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Inspiring youth for a greener future

The IFOAM EU EVS project ‘Organic Agriculture – Inspiring youth for a greener future’ (co-financed by the European Commission, Directorate-General for Education and Culture) offers 5 volunteers a one-year learning experience within an international organization, promoting organic food and farming in Europe.

They have written about their experience during this year on their blog

May 28, 2014 at 7:45 am Leave a comment

Become an active Steward for our Soil – Join the Summer of Soil in Sweden!

According to the FAO 90% of our food comes from our soil and 25% of this soil has already been degraded to the level where it can no longer support food production. We are losing 10 million hectares of fertile soil each year – that is 30 soccer fields per minute. Agriculture is responsible for 75% of soil degradation. The FAO, European Commission and others recognise the importance of soil and warn of the negative influence of unsustainable agricultural and soil management practices on the health of our soils and food security.

What is the Summer of Soil?
Inspired by this urgency, Imagineers Sweden AB is organising the Summer of Soil from 7 July – August 9, 2013 in Järna, Sweden. Summer of Soil is a 5-week, multi-disciplinary accelerator program designed to awaken and inspire a collaborative movement to rebuild and maintain living soils. The program will include a series of hands-on soil-related courses, an exhibition of regenerative growing practices and the 5-day Living Soil Forum for bringing conversation to action.

Hands-on Experience: Select your favorite Course
The courses offer a variety of opportunities to explore and experience different aspects and ways of working with soil and food production. In addition there will be keynote events, excursions and film screenings to deepen the understanding and for building capacity to become active stewards of the soil. Current course topics include Cooking a “Diet for a Small Planet”, Preserving, Wild Food Harvesting, Introduction to Organic Agriculture, Introduction to Biodynamic Agriculture, Forest Gardening, Permaculture Introduction & Design Course, Regenerative Agriculture, Seed saving, Ecological Recycling Agriculture, Urban Gardening, Aquaponics & Beekeeping (subject to change).

The exhibition aims to give insight into the amazing substance soil really is, as well as showcasing and illustrating different growing practices which promote soil regeneration in both rural and urban environments. It includes a pavilion with small scale “Do It Yourself” solutions, Ekoleden – an eco-tour around the local sustainable food society, a “2000 square meter project” – showing our food-footprint per person on the planet, and more!

Experience famous Speakers

The Living Soil Forum is a 5 day conference, aiming to accelerate the international collaborative movement to steward our soils by bringing together farmers, retail, government, academia, civil society & youth from 22 July – 26 July in Kulturhuset i Ytterjärna, Sweden. Confirmed contributors are Prof. Håkan Wallander (Lund University), Dr. Regine Andersen (Oikos Norway), CEO Patrick Holden (Sustainable Food Trust), CEO Volkert Engelsman (Eosta BV & IFOAM World Board), CEO Helmy Abouleish (SEKEM), John D. Liu (Environmental Education Media Project), Dr. Vandana Shiva (Navdanya), Dr. Artur Grandstedt (BERAS), CEO Johan Ununger (Saltå Kvarn), Ronald Vargas (FAO) & more.

The Living Soil Forum Objectives

● Inspire concerned consumers and especially youth to become active soil stewards
● Build an inclusive, global soil movement
● Promote soil awareness throughout the entire food system
● Exchange ideas and initiate real projects and campaigns to leverage soil acupuncture points across the globe.
● Showcase inspirational centres of agricultural production, living soil conservation and regeneration.

Summer of Soil is organised in collaboration with local partners Kulturcentrum Järna, Skillebyholm and Kulturforum AB in association with BERAS Implementation, Saltå Kvarn, Nature & More, Global Soil Partnership (FAO), UNCCD, European Commission, NEXUS Foundation, Sustainable Food Trust, Sweden International Agriculture Network Initiative (SIANI), Slow Food Youth Network, SEKEM, CEMUS, Heliopolis University, International Youth Initiative Program (YIP), Navdanya, Soil & More, Eosta BV, Small Planet Institute,
Skilleby Trädgård, Biodynamiska Föreningen, Omställning (Transition) Järna, Permakultur Stjärnsund, Youth Future Project, Young Organics, Bauckhof and a growing list of other partners.

Co-Founder & Communications Manager: Pieter Ploeg
+46 73 78 52136, pieter@summerofsoil.se

Source: Summer of Soil Press release



April 24, 2013 at 8:33 pm Leave a comment

Young Organics BioFach Camp 2013: “Connect inspire act – Share your actions for a future organic world!”

 YO action
Inspired by the BioFach key theme “Shared values. Action for a future world” Young Organics warmly invites all young-minded people to the BioFach Camp 2013.

In an innovative discussion forum you are invited to contribute visions, ideas and actions for a (future) organic and fair world. What are the actions you want to take now and in the next years to drive the (Young) Organic Movement forward? What is needed from leaders, companies or organizations to make trade fair and to grow food ecologically responsible? Which impact do you want your consumption to have?

These are only a few of the topics to be discussed in the open space forum during the BioFach camp. Three young keynote speakers will talk about their visions and concrete actions on the topics food waste, young farmers in Europe and sustainable development of the organic food sector. In addition all participants are invited to get active and initiate their own discussion group in one of the time slots during the open space.

The expected outcome of the Camp is to provide a list of focus topics and actions for the young organic movement. These topics can be referred to in other workshops and activities in the next year.

The Young Organics BioFach Camp takes place on Thursday, 14th February from 12:00 to 17:00 in Room Seoul (3rd floor of the congress building). Visitors will find a continuously updated pin board agenda at the congress info desk on the second floor.



12.00- 12:30 Film: Future Farmers in the Spotlight Joris van der Kamp, Juliane Haufe
12:30- 13:00 Opening session:

  • What is Open Space and how does it work?
  • Gathering topics for group discussions
13:00-13.45 Session I
Group Work Track 1 Group Work Tracks 2-3
Keynote topic: Sustainable Development of the Organic Food Sector.Sebastian Huisman, Agricultural domain Juchowo-Radacz-Kadzielnia Your Topics:(come to the camp and discuss your own topic)
14:00-14.45 Session II
Group Work Track 1 Group Work Tracks 2-3
Keynote topic: (Farm) Succession: Young vs. older generation?Joris van der Kamp, Juliane Haufe, Future Farmers in the Spotlight Your Topics:(come to the camp and discuss your own topic)
15:00-15.45 Session III
Group Work Track 1 Group Work Tracks 2-3
Keynote topic: Food Waste.Flavia Castro, Young Organics Your Topics:(come to the camp and discuss your own topic)
16:00 Closing session
Market place: Vote for your favorite topics and actions!

Facilitation: Anna Wissmann, Zoe Heuschkel

 Young Organics Organization Team: Daniel Mühlrath; Jörg Schumacher; Katrin Seidel; Eva Jaci; Tobias Bandel

Share ideas at or;

More information

January 22, 2013 at 10:57 pm Leave a comment

The food shed- or why the Young Organics already save the world!

by Zoe Heuschkel

On June 5th the President  of Germany kicked off the “Week of the Environment” in “his garden” at Schloss Bellevue in Berlin. But I could see neither much  of a garden or much of environment.

The reason for my participation was that our project about the Future of Food had been invited to host an expert forum on sustainable agriculture in the scope of the Rio+20 summit.

The food shed

By far the most intriguing presentation was given once again by Vandana Shiva. She talked about an idea that came up in the late 1920´s and translated it into our time: the “food shed” theory. In 1929 Walter P. Hedden published the book “How great cities are fed” where he discusses the necessity of big cities to feed their inhabitants by using resources from the surrounding areas. Today, Vandana Shiva pointed out, there seems to be a strong relation between the size of a city and the distance food is travelling before it reaches the city:  “the bigger the city, the longer the travel” she said. Why do we eat food that has been transported  for 10.000km instead of tapping into local suppliesVandana suggested tocreate more self-sufficiency and “food sheds” that would not see food come from into the city from far away.

How Young Organics already save the world

Our gardening plot in Bonn will not feed the city, it  hardly can supply enough food for all the gardeners, but it it is a sign. Sustainability issues are  negotiated in Rio or elsewhere, and the message is clear: we need to take over  responsibility: for our own consumption, for the planet and for future generations. Young Organics gardening fits into a global pattern of people’s actions related to take over responsibility for our own nutrition. We might not be gardening experts, farmers or horticulturists and sometimes we get overwhelmed by slugs, rabbits and other uninvited guests, but we want to take on responsibility for our food system.

We get in touch with the soil again, we gain and share experiences and learn while aiming to contribute to a more sustainable future of the planet. We meet and exchange, enjoy and work together and maybe someday  we will be able to feed ourselves. And make our peace with the slugs.

What did I learn?

1)      If you want to get your seats filled- invite Vandana Shiva for your event

2)      We need to make peace with our planet. The struggle for the survival of the fittest species has ended and if we continue fighting we will eradicate ourselves from the planet.

3)      It is time to accept that we are responsible for our nutrition. We can not continue to simply hand over all decisions on how our food is produced.

We live in a wonderful and terribly crazy world – instead of being terrible we should focus on being wonderfully crazy!

June 12, 2012 at 8:21 pm Leave a comment

Hands in the soil: Young Organics Pioneer Dialogue meeting in Bonn

In the morning sun on June 2nd 60 Young Organics from across the organic, fair trade and sustainability sectors met in Bonn with 11 pioneers of the organic movement for a day of dialogue and gardening (see box below).

At the Young Organics Bonn Community Garden, young and pioneer organics spaced out lettuce plants, weeded potatoes, cut sticks for a climbing structure for the peas and beans, exchanged gardening tips and got to know each other. Some came with extensive experience in agriculture; others were entirely new to gardening. Goetz Rehn, founder and manager of Alnatura was stoked, “It is an amazing challenge to encourage these young people to make such experiences.”

After getting their hands dirty in the soil, the group went to Gut Ostler for the second part of the meeting. A world café format inspired discussion in the large green house of the biodynamic farm. Small work groups of young organics huddled around the pioneers to envision the future, critically reflect on the past, and define practical steps for next Monday, next week, next year. What did the world look like when companies such as Lebensbaum, Sekem or Alnatura were

founded? What are the most urgent issues to address today? And how can joined knowledge drive change more effectively?

“There are urgent environmental and social issues we need to address today. We need change – rapid change” Xander Meijer of Native Republic said. Discussion continued over an organic lunch.
“If you want to create something meaningful, be ready to do something crazy. Do what you believe in, go with your gut feeling” Helmy Abouleish said. “Change has to be authentic. And we cannot do it alone.”
The group finished the day in the garden, weeding and hoeing, mounding soil around potato plants, and weaving beans and peas onto trellises.
“Young Organics are thrilled that so many came to join us in this very inspiring meeting and we thank you all for helping us in what we do best: connect- inspire and act”, sais Tobias Bandel, who initiated the event. He also thanked all the young organics who organized the event and Anna Wissmann who facilitated the gardening and world café session.
The next Young Organics Pioneer Dialogue will take place at Lebensbaum on July 14th in Diepholz. Contact Martin Woerishofer at if you want to join!

Organic Pioneers and leaders who joined the young organic event (alphabetical order): Mirran Raphaely (Dr. Hauschka USA), Goetz Rehn (Alnatura), Helmy Abouleish (Sekem), John Lister (Shipton-Mill), Markus Arbenz (IFOAM), Nikolai Fuchs (Nexus-Foundation), Peter Segger (Blaencamel), Roland Schaette (Dr. Schaette GmbH), Thomas Harttung (Aarstiderne), Ulrich Walter (Lebensbaum), Volkert Engelsman (EOSTA), Xander Meijer (Native Republic).

June 6, 2012 at 7:54 pm Leave a comment

Young organics to Rio +20

are you interested in going to the Rio +20 conference ( in June 2012 and take action for the young organic, fair and slow movement? Young Organics have organized the sponsoring of 2 flights to Rio and are looking for candidates now.

In order to make the selection of candidates a fair and transparent procedure, we will select the candidates according to the following points until the end of March 2012:

  • Have you organized any kind of event before?
  • In which projects/organizations are you actively involved?
  • Do/did you write a blog or do you have experience in social media/internet communication?
  • What languages do you speak?
  • Are you willing to get connected to the Brazilian young movements and maybe also stay with them during the conference (couch surfing style instead of first class hotel)
  • What concrete action, initiative, project will you prepare for the Rio + 20 summit, to be implemented during your stay? It should be doable with the resources and capacities you have in hand.
  • What kind of actions would you like to do in Rio? Where do you see yourself involved best?

If you are interested to go to Rio: Please take half an hour to send us some information about you and the above points and send it to, and

Deadline: March 25, 2012

We don’t expect professional applications! Just let us know a bit more about you! Just be yourself!

March 3, 2012 at 6:25 pm Leave a comment

Participate to the First BioFach Camp 2012 “Sustainability in Practice” !

If you think about sustainability, what comes into your mind? Are there any issues that concern you and that you think haven´t received enough attention? Do you have any idea about how the food industry could become more sustainable? Are there any sustainable businesses ideas that you would like to put into practice? Do you feel like you haven’t yet found the right people that could help you implement them, or the resources to do so?

Use this platform, suggest your own topics for discussion and set the schedule for the first BioFach Camp 2012!

The topics will be selected through a simple online voting procedure. The winning proposals will be discussed in an open space format with other like-minded people at the BioFach Camp and sustainable solutions to be implemented will be developed!

Continue Reading December 19, 2011 at 4:44 pm Leave a comment

Young Organics invites you to spend 2 months experiencing organic farming in Peru!

Young Organics is pleased to invite you to participate in an exciting opportunity to exchange your experience in organic agriculture with Peruvian students and farmers.

Continue Reading November 15, 2011 at 8:49 pm Leave a comment

Young Organics connect, inspire and act

Young organic and fair trade activists from all over the world have founded Young Organics, a new global action network. First actions speak for themselves: by creating urban gardens and contributing at international conferences Young Organics aims at connecting young minds, hands and hearts of the organic and fair trade movement. A workshop at the 64th United Nations DPI NGO Conference in Bonn, on September 4th 2011 highlights the first actions of young organics.

Continue Reading November 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm Leave a comment

Young Organics organizes a workshop at the 64th Annual UN/DPI NGO Conference

Young Organics e.V. will contribute a workshop to the 64th UN/DPI NGO Conference entitled “Sustainable Societies, Responsive Citizens” that will take place in Bonn, on September 3-5, 2011.

Continue Reading August 9, 2011 at 2:33 pm Leave a comment