Moving Forward: oikos Learning Circles

Almost a month has passed since the oikos FutureLab 2016. High time to trace back their actions since the FutureLab. Learn more about their plans and how you can get in touch.

Finance LC

The Finance Learning Circle was small, but full of ideas. The participants shared their ideas and plans for Chapter projects, discussed the feasibility and made commitments. Projects include promoting a solar rooftop on the university’s buildings by presenting financing possibilities; fighting online loan sharks by creating awareness for the downside of lax legislation; debating the plans to abolish cash; and many more. If you are interested in joining the debate and share learning experiences, join the Podio Workspace or contact

Fashion | Supply Chain LC

The interest in the Fashion Learning Circle was immense. With so many people interested, the preconditions are great to jointly create projects. Here, too, a workspace on Podio exists that you can join. A good venue to reconvene some LC members will be the oikos Winter School in Witten/Herdecke on the topic “You call it Eco, we call it common sense – Sustainability in the Fashion Industry”. You can apply now under:

Participatory Learning LC

Smaller than expected, but with a lot of energy, the Participatory Learning LC led by the organization COMMIT used the time at the FutureLab to enact some alternative learning techniques and reflect on their use. Most importantly, COMMIT continued on their journey to gather knowledge about students’ perception of current learning styles. By asking questions like

  • “What does your dream university look like?
  • What bugs you in your current education, what are you missing?
  • If you had the chance to talk to your dean about changes/improvements, what would you tell him/her?”

the LC explored real scenarios to implement curriculum change at universities and business schools.

In general COMMIT wants to move forward by facilitating workshops for faculty and students at universities while also training them to do the facilitation themselves in order to spread the concept more broadly. If you would like to join the process, get in touch with Julia Weber, Anna Beyer and the team of COMMIT at

Energy LC

The Energy Learning Circle chose to discuss the topic “Sustainable Housing for the Indian Poor”, involving initiatives like Pollinate Energy that bring solar powered electricity and lighting into households that are not connected to the grid. If you want to get involved, visit the LC’s Podio Workspace, their Facebook Group or write to the LC manager Ben or Shyam on the Podio Intranet.

Entrepreneurship LC

Updates follow soon! Meanwhile, get in touch with the LC managers Harshal and Prudhvi through the Podio intranet.

Economics LC

Updates follow soon! You can reach the LC managers at

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oikos International

posted December 1, 2016

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Smart Cities: The Link between Housing, Mobility and Energy

On November 15, oikos Alumni came together for the fifth Alumni Debate  in Zurich, Switzerland. The developments on the intersection of urbanization and digitalization were at the center of the debate.

Because the way we live in cities is drastically changing, oikos Associate Christoph Rappitsch chose the rubric Smart City as the vantage point of the discussions. What are the innovative technologies which will rebuild the foundations of housing, mobility and energy and form Smart Cities?

To discuss the different aspects of Smart Cities a handful of oikos Alumni joined him as panelists in the discussion:

Annette Kern Ulmer (Head Strategic Projects, ewz; oikos St. Gallen)
Ronny Kaufmann (CEO, SwissPower; oikos St. Gallen)
José Ibarra (Independent consultant; oikos Lausanne)

The debate started with a discussion on how much technology is needed for our homes to save energy and how much could and should be done with analog methods, e.g. turning down the heat and switching off lights. Even though the panelists all work in the energy industry that is under heavy pressure to implement the newest technology, points of view on the matter diverged. Expectedly, the argument emerged that we need technology, if only to remind and “nudge” us to live more sustainably. On the other side, technology would need agents who are aware of their actions and act responsibly. And to put it quotable, the most important aspect of a Smart City are Smart People.

The discussion then moved into the technical realm: how should and could houses be designed? The best solution, it emerged, would be a combination of the newest measuring tools for energy and electricity, together with smart design and materials, which are able to keep the house cool or warm without additional energy input.

The next big topic covered was mobility. The discussion centered around how technology can improve the situation from an environmental perspective: reducing emissions by car sharing; reduce inefficiencies via smart mobility apps; make traffic more efficient in cities via navigation tools; making the use of existing infrastructure more convenient.

The last topic covered was the role policy makers should play in the transformation to a Smart City. They should offer incentives for creating a sustainable infrastructure (solar panels, loading stations for e-cars, financial support for efficient buildings, etc.) and should foster the change towards a more sustainable way of living in a city.

The debate could be watched live on Facebook, where it is still available on our page. We thank again to the panelists and all the participants (offline or online), who joined us for this debate.

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oikos International

posted December 1, 2016

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oikos&Pizza with Lush

Join oikos&Pizza in st. Gallen and meet Lush, Fresh handmade cosmetics.

For more information read in German here

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oikos International

posted December 1, 2016

This might be for you.