oikos Spring Meeting 2019: understanding challenges and opportunities in Sustainable Urbanism

Rising sea levels, increased precipitation and inland floods are but a few challenges facing cities amidst increasing global temperatures. Add to it worrying number of deaths from air pollution, overpopulation, waste-disposal problems, poverty and one cannot help but see the need for urgent action. The question is what can be done to slow down and eventually reverse these trends?

From 16th to 17th March 2019, the oikos Spring Meeting 2019 focused on the topic of Sustainable Urbanism in an attempt to find an answer to the question. By bringing together students from around the world and leading sustainability professionals based in Belgrade, Serbia the event assessed the extent of urban problems, looked into the world of sustainable cities and charted a path for getting there.

A panel on the quality of air discussed the connection between climate change and air pollution. Our panelists, Mirjana Jovanovic and Vladimir Durdevic also talked about main polluters such as thermal power stations and how poverty sets people to look for the cheapest energy resources like wood. “It does not matter where the pollution is coming from it affects every area and all of us” – noted Vladimir and suggested three main solutions for mitigating the problem: smart energy production, sustainable urbanism and phasing out fossil fuels. Mirjana further recommended state intervention to provide funds and subsidize people with lower incomes to accelerate the move to cleaner resources. But they were cautious in saying that so solution fits all and city problems should be tackled considering local insights. oikos members too shared main stumbling blocks affecting their cities in this domain.

“No drama is necessary”, urged Ksenija Lalovic, “others have solutions”, as she emphasized the importance of international collaborations and the need for improving governance through cross-country exchanges in building sustainable cities. Ksenija explained how countries from all over the globe could come together and share their decades or even centuries old experiences to mitigate problems caused by extreme weather and build more resilient urban communities together. She was unequivocal in saying that the current generation of youth was the one that would need to take the lead in the fight against climate change. But she also noted the role of her generation in one of the most memorable lines of the meeting: “The mission of our generation is to pave the road for youth to make the change!”.

Standardization can be a weary topic, but not when a speaker shares the sentiment and is determined to make a talk on quality frameworks and models interesting. Mladen Djuric introduced participants to ISO standards and its requirements. “It is extraordinary significant to understand Quality Thinking, in order to work with standards for management systems (especially in their implementation)” – pointed he out. The standards bring quality thinking to the core of management and hence help cities become smarter and more sustainable.

Over the course of two days, the participants learned about smart energy planning and how the city of Belgrade approaches the problem. They gained insights into integrated projects at the University of Belgrade that connects soon-to-be journalists with fellow students from the department of architecture to tackle local urban issues. oikos members joined the dots to draw a picture of a unicorn startup, that can survive initial uncertainty and fly high in the world of innovations.  Finally, they delved into the topic of climate change thanks to talks from Djordje Samardzija and Vladimir Durdevic. At workshops, our participants developed ideas for startups and innovative business models, as well as looked into the practice of aquaponics.

A big finish came with an inspiring oikos Project Fair, where our chapters introduced their local initiatives and shared ideas for cross-chapter collaboration. The participants left the meeting with a determination to bring the new knowledge to their chapter communities and act upon it to create better, more sustainable cities.

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oikos International

posted March 28, 2019

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Sustainable Festival – Parigo Green

When ?

Thursday, April 4th from 10am to 10:30pm

Where ?

On the ESCP Europe République campus, 79 avenue de la République, Paris.

Metro: Saint-Maur (line 3), Oberkampf (line 5), Père Lachaise (line 2)

What ?

Once again this year, oikos Berlin organizes the PariGo Green festival, in collaboration with Noise ESCP Europe, and the new Berlin association, Ethos!

The festival will take place on the République campus of ESCP Europe Paris, during the Student Sustainability Week, on Thursday, April 4th. The theme of PariGo Green 2019 will be ‘Tech for Good’, or the role of technology in sustainable development.

The doors of ESCP Europe will be open to all who wish to question the role of technology within the realm of sustainable development, discover innovative entrepreneurs and/or to simply relax while participating in fun activities and tasting delicious local products!

Programme of the day ?

10h-12h30: Conference “Circular Economy 4 Resilient Cities” (in english)

Panel discussion with UN Environment, the Ellen Macarthur Foundation, Loop (Zero Waste Packaging Revolution), Phenix (Zero Waste France) as well as ChangeNOW (International Summit for Change).

Separate registration for the conference here: click on this link

During lunch, What the Truck, one of the most popular food truck of Paris will be there to cook delicious locally sourced burgers, including a vegan burger.

12h30-18h: Startup Fair, Workshops & Activities

Come and discover our Startup Fair, the novelty of this year’s edition. Meet some twenty innovative startups which are built on sustainable business models and promote shared value, and why not get yourself an internship for this summer.

Simultaneously, we will propose fun activities: DIY of cosmetics, yoga class, insect tasting, clothes swap, raffle and other surprises…

A vegetarian buffet will also be served in the evening.

18h-22h30: Live Concert & DJ sets

In collaboration with the Quatter (ESCP Bar) and Polyphony, a concert in two parts will take place, live music will be played at first, followed by DJ sets until closing time.

Everyone is welcome !


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oikos International

posted March 26, 2019

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The LEAP Mid-Term Meeting 2019: Sailing on the sustainability wave

In March 2019, oikos LEAP Advanced Participants met in Belgrade, Serbia. In this pesonal blog story Maike and Hannah,  two of the meeting participants recount their brief LEAP journey.

In March 2019 seventeen oikos LEAPers from all over the world set sails to continue their journey of self-development and leadership training. The unique setting on a picturesque houseboat on the Danube river in Belgrade entailed not only a floating conference room but also a comfy fireplace and individually decorated dorm rooms which fostered our creativity and helped us discover more about our personalities. Cooking dinner for each other in the evenings did not only serve as a teambuilding activity but also, as a matter of fact, sustained us.

In many workshops, reflections and discussions during our three days of LEAP we found our own definition of leadership, learned how to manage our time and commitments better and what non-violent communication really means. On our journey, we also discovered paths which focused more on our personality. In these, we reflected about past and present beliefs, emotions and even approached the holistic topic of our own personal life purpose. Thereby, we also learned how to provide feedforward to our peers – which means giving advice on how to act in the future instead of merely talking about how past actions should have been.

By understanding the bigger picture and interconnectedness of the various facets of our personalities and the world around us, we then elaborated the oikos purpose from our point of view. Metaphorically spoken, we found the oikos chapters to be boats sailing on the sustainability wave guided by our lighthouse, oikos International.

This amazing experience would have never been possible without the passionate coaches. They did not only transfer knowledge and supported the immediate application of the concepts but also created a comfortable and safe atmosphere. Once again, the LEAP meeting showed us that we are only capable of leading others once we can lead ourselves. Fortunately, the journey did not stop in Belgrade but continues for all of us, encouraging us to spread out to inspire and motivate young people.

LEAP truly is the empowerment of young change agents to become sustainable leaders of the future and the midterm meeting brought each of us forward on our personal journey.

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oikos International

posted March 25, 2019

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UN Climate Negotiation Simulation

Countries all over the world have committed to reduce their carbon emissions in order to reach the goal of the Paris Climate Agreement of a maximum of 2°Celsius global warming. However, reaching this goal may be more challenging in practice, as there are large differences between countries. From their contributions, to their resources to protect themselves against the severe consequences of climate change, and their general capabilities to reduce territorial emissions. This creates a lot of tensions between different parties, since only few are willing to put action against climate change on top of their agenda.

Do you want to step in the shoes of one of these countries?

As part of the Lund Sustainability Week, Oikos Lund organizes a UN Climate Negotiation Simulation. During this event, you can choose a country whose interest you will have to present in several rounds of negotiations. Think wisely about your decisions – In this interactive role-playing they may make or break reaching the goal of less than 2°Celsius.

Interested? Then join us on April 9th at 16:30 in LUSEUM, EC1:131. We hope to see you there!

Learn more about the event here

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oikos International

posted March 21, 2019

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Renewable Energy Forum

oikos Warsaw will host a Renewable Energy Forum for those interested in the future of our planet, who wonder, whether investing in renewable energy resources is for them and for everybody else who is willing to join.

Renewable Energy Forum will take place in Warsaw School of Economics on March 26-27. During meetings with industry people, participants will be given an uncommon possibility to get responses to the questions connected with renewable energy sources and technologies used in this sector.

Please feel welcome! Learn more here

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oikos International

posted March 21, 2019

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Green Mobility Design Thinking Challenge

oikos Graz teamed up with local partners to launch the Green Mobility Design Thinking Challenge (GMDTC). The challenge will take place for the first time within the Sustainability Days of the University of Graz!

What is the GMDTC 2019?
Bachelor, Master and PhD students are offered the opportunity to learn the about Design Thinking, gain hands-on experience and work together with

SAP /SAP Next-Gen Design Thinking Coaches
Creators Expedition – AVL Start-up Programm
Magna Steyr Fahrzeugtechnik Ag
▶ NEO – Natural Energy Organisation GmbH / ecar-rent.com – Elektroautos wie Tesla mieten

develop, test and pitch ideas and concepts in interdisciplinary teams for 2 full days!

Participation is free and includes meals on both days.

// Why should YOU participate? //
? Develop green solutions for innovative projects
? Learn Design Thinking
? Work in an interdisciplinary team
? Connect with other students and companies
Win cool prizes
? Receive a certificate of participation
? Enjoy 2 days of delicious food

For further information and application visit

The application deadline is April 21, 2019.

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oikos International

posted March 21, 2019

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Sustainable Week

oikos Lille is bringing back the Sustainable Week but it is going to be different this year. They partnered with 3 other associations for the first days and with companies for the last two ones:

Monday 18: Oikos x EIW: Gender Equality and sports (11AM-2PM): tug war followed by a yoga lesson. It will be a fun afternoon. – outside, in front of gym
Tuesday 19: Oikos x EPA: Projection of the documentary “Conspiracy” (1PM-2PM): after the projection, there will be a quizz. The winner will receive a Lush prize. Also, there will be a debate around the topic of the documentary, which is he impact of animal agriculture on the environment. There will also be free food! – E410
Wednesday 20: Oikos x ECC x Green Solution: CSR consulting (4PM-7PM): case cracking from the company Green Soluce. There will be a cocktail afterwards to meet them, so don’t forget to bring your CVs ! – E306
Thursday 21: Sustainable Lifestyle (1PM-5PM): Many companies from the sector will be coming: Ringana (vegan and clean cosmetics), Wibes (sustainable shoes), Livia van Heerde (Sustainable lifestyle blogger) and El Market (sustainable shop in Lille). There will also be a little cocktail afterwards to meet them – E405
Friday 22: Sustainable companies (12AM-2PM): Three companies are going to come: Travel with a Mission (solidarity trips association), One step Group ( Explorer of unexploited capacities & co-builder of innovative and sustainable ecosystems) and Pocheco (sustainable envelope company). It will be followed by a cocktail – E405

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oikos International

posted March 21, 2019

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oikos Annual Report 2018

We are excited to present the oikos Annual Report 2018. The report outlines our main activities and achievements in the preceding year and provides a brief overview of our plans in 2019.

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oikos International

posted March 19, 2019

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oikos Report: Mapping Pluralist Research

oikos is excited to announce the publication of a new report on pluralist economics. This report, titled “Mapping Pluralist Research” provides an overview of the research which has come out of the student movement for pluralism in economics.

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oikos International

posted March 15, 2019

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Student Networks for Sustainability support Pupils’ Global Climate Strike

Press release, Thursday, March 14th, 2019

Pupils realize the need for urgent political action

Student sustainability networks from 6 countries solidarize with the initiative “Fridays for Future” and call for participation at the Global Climate Strike for Future on Friday, March 15th 2019

One who does not think about the future, will soon have great worries. – Konfuzius

All around the world pupils and students are organizing demonstrations instead of attending classes. “Fridays for Future”[1] is a rapidly growing global movement led by young people who demand climate justice in the face of inadequate climate policy. These young students are taking to the street during school hours to demand climate protection and a rapid fossil fuel fade-out.

On March 15th, 2019, pupils from all over the world will participate in the first globally coordinated climate strike. They will stand up for their fundamental rights that are put at risk through the climate crisis.

In particular, we call up on students to support the Global Climate Strike for Future with an active and visible participation and to follow the example of already committed students like Luisa Neubauer.[2] 

As nation-wide university student networks for sustainability from Germany (netzwerk n e.V., sneep e.V.)[3][4], Austria (forum n)[5], Switzerland (VSN)[6], France (REFEDD)[7], the Netherlands (rootAbility)[8] and Great Britain (NUS)[9], as well as two global networks oikos international[10] and GRLI[11], we are enthusiastically following this movement and declare our unwavering solidarity with all the young people politically positioning themselves in the public sphere. We pay respect to the courageous and responsible engagement of these pupils!

“Fridays for future” uses a black-or-white approach to bring attention to the insufficiency of policy makers’ current efforts to seriously tackle climate change and its devastating consequences. 


They bring attention to the missing framework conditions necessary to transition towards a sustainable society. 


They bring attention to our decision makers’ careless handling of the natural ecosystems that all humans fundamentally depend on.  

The pupils’ concerns and demands are highly legitimate. This is, amongst others, underlined by the joint statement of more than 12.000 scientists from Germany, Austria and Switzerland (#Sciencetists4Future). The scientists highlight the scientific findings that call for immediate and consistent action and thereby forcibly support the “Fridays for Future” movement.

As student networks for sustainability, we stress the importance for schools and universities to responsibly educate children, youth and young adults. The transition towards a sustainable society will only be possible if teaching and learning at schools and universities accordingly undergoes a transformation. Education for Sustainable Development (ESD) and transformative education are vital for contemporary schooling. It also demands open and experimental spaces that allow learners and teachers to interact in an environment of critical discussion, visionary creativity and independent experimentation.

We consequently declare the following demands, addressing all political decision makers as well as teachers and staff from educational institutions:

  • Do not penalize pupils and teachers for attending Fridays for Future demonstrations!
  • Take the demands of the pupils seriously! A dialogue at eye-level is insufficient, as we need to build structures that steer towards fulfilling the Paris Agreement.
  • Integrate Education for Sustainable Development and transformative education as central parts in the curricula of all schools and universities! This is an educational practice that is currently being demonstrated by the pupils themselves.

Transitioning towards a sustainable society and tackling climate change demands decisive action. To comply with their social responsibility, political decision makers must start creating the necessary framework conditions now. Politicians who still refuse to act despite the wake-up calls of pupils and scientists gamble with the living conditions of current and future generations.


[1] https://fridaysforfuture.de/

[2] https://www.zeit.de/campus/2019-02/fridays-for-future-luisa-neubauer-organisatorin-demonstration-schueler-klimaschutz

[3] https://netzwerk-n.org/

[4] http://www.sneep.info/

[5] https://www.uninetz.at/forum-n/

[6] VSN: Schweizer Verband studentischer Organisationen für Nachhaltigkeit http://vsn-fdd-fss.ch/

[7] REFEDD: Réseau francais des Etudiants pour le Développement Durable: https://refedd.org/

[8] http://rootability.com/

[9] NUS: National Union of Students, https://www.nus.org.uk/

[10] oikos International: students for sustainable economics and management, https://oikos-international.org/

[11] GRLI: Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative, https://grli.org/about/our-network/

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oikos International

posted March 14, 2019

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