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When a university stands up to make the difference

Last night I was invited to speak at the inaugural online kickoff meeting between students and teachers of the University of Guatemala. Guatemala is having hard time. It suffers under a dominant autoritairian regiem, unstability under indiginous groups, the influence of narco organizations. Despite its richness in resources the country has a high level of poverty and lacks basic government investments in core values for sustainable local wellness. Over 200 were present online to address the coming educational season. This was placed in the context of involving the youth in the big challenges of the country.

The university wants to make a difference. It is yet again proof that change can come from any of the four legs on the table of sustainable human progress (Sustainocracy). Where in some countries we see the citizens stand up against their totalitarian regiems and claim their space to live and act, in others it are the local entrepreneurs or, in the case of Guatemala, the local University. It is the way I like to see Universities act, with insight, expertise, commitment to progress and its own responsibility in a society for peace and sustainable wellness.

My speech was titled “the world in which want to live”, referring to my own decisions in life to visualize the core human values and shared responsibilities between people and institutions for our sustainable human wellness and progress. For the students in Guatemala it was a reassurance that a single individual can make the difference if the story and determination is right.

Empowerment of our youth

Recent research has shown that over 80% our youth feels depressed about their future, let down by their governments, even betrayed. This feeling needs to be transformed into a sense of positiveness, a “can make a difference” attitude. Governments need to step aside and provide space for a new mindset, a new direction, a new humanitarian and ecological focus. Our youth can take the lead in open up that space, take action, become the leading force of societal renewal and change of perspective from fatalism in to opportunity.

YES / Youth Europe Self employment

Through our partner http://globalvisionsharing.net/ we were connected to this YES initiative. We are glad to share it through our network.

The YES Initiative


Building a network of cooperative enterprises for empowered employment and sustainable

More than 10 million young people in Europe are unemployed.

With 50%-60%, the rates are the highest in Spain, shortly followed by Greece, Portugal, Italy, France, UK. Traditional concepts fail to bring them into work and so a lot of our generations’ potential remains unused.

On the other hand, the way we work and live changes quickly and profoundly. More and more people are looking for jobs where they can involve all their creative potential and have a sense of purpose in their work. But still, a lot of young people are bound in jobs that restrict their potential through strict hierarchies and old-fashioned working styles, while others are pushed to work towards an early burnout in corporations serving profit as their only goal.

Creating entrepreneurial cooperatives can serve to combine the power of entrepreneurial drive to shape and change the world, and create employment, with the wisdom of co-creation and collective. The YES Initiative aims to inspire and support young people across Europe to join forces, and support each other to start founding cooperative enterprises to reshape the way we do business and work together, creating an economy actually serving society’s needs in a sustainable way. We aim to contribute to an ultimate vision of youth self-empowerment across Europe, e.g. through forming a network of self-governed initiatives or an umbrella cooperative to join the forces of ‘our’ generation.


Apply now for the YES Initiative Gathering in April 2016!

On 7-10. April 2016, the first YES Initiative Gathering will take place at Schloss Tempelhof Community, South-West Germany.

Be invited to embark on a learning journey together with us and set up a four-day laboratory for collaboration, developing concrete projects and a network of mutual support. We are looking for participants (age 18 to 30) from across Europe who are interested to start or support a cooperative and entrepreneurial project in their country, or internationally together with other participants.

Room and full (organic) board costs: 125 EUR for 4 days.

The YES Initiative Gathering is supported by the inspiring Swiss foundation Stiftung Wegweiser, which enables us to offer travel and accommodation stipends to our international participants, where needed.

Please visit www.stiftungwegweiser.ch to learn more about their work.

What to expect from this gathering:

• First of all, an open process with space for everything you bring – your questions, experiences, and ideas – and for deeply connecting with each other to seize the highest potential of the present moment together in a co-creative way;

• Applicable knowledge and experience shared by the YES Initiative Team, other expert contributors and all participants about cooperative entrepreneurship, social business and collaborative decision-

• Insights into the organizational structure, growth experience and daily life of the Schloss Tempelhof community, which has grown into a cooperative of almost 100 members over the past 5 years and employs about 40% of these in a number of small businesses and organizations within the

• Meet inspired people from all over Europe and more and form lasting personal connections to build a network of ongoing mutual support and inspiration.

You should apply to be part of this, if:

• You are actively interested or already engaged in founding an enterprise or cooperative to empower and employ yourself and other young people in your home country or country of residence, or would like to support such a project;

• You want to contribute your talent and energy into such a project going beyond old school hierarchical structures of organization and releasing the power of co-creation and collective

• You have experience with, or want to learn more about, how to co-create such a self governed, values-based cooperative enterprise with a social purpose;

• You are inspired by the vision of an international network or umbrella cooperative to bring together the energy and voices of ‘our’ generation while supporting local projects;


• You are between 18 and ~30 years old, from any European Union country, fluent in English language and can cover or fund-raise your travel and accommodation independently. (We have some funding support available for those who need it, please contact us as soon as possible.)

We strongly encourage teams to apply, who aim to create a project together in their home country.

Stay Connected: follow our regular news and updates:

https://www.facebook.com/YES-Initiative-595220683952570 , and get in touch via email: yes.europelnitiative@gmail.com

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