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​​A Festival of Fresh Air and Fresh Thinking, Ylläs, Lapland, June 7th–9th, 2019


Do you want to explore important questions we ask on our own, in relationship, at work, at home and across the globe?

Do you want to join with others to share insight, inspiration and talent?


Bring your creative energy and the power of your human spirit to a truly collaborative festival of fresh thinking in the fresh air. We are planning an interactive 3-day Amara event rooted in the practices and approaches shared in the book Street Smart Awareness and Inquiry-in-Action. It will offer high energy activity and moments of quiet reflection, time in nature and the opportunity to explore local culture.

Lapland is famous as a winter break destination of sleigh rides, Santa Claus and northern lights, it’s less well known as a summer retreat and the land of midnight sun, simple mystery and deep peace. The festival offers a Nordic space for curious thinkers and a time to breathe. Come and seek calm in the chaos as we work to forge a new network of courage.

Participants will co-create the time together and the intention is to be responsive in the moment. Does this sound a bit scary – don’t worry, you can just join as you are! All sessions are optional and you can offer one up or just hang out, listen, watch and feel.


To help you plan, festival goers should aim to arrive for a welcome gathering on the evening of Thursday 6 June.  There will be three full days of activity 7-9 June, a closing ceremony on the evening of Sunday 9 June. The shape of the days will be guided by you and a fuller pattern of offerings will emerge.  If you feel inspired to offer or lead an activity, contact Annette Hennessy at annette.hennessy@amara.fi



The Festival will be held here: Vasalammen Mökki, in Kittilä, close to Ylläs.

Contributing to the Festival

There is an outline schedule here  with plenty of space for more ideas.  If you do decide to attend, there will be plenty of opportunity for you to shape and contribute our time.  There are 2 video conference calls to plan the Festival and everyone is welcome to join:

Thursday 25 April 5pm GMT

Thursday 16 May 5pm GMT

Email Annette Hennessy if you want to join the calls: annette.hennessy@amara.fi


The cost of the festival will be €420 which covers the venue, food and material during the Festival days.  This price does not include accommodation, flights and transfers.


For planning purpose timings are as follows:

Thursday 6 June: Arrivals.  Welcome reception at 7pm

Friday 7 – Sunday 9 June: Festival

Monday 10 June: Departures

The nearest airport is Kittila, which is a 30 minute transfer to the venue.  Flights to Kitilla are from Helsinki.  One possible flight option on Finnair:

Helsinki to Kittila           Thursday 6 June 10.35 local time

Kittilla to Helsinki          Monday 10 June 19.35 local time


If numbers on these flights are sufficient, transfer buses will be arranged.  There are other options if this flight does not suit your plans.


There are 8 shared rooms available with beds for 20 people in the festival venue.  These rooms cost €25 per night plus a one-off cost of €20 to hire sheets and towels.  When you confirm your attendance you will be invited to reserve a room.

There is space to camp for free in the grounds of the venue with access to facilities in the main house. When you confirm your attendance you will be invited to book camping space.

There is also accommodation available in Ylläs, the nearest Village which is a short drive from the venue.  Check out the local website: www.yllas.fi/en/accommodation.html



Laying the foundations – what the welcome team are thinking about and hoping for:

Heidi Gutekunst

In the summer 2018 I travelled to Lapland for the first time in the summer, somehow I always visited in the winter before. Loosing my midnight sun virginity was magical, how many times had I told stories about the midnight sun, yet not knowing how it felt. With a friend we climbed to the top of Ylläs in the middle of the night, doing yoga poses and listening to the complete silence. In that moment I had an urge to arrange an event in Lapland with my fellow Amara Gardeners and am so glad they all got excited. I am so ready for a festival of fresh air, fresh thinking, fun and adventure and want to offer hosting conversations about our own role in the big problems in the world, morning yoga and meditation, midnight swimming and climbing up a fell and would love to be part of dancing with open fire in the midnight sun light.

Jane Allen

Coming to Lapland in June will give me space to be with others I trust.  I’m happy to hold the flag and space for mindfulness / meditation in different ways and caring for the space with others – atmosphere, meals and time.  I need to talk about the competing priorities in my life and my personal responsibility in the face of the urgency  of global warming and the threats it poses for us all.  I would love to experiment with  the practices described in the Street Smart book some of us wrote and maybe come up with some new ones.

Annette Hennessy

My intention is to be inspired by the landscape, beauty and silence to explore what practices, views and perspectives we need to grow, alter, develop about ourselves, and our communities to adapt to the increasing speed of climate change.

Tricia King

I’m at a moment of transition in my professional life moving from a big, busy, global role into a different space as coach and consultant.  Currently I spend my time mostly between London and Washington and both geographies give rise to despair right now.  I’m inspired by the opportunity our Lapland adventure offers to explore human scale, personal responses for change in challenging times.  I love the practical Street Smart approach to action and I’m happy to offer some practices rooted in.