A soon to be oikos Rotterdam Organizes Event on Critical Thinking and Negotiation Skills

At the Erasmus University in Rotterdam, students kicked-off – its first event on Wednesday, 13 January. The lecture, presented by Emeritus Professor Slawomir (Slawek) Magala, focused on critical theory and alternative approaches to knowledge and business.

“The lecture was really interesting and inspiring, I’m definitely going to be there for the other lectures as well!” one of the participants commented directly following the lecture. Professor Magala talked about his role in the historical start of Critical Theory in business curriculum, about the nature of knowledge nowadays, and about current global issues, e.g. the refugee crisis. What made the lecture interesting was the alternative perspective from which Professor Magala looks at subjects, challenging the common beliefs and views on issues. He encouraged everyone to think deeper, about the underlying reasoning, or lack thereof. The key take-away message was that written knowledge in textbooks is not the most important thing we learn at university. What is most important, is activating the skill of critical thinking and the art of negotiation, because those skills represent what

knowledge is today.

Professor Magala’s opinion about this co-curricular lecture series was positive. -“Great to work with interested and intelligent students”, he commented afterwards. If you are interested in more inspiring lectures like this one, stay tuned for the next event in the Sustainability Lecture Series organized by the, soon to be, oikos Rotterdam. 18 February, the subject of Sustainable Marketing will be facilitated by Jan Looman.

See more photos of the event here.

Written by: Eva De Lozanne

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oikos International

posted January 24, 2016

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oikos Newsletter January 2016

Happy New Year!

According to the Gregorian calendar we are now in 2016 and we hope you have had a successful 2015 filed with joy and impact. As we send out the first oikos newsletter of 2016, you can read some of the wishes of oikos members for this year and apply to the many events coming up! And the Winter School, being already next month, is taking very last applications. Click here to know more. You can also apply to become part of the next FutureLab team, read below how to become involved in creating a spectacular conference. In this newsletter, you can also look back at the webinar the oikos LEAP Basic Track had with Julian Treasure, read about oikos’ involvement during COP21 and some oikos alumni events coming up. We close this letter off with a 30 seconds with the Executive Board, who shortly explains oikos’ goals for 2016.

Happy reading and best wishes for a splendid and responsible 2016 on behalf of the entire oikos community!

Read more here.

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oikos International

posted January 18, 2016

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Remembering Dr. Joan S. Davis


It is with great sadness that we have to inform you that Dr. Joan S. Davis passed away on Monday.

oikos St. Gallen is in mourning for her advisor and long-standing supporter Dr. Joan Davis. We have been honored to get to know our advisor and friend Joan Davis as an inexhaustible and inspiring personality with great goals. To the last she has played an important part in our association from day one. Her tender and targeted character and her way to stand up for a more sustainable future has influenced our association a lot. Joan will always be with us.

There is a blog that you can post condolences and appreciate statements: https://rememberingjoandavis.wordpress.com/

Dr. Joan S. Davis
(17.2.37 – 11.1.16)

Dear Friends and Colleagues of Joan Davis,

We have sad news: Unexpectedly, and in the midst of her indefatigable work, Joan left us. She dedicated her life to the pursuit of a more sustainable and mindful relationship with our planet. Her significant contributions to science, education and policy making inspired many people through her unique way of interconnecting subjects. Joan’s loving and vibrant nature made her many close and valued friends who already miss her dearly.

A memorial service will be held on Wednesday, February 17th, 2016 at 2:00 p.m. at the Wasserkirche in Zurich, Switzerland.

Instead of flowers, please consider supporting an initiative that Joan was very passionate about – communicating the multiple benefits of organic farming.

If you would like to share your memories and condolences, you can do so here: https://rememberingjoandavis.wordpress.com/

In deep sadness,

Her friends Ania, Belinda, Frank & Heiko

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oikos International

posted January 15, 2016

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Become the next oikos President or International Executive Board Member!

Apply until March 10th to become the next oikos President or an Executive Board Member. An incredible experience awaits you, go ahead!

Click here!

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oikos International

posted January 11, 2016

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Expressing Youth Voices at The Entretiens du Royaumont

On December, 4th and 5th ‘les Entretiens de Royaumont’ took place at the Royaumont abbey, near Paris, France. This annual event gathers French CEOs and top managers from several companies since 2003. Subsequent to its success year after year, the event also went to take place in Warsaw, London, Madrid, and Rabat. The goals remain the same in every city: make national CEOs meet to discuss a specific topic, raise awareness and network.

The topic for this year 2015 in Paris was “Et vous, comment êtes vous ‘green’?”, ie. “and you, how are you ‘green?”. French CEO and top managers from companies such as Michelin, Airbus group, Axa, BNP Paribas, KPMG, Air France, Engie, Orange, Mazars, Goodplanet fondation and akuo energy, were all present. Among the participants were also the Prime Minister of Benin’s, Lionel Zinzou; Mongolia’s Minister of Environment, Battsereg Namdag;  the renown French chief cook, Alain Ducasse; the president of the Internationale Automobile Federation, Jean Todt; and so forth.

The talks were on different sub-topics in order to try to tackle the question holistically:

French companies and ‘green’; ‘Green innovation’ ; How did you become ‘green’?; Get engaged ‘green’ for ocean; Get engaged ‘green’ for one’s colleagues; Get engaged ‘green’ for one’s clients; For a ‘green compatible’ economical model; Thinking ‘green’ favours long term; The ‘green’ conviction; Growing, developing and becoming ‘green’; Make French adopt ‘green’; Student engagement for ‘green’  From agreement to action: how to succeed the transformation of our models? and Transform the French society.

oikos was invited to give a talk to express youth voices with regards to the topics mentioned. Axel Bozier, an oikos Reims (France) alumni, Amélie Plateau, oikos Lille president, and Clémentine Robert, oikos international Executive Board Member represented oikos at this event. The feedback after oikos’ talk was very good and we hope for student voices to be increasingly heard, each year, whatever the topic thanks to the help of different student organizations. It is important for CEOs to know what youth thinks and how they act on the tackled topic since students will be tomorrow’s leaders and employees of these companies.

The videos, in French, are not available yet but will be posted on the website soon (http://entretiensroyaumont.org/wordpress/?page_id=5).

To know more about the Entretiens de Royaumont follow this link: http://entretiensroyaumont.org.

A special thank you to Théodore, a French student studying in the University of St Gallen, who thought of oikos to represent the youth voice during the Entretiens de Royaumont!

Watch oikos’ intervention here.

Written By: Clementine Robert 

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oikos International

posted January 11, 2016

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The oikos Finance Learning Circle Manager Tells Her Experience

A Facebook post decided my future to work on a newly implemented format of oikos – the learning circles. I’ve joined the finance learning circle as a co-manager with my collegue Sanober and frankly speaking, it was one of the best decisions, I’ve ever made. Very interesting fellow-workers, participants and speakers made my experience priceless.

But let me start from the beginning. We decided to work on two topics: The impact of market power and manipulation in financial markets & the growing movement to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Me, as a passionate student at the faculty of finance took responsibility to work on the first topic, what does market power and manipulation mean? What is their influence on the sustainable development in financial markets and generally, how do we define sustainability in finance? So we decided to search for some interesting information, research papers and articles about our topics which we shared with all our participants on our facebook page. Then something exciting and unexpected happend.

It was a warm sunny day of October. We all met in St. Gallen – a small, beautiful town in Switzerland.

The finance learning circle was officially opened. On the first day we had awesome, very intelligent and interesting speakers, who gave absolutely amazing speeches about market power and fossil fuel divestment. Despite having only little time, we had the chance to ask questions to our speakers and quickly discussed the problems raised. Those two topics are absolutely different from each other, but still they were very interesting and understandable for everyone thanks to our speakers.

After our session on the first day, we had a delicious dinner and a good time with the oikees, followed by a long enough night to think about our session on the second day, where we were supposed to create projects on how to improve finance education and involve all the problems discussed the day before.

As all of us agreed, our modern education system is not perfect, so we started working on a project, on how to make education matter.

Personally I am very sorry that we do not study ethics in finance, we do not discuss, why big banks and financial houses often abuse market liberations. No one ever really talks about this problem, which is why we as students should use our voice and ask for it or start implementing modern methods of education ourselves. The best platform to do so might even be student organizations such as oikos.

At the end, we came up with an idea to make a cross-chapter project in oikos. It’s a long term project and the first steps would be creating a platform to organize this project and set up templates for the easy implementation of the idea in the future. Later on some regional chapters will be able to start realizing the project themselves – one day, one topic, two chapters.

To sum it up, the learning circles are an absolutely brilliant idea, it’s a well known fact that you get the best knowledge and understanding, when you teach. So in our circles, we have the great opportunity to gain this experience and deepen our knowledge about the questions discussed.
The finance learning circle was very interesting and inspiring for me. I hope I will have the chance to be involved in a similar way in the future as well.

Here you can see some comments and impressions from participants of the finance LC, who did an amazing job, sharing their experiences and brilliant ideas, and most importantly, with whom we planned our future projects, to make education matter !!!

Ani Lomouri, oikos Tbilisi

“Participating in the finance learning circle was a great experience to me. During those two days we were given very interesting lectures and were discussing on several important topics related to sustainable finance. The thing I found especially attractive was that it was not only the discussions we did, we worked out projects which allow us to spread our experience and knowledge over a large amount of people. I believe exactly that was the point of oikos Future Lab 2015. Being in this learning circle with amazing people was really very productive to me.”

Luiz Alfredo Santos

“It was my first experience with oikos International. The opportunity of sharing the enthusiasm about sustainability with young students, scholars and leading professionals in the realms of sustainable development was truly great. As I always repeat to myself: The world desperately needs people thinking and acting differently of the ordinary. Of the same old conventions which are clearly not sustainable and are tearing us apart as human beings and as part of a much larger ecosystem. The oikos community is made of such people. I know it sounds like dreamer’s word fully of foolish enthusiasm of those who have not lived enough to become cynical in this confusing world we live in. But If you allow me I would finish these words with a citation of Proust which I believe sums up what I am trying to say: “If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, but to dream more, to dream all the time.”

Written By: Salome Lekishvili 

This post was originally posted on the oikos Vienna Blog here: http://oikosvienna-blog.com/2015/12/20/1418.

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oikos International

posted January 5, 2016

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oikos at “Les victoires des leaders du capital humain”

On December 10th, oikos attented the “Victoires des leaders du Capital Humain” awards, a human resources awards events, organized in Paris by Leaders League, an organization that offers media and business services for leaders. This event gathered HR directors from 500 different companies such as Mazars, PepsiCo France, Air France, Agence France Presse, Novartis Pharma, BNP Paribas Real Estate, Schneider Electric, Groupe Adecco France, Robert Walters, Danone, ID Logistics and so forth.

In the afternoon several workshops took place and were followed in the evening by a networking dinner and awards ceremony.

The workshops were the following:

  1. Transformations: What are the tools to face quick and deep changes ?

ͻ Changes should be done quickly, on a large scale within a company, with the collaboration of all the managers and when everything is fine, otherwise it is already too late.

ͻ Matrix structure is now too complex. Classical managerial structures are being destroyed but new structures are not well defined yet which leads to many human resources issues.

ͻ Transformation should be thought by the creative class because they are disruptive and not by those who have the power. The problem for companies is not the creativity of conception but the creativity of implementation. That is why lean management is often not really adapted. Transformation is not having an idea but implementing it!

Conclusion: It is needed to be exemplary in the original HR tasks to be then credible in the transformation.

2. Well being at work and new organizations: love marriage or marriage of convenience.

ͻ Work organization becomes more and more individualistic but still standardized. For instance, home office can be allowed according to the employee’s performance, seniority, etc.

ͻ Trust is the simple motto essential for the well being at work. It is provided by a clear environment, rules, listening, allowing feedback, encouragement of initiatives, etc. Tension between caring and performance. Some companies start to let go a bit and develop its collaborators’ soft skills.

ͻ Social dialogue is very important: the most competitive companies are those which have good social dialogues. To give meaning for the employees is important too.

Conclusions: Employees should be put back at the core of the company.

3.Strategies and social relations: new deal.

ͻ To keep trust it is necessary to keep regular social relations.

ͻ It is not easy today to be a union activist: understand the context, make decisions not understood by the employees, educate the employees, etc. Moreover they are less representative which make collective bargaining agreements difficult to get.

ͻ Conciliating social time, economical time and juridical time is hard and changed in 2008.

Social relation should be included in the strategy and should not be a positive element aside. Share the strategy with all the employees is necessary from a social and economical point of view.

ͻ Often changes step by step within a company work better succeed in having greater and bigger changes than to try to change everything in just one time.

4. Diversity, gender equity, and CSR: how to get out of the usual tracks?

ͻ CSR: to set up quantitative goals in volume and value within a delimited time would allow companies to go faster and further on that topic. Good way to leverage motivation among the employees. Digital transformation and CSR can be contradictory in many ways.

ͻ Diversity: provides collective creativity and collective intelligence. The goal today is to highlight the differences which will bring value.

ͻ A diversity policy should survive to three different leaders before being part of the strategy.

Conclusions: Mission accomplished when CR/Diversity department will not exist anymore (everything will be integrated)!

Awards winners:

  • Quality of working life: iAdvize
  • CSR, diversity, gender equity: Gecina

To know more about Leaders League visit http://www.leadersleague.com.

To know more about this specific award (only in French): http://www.victoiresleaderscapitalhumain.com.

Written by: Clementine Robert 

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oikos International

posted January 5, 2016

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