum supports participants to work with interconnection as they move through different course modules that highlight global and interpersonal connection and train project management and facilitation skills that incorporate multiple sectors.
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 the society they are a part of. Throughout the curriculum YIP works to ground theoretical knowledge in practical application in order to promote learning through experimentation. It supports participants to take their own self-designed project from vision to manifestation as well as co-organize a large scale event.
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 cycles of inner and outer are used for the overall design of the year (e.g. courses that address the outer challenges of the world are complimented in the afternoons with courses that support the inner development of the individual).
Live and learn in a diverse community
YIP enables participants to experience and celebrate difference and diversity through valuing the complexity of differing perspectives and ways of life. It seeks to develop the capacity to harness the potential of diversity for positive change and to honour the contribution of each unique individual. As a gender equality role model and a progressive European country, Sweden provides a compelling society within which to explore these themes. This is also supported by the Folk High
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 to explore themselves, society and the interconnectedness of both
through various intellectual, social, emotional and practical activities. Through increased self knowledge, participants match their skills, interests and abilities to societal needs.
Value and work with the cycles of nature
The natural environment and the seasons have a huge impact on the health and activities of human beings. 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 9 to 6 hours of daylight at minus 25 in winter.
As the light recedes the curriculum turns to innerawareness and self exploration. It turns out into collaboration, hosting and initiative as the light
Activate agency of choice and behaviour in creating the world you wish for
Through raising awareness of the impact and creative power of choice, participants are encouraged to activate and use their agency over their behaviour.
This includes their behaviour as a consumer, their social impact as a citizen 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.
Frida Thörn, Göran Nilo, Reinoud Meijer and Rembert Biemond.