Coining the term “Planetary Service” happened somewhere around 2018, when Rembert Biemond started to speak about it on various occasions, to test reactions and possibilities. Speaking about it in the board of the Swiss foundation Evidenz the idea got some support.
More momentum came in at the beginning of 2022 when various participants of different years of The International Youth Initiative Program (YIP) decided to take on an idea after reading an editorial in the YIP Network Newsletter (YNN): “I have the following dream. For hundreds of years, maybe longer, the 18-year-olds were drafted and then forced to serve in the military. Military service. How would that be if we could replace that with Planetary Service – on a voluntary basis […]”. That is when Nakyta Grimm (YIP2), Livia Strub (YIP 10), Pieter Ploeg (YIP 2) and also Rembert gathered to materialise this big dream and start a project called: Planetary Service. They sat and organised the steps to make it happen, and started the first phase, the Design Phase. During this period they shared the evolution of the project with the YIP alumni network, and there were people that got interested with this project. From there, Teresa Ramos Serra (YIP 9) joined the team as a new member.
For different reasons, the first group of people that develop the idea of the project took a more sporadic and supportive role. Since then, we continued their task with a small initiative group consisting of Rembert as regular supporter and mentor, Teresa as the designer, project coordinator and communication, and Demy Vermeij as the coordinator of networking with projects and participants. The rest of the team, Nakyta, Livia and Pieter, are taking a more sporadic supportive role and have become part of the Council.
In September of 2023, we started the prototype. Right now we are learning about and developing Planetary Service, improving it day by day and putting all our energy into making this initiative reach its vision. Around 60 hosting projects have joined the movement and we have around 10 participants pioneering the first edition of Planetary Service.
Rembert Biemond – Founder and Chief Advisor
Now in my sixties, looking back I see that my professional life has been a meandering journey with the three red threads of “new economy”, youth work, and curating art. Born and raised in the Netherlands I later lived and worked in Switzerland and Germany for longer periods of my life. Now based in Sweden the two biggest projects I am involved in are an organic tea company in the Indian Himalayas, and Sekem in Egypt a very successful greening the desert project, which also includes a university for sustainable development. I believe we are on this planet to learn and to contribute. Planetary Service tries to make that very concrete on a global scale. I am excited to launch a prototype and hope that in the future this could lead to a global movement.
Teresa Ramos Serra – Planetary Service designer and coordinator + Coordinator of communication
My beginnings in life were placed in a small town in a rural area of Catalonia, Spain. From the surroundings I lived in, a strong bond with the natural world was created. When I was five, my family started a Waldorf School at our house to which I was never able to attend because at the beginning it was only a kindergarten, but with which I was always very involved and inspired. I myself went to a traditional school all my life, and having both methodologies very close I developed a very critical view on education and society. For these reasons, I have always had an impulse to make the world a better place. That is why I decided to participate in the ninth edition of the International Youth Initiative Program (2016-2017) which was the beginning of a very profound personal transformation of two years that broadened my horizons and understanding of life and the world, by attending various programs and meeting many inspiring people. After all those experiences it was clear to me that I wanted to study Education Sciences (2018-2022) for I strongly believe that the change has to originate from the base of society, and for me, that is education. I wanted to be able to accompany youth through the transformational transition towards adulthood. And also I wanted to be able to accompany young children in nature surroundings to create strong and solid roots with the earth since the beginning of their lives. My call now is to create spaces where we, as humans, can explore what is our function and place in a balanced ecosystem putting nature in the center and as the measure of it all, and work towards a more nature-connected and sustainable society.
Demy Vermeij – Network coordinator
I have a background in health- and neuroscience, with a special interest in the role of lifestyle behaviours on mental health. I love how spending time in nature, eating healthy, and having different mindfulness practices affect the way we feel and improve our ability to learn. These interests arose together with my passion for cooking and my curiosity about every step in the process of making food. I enjoy learning about the importance of soil health, the different ways to grow food and I find great pleasure in the way sharing food creates a sense of community. Currently, I am volunteering at different farms and communities, which allows me to get more hands-on experience in these practices. Being in a different environment and surrounded by people with a variety of cultural backgrounds, enables me to see things from new perspectives and has made me more aware of the role of social structures as determinants of health. Having the chance to learn new skills, gain new ideas and combine my passion for cooking with different ways to connect to nature and people has been inspirational. I believe the Planetary Service movement is a great initiative to connect people and their ideas, allowing them to work together towards a more sustainable society and I am excited to contribute to this movement.
The council aims to support the project and keep its vision. It consists of a diverse group of people, in ages, culture and background who commits to supporting and offering feedback throughout the project. Meet the Council:
Born and raised in Vancouver, Canada, I grew up on a wild mountainside outside of the city where bears and other wildlife regularly visited our garden. My childhood cultivated a deep love of nature, as well as a deep curiosity about how we can live in harmony with the natural and human world. At age 16 I spent 4 weeks in Honduras, as part of a nurses without borders team that was bringing basic health care into rural areas. It was a raw experience that triggered me to question my basic assumptions and beliefs about my own culture. My learning and work has been diverse. I studied at YIP in Sweden (2009/2010), worked as a volunteer coordinator for an art exhibition (2012), studied agro-ecology in India (2012), co-founded Summer of Soil (2013), and worked for YIP (2013/2014). I am currently working part-time as a chef on an organic farm outside of Amsterdam. At the moment, my learning edge is in exploring “The Work that Reconnects” from Joanna Macy” and Non-violent Communication. I am a mother of three young children, and have spent the last few years providing a warm basis for their unfolding lives. It is with my children in mind that I want to bring my inspiration to this project.
Rebeca López Walker
Life for me began in Germany in the winter of 1996, we moved around a lot, not only between countries but just the house itself. I lived in Stuttgart, Madrid, North London and Birmingham before my parents moved back to Spain and my brother and I became independent adults. Since then I have kept moving, working in France and Germany, travelling for a while and then spending some time in Spain again, this time on the eastern coast by the mediterranean sea. I attended the International Youth Initiative Program (2016- 2017) and went on to study Liberal Arts and Sciences (BA) in Maastricht, the Netherlands (2018-2021) focusing on politics, law and sociology. I have always been interested in education both formal and non-formal, how people learn and how as a society we enable or hinder learning to occur which led me to focus the last half year of my bachelors degree to educational sociology more focusing on literature of first-generation academics and students.
Throughout my adult life I have worked in one way or another in the hospitality industry with a keen interest in food; both how we connect to it, from produce to a meal as well as the cultural and social aspects.
Ever since I was little, I’d always felt that there needed to be purpose and reason behind the work I’d end up doing, to do something “good”. Leaving home and living overseas to realize the tool bag I already came with through having grown up on an organic farm and having gone to a Steiner school. My adventures in Europe led me to take part in YIP in 2017/2018 where I was able to continue both discovering my own skills as well as learning and practicing new skills. This was a space where I could more actively pursue my passions and learn about how I could implement them in the world. I spent several years after that working in hospitality, events management and outdoor education before moving back to New Zealand where I grew up. Currently I am studying a double degree in Global Studies and Commerce at the University of Auckland, focusing on sustainability, entrepreneurship and sustainable business practices. I lead the gardening team of the largest tertiary sustainability club in the country, and am very involved in the urban farming and regenerative agriculture space in Auckland. For the last 10 years, I have been involved with facilitating a rites of passage program for teenagers in NZ, marking the transition from child to young adult. Currently a small team of us is in the process of developing a rites of passage program for the age group of 18 – 35-year olds, where participants are invited to step into authentic being while marking a threshold in their lives through rites of passage and ritual.
After graduating from YIP Sweden in 2010 I have dedicated my efforts towards accelerating the transition towards a regenerative society on a thriving and resilient living earth. I strongly believe soil is the acupuncture point through which we can restore our relationship with the earth, and tackle biodiversity, food, climate and resilience challenges. My learning and work journey has been diverse, and has given me a wide range of skills. I co-founded Summer of Soil (2013), worked for YIP (2010-2014), during which I developed the Sustainability Challenges consultation projects as well as Mission U in Berlin. In 2012 I was part of launching the International Partnership for Transformative Learning. In 2016 I graduated with a Masters in Strategic Leadership towards Sustainability in Karlskrona, Sweden. Currently I am part of the Commonland Landscape Development & Support team as Design Strategist and Facilitator with a focus on using Social Labs to cultivate transformative systemic change and create an enabling environment for the transition towards thriving ecosystems and communities. I live in the Netherlands with my family.
For now we are under the legal and economic umbrella of Evidenz Foundation and figure as one of their projects. Yet our intention is to become an onrganisation to act as an independent body to carry Planetary Service. This would ensure that Planetary Service is a neutral body, which can create diverse international partnerships.
Since Desember 2022, World Social Initiative Forum has been on board to collaborate and has shown a lot of support to Planetary Service.
The World Social Initiative Forum is an international network of spiritually-inspired grassroots initiatives addressing poverty, marginalisation and social injustice. Founded in 2000 by Ute Craemer and Truus Geraets, the WSIF hosts Forums which unfold individual potential, create spaces of encounter, and highlight diverse practices pioneered by individuals and initiatives locally with long-term impact. Since its founding, WSIF has co-hosted over 20 in-Person Forums on 5 continents and is now reaching more people with its online formats.
World Goetheanum Association has been one of the big supports and helpers to make Planetary Service happen, even when it was just an idea.
The World Goetheanum Association is a network of partners, consisting of companies, institutions, initiatives and self-employed people, committed to the future of man and earth on the basis of human dignity and accountability. The partner network sees itself as part of a movement that seeks, promotes and implements a new, comprehensive view of the human being. The network offers the opportunity to meet as partners beyond the limits of their own field of activity and to exchange views. As an association, the partners realise new forms of fair and humanitarian cooperation.