Sunday Portrait: Mats-Ola Ohlsson

Interview with Mats-Ola Ohlsson

A couple of our YIP 7 participants were recently invited by Mats-Ola for a cup of coffee and a catch up at his local cafe. They graciously accepted his offer and managed to ask him a few questions regarding YIP and the Initiative Forum! They came back full of joy and tales of ancient Viking meeting sites that they had visited close to our campus, here in Ytterjärna. They were extremely grateful for the opportunity to have a proper conversation with Mats-Ola, a fascinating man, who has lived here in this Nordic realm for most of his life.

Can you start by giving us a brief background on yourself, what your connection to YIP is, and what you’re currently doing? “Well of course. I am now 62 years old, and I have been here in Järna for 43 years, working in different fields of curative education and social therapy. I have also been a Waldorf teacher, teaching a class for 8 years. Originally I am from a small town up in the north of Sweden. I never went to a Waldorf school myself, I was just one of those searchers at the end of the 60’s.

What is The Initiative Forum to you? “I think it’s wonderful that it gathers so many engaged young people from all over the world. I also think that it’s fantastic that it’s prepared by YIPies; young people too. It is always such a fantastic experience to take part in it, which I have done as much as I have been able to.

In what ways have you taken part in it? “I have been a participant; listening to lectures and meeting and talking to people and so on.

Mats-Ola FB profile

How have you seen Initiative Forum grow over the years? “I think that the experiences through the years have been, how would you say, transmitted to the next generation of YIPies, so I think the Initiative Forum really has had a great development. It’s becoming more and more mature as the years roll on.

Finally, what do you think that the Initiative Forum does for those who attend it? “I think it can give a spark, an ignition, or a seed maybe, that can be planted in all that attend, that can slowly grow and develop into deeds in the future. I think that sums up what Initiative Forum can bring to each and every one.


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Thanks to Mats-Ola and Oliver Macer