oikos Case Quarterly: Food Industry Issue 12, December 2013

The number of issues and implications the food industry faces in terms of sustainability is incommensurable. We hereby present four cases to help illustrate some of the most fundamental dilemmas, opportunities and challenges of the industry.

Table of contents:

→ Foreword

→Gerardo Lozano (EGADE, Mexico) – HEB International Supermarkets and the Banco de Alimentos de Caritas de Monterrey

→Roberto Gutiérrez (Universidad de los Andes, Colombia) – Alpina Inc

→Darrell Brown, Phil Berko, Patrick Dedrick, Brie Hilliard and Joshua Pfleeger (Portland State University, USA) – Burgerville: Sustainability and Sourcing in a QSR Supply

→Ram Subramanian (Montclair State University, USA) – • Chipotle Mexican Grill, Inc.: Food With Integrity

Forthcoming case teaching events and other new

→How to subscribe

Download the issue.

We hope that you will enjoy reading this issue. Please feel free to forward it to colleagues who are interested in teaching sustainability with cases. If you would like to share your experience in teaching sustainability with cases, we would be very happy to hear from you! Also if you have any feedback on the content of this issue and suggestions for the next issue, send us an email to case@oikosinternational.org.

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oikos International

posted December 23, 2013

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oikos Alumni Debates | Energy and Sustainability

The second oikos Alumni Debate was held in Zurich on January 21, 2014, Tuesday, from 18:00 to 21:00.

Three panelists will led the discussion on energy and sustainability: Armin Eberle (Energieagentur der Wirtschaft); Luca Pedretti (Axpo Trading) and Tilmann Liebert (International Institute for Sustainable Development).

More information here.

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oikos International

posted December 21, 2013

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oikos Alumni Debates | Energy and Sustainability


Save the date for our second oikos Alumni Debates on January 21, 2014, Tuesday, from 18:00 to 21:00 in Zurich. More info here:

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oikos International

posted December 19, 2013

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oikos Newsletter December 2013

Slushing through snow, we have finally made our way to the end of the year. And while the days are short, cold, and mostly gray, there is much to look forward to in our December calendar. After the successful conclusion of the FutureLab, we are preparing for our next big gathering – the 2014 Spring Meeting in Copenhagen. There is still time to apply for the Winter School in Germany. Also, learn about our brand new oikos Finance Initiative and spend 30 seconds getting to know Mark Wade.

Read more

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oikos International

posted December 10, 2013

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Time for a Renaissance in the Business Schools?

Time for a Renaissance in the Business Schools?

— Off we go!

The alarm rang early in the morning and a special day for me had begun. I packed my laptop, a notebook, and a pen to begin my first experience as a reporter to attend the oikos FutureLab 2013. As a student studying Economics at the University of St. Gallen, I was eager to be part of the process of changing the paradigm of the education system in business schools. In two days, the participants of the Futurelab would be introduced to many concepts about how the current education in Business schools may be better adapted to sustainability. They would also get the chance to engage each other in discussions about the university of the future.

The Speeches


As a new oikos member, I was touched by the passion the participants and speakers have shown: for them the transformation of education was more than an annual conference topic, their inputs were personal and represented their beliefs and vision for the future. What especially caught my attention was the presentation held by the founder of Accenture Development Partnerships Gib Bulloch on Day 1. Mr. Bulloch made an analogy between the oikos organization and an orchestra—it is the whole crowd within oikos that produced the harmony and encouraged us to steer our efforts in the same direction. During a short interview with Mr. Bulloch, he shared a few tips for aspiring change-maker students and oikos members: they should follow their beliefs and not fear being different. Also, Mr. Bulloch advised future sustainability leaders to go to the place where one is reminded of why he or she wanted to make a difference in the first place.

Max and Martin

On Day Two, the focus was the Education Renaissance already taking place around the world. The audience was privileged to have a variety of speakers from different countries to talk about their experiences of changing the Business education system. What especially caught my attention was the presentation by Rasmus Johnson, the assistant professor at Copenhagen Business School. “The real world begins in the classroom,” he said. Instead of solving problems universities should focus on creating them. He believes that one can learn and understand more when one actively identifies the challenges and searches for potential new solutions. The proactive way of learning is more effective than any passive acceptation of knowledge served by lecturers. Max Oliva continued this thought by calling for entrepreneurial learning approaches: instead of separating entrepreneurship from education, we should bring them together. Similar ideas were shared by Traian Bruma, a supporter of self-directing learning and the founder of a revolutionary university in Romania and Martin Cadée, who created platform for people who sought for ownership of their own learning.

oikos FutureLab_group pic

The Experience

The experience of these two days was both enlightening and reflective—apart from the speeches, most hours were dedicated to project development and group discussions on what oikos’ future and how a future university should be. During the Impact Fair, one of the groups developed their project ideas with the help of the invited speakers through the oikos Impact Canvas. This tool, created in the FutureLab Conference 2012 with the input of the participants, helps to develop impact-driven projects. Linus Grob, a participant of oikos St. Gallen was pleased with this workshop, stressing that with this new tool, one was able to formulate a project plan in a short period of time with all the most important elements included.

University of the Future

During the Open Space session several initiatives and ideas were advanced. For example, a group of oikos members and stakeholders interested in sustainability and finance discussed the launch of a new initiative: the oikos Finance. Its main aim is to trigger institutional change to make sustainability an integral part of finance teaching and research at their universities. The group defined the impact and goals they want to achieve in 2014. As a follow-up, they have already arranged a conference call to exchange information, develop further ideas and leverage their projects.

It Is Not the End

During this two days conference, many new ideas are developed beginning a long, successful journey for oikos. Our horizons broadened, our knowledge widened, and perhaps most importantly, our friendship with other members of oikos community was cultivated. The Futurelab is not the end, it is in fact the kick-off and further-development of many initiatives such as oikos Finance, oikos Economics, oikos Leadership School and oikos Fashion. When the day ended with the wrap-up session, many participants shared their thoughts:

Nikolay Ivanov, from Copenhagen—with an initially vague understanding and a bit of skepticism about the conference, “I was surprised and inspired”. He was touched by many other participants at the conference and left with the goal of becoming a better person.

Jan Doerr, from Luxemburg— “The conference is a perfect platform for effective discussion on sustainability because it offers the chance for people all around the world to share their stories of obstacles and merits and eventually turn these into a realistic, realizable project plan.”

Article written by Kitty Huang

Photos by Stürmer Foto 


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oikos International

posted December 6, 2013

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Presidents’ Meeting

37 oikos leaders from all over the world gathered last week for three days in St. Gallen to strengthen the oikos network.

What is oikos and what is our mission? How can oikos be more impactful? How can we lead chapters more efficiently? Those questions were answered at the three-day Presidents’ Meeting in St. Gallen, organised by Lenka Parkanova, oikos International President, and Adriana Troxler, oikos Program Manager. The local presidents explored those questions in different workshop sessions and other interactive formats such as role-plays, quizzes and group discussions.

Mark Wade, an established expert in change management and sustainability, joined the event as the facilitator. Together with Maria Tödtli, doctoral candidate at the university of St. Gallen, they provided valuable inputs to the oikos chapter presidents during sessions as well as the coffee breaks.

On Friday, different workshop sessions were devoted to thinking about leadership, and our role as leaders. These workshops were then expanded on with hands-on skill sessions on communication, alumni relations, and fundraising.

From the personal level we moved on Saturday on to the organizational level to explore the vision and mission of oikos. Besides the serious work session, the participants had the chance to taste organic wines, bake traditional Swiss “Zopf” or discover the beautiful city of St. Gallen.

On Sunday, we connected the gathered information to what we are currently doing on a chapter level. During a very inspiring session, all local chapters shared their projects and we had time to exchange ideas and contacts. Concluding the event was a workshop on our personal leadership profile, our personal aims and oikos chapter development.

All the participants left the event with project plans and ideas they are going to implement in their chapters.

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oikos International

posted December 1, 2013

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