Join us on 2 March 2022 at 18:30-19:30 EAT(GMT+3) for the virtual UNEA side event: “We are what we teach: 5 ways education can be re-wired for nature.” Register here.
This event will present 5 cutting edge ideas as to how Universities, student leaders, Olympic sports, the Scout movement and the video gaming industry are all acting to protect and defend nature.
Following their presentations, there will be an exclusive discussion between ministers of education and high-level government representatives from across the globe to build out a broader plan for nature. Adam McKay, the film director of Don’t Look Up, will share his valuable insight on what must come next.
More details can be found below:
We will tackle the most challenging yet urgent topics to help realize the climate and nature secure future we need. Ideas will be shared around:
What do students want from their education? Youth from Teach the Future and MOCK COP will share what young people are calling for around education for nature in order to prepare them for the sustainable future we need.
How can universities play their part? The new Nature Positive Universities Alliance, led by the University of Oxford, is calling for universities to reduce the biodiversity impact of their supply chains and land use by joining the movement – 300 universities have already expressed interest in reducing their impact on nature.
How can sports deliver for nature? The environmental activist and british rower, Melissa Wilson, along with the International Olympic Committee will talk about the unrivaled influence of sport and the development of a major new Sport for Nature programme.
How can some of the biggest youth movements in the world take action?The World Organization of the Scout Movement (WOSM) will explain how their Earth Tribe platform seeks to advance education for nature by bringing all environmental badges into one space.
How can we make use of popular mediums such as video games to reach people where they are? Playing for the Planet Alliance member Ubisoft will show how gaming is being rewired in support of the environment.
This will then be followed by a unique discussion among ministers and government representatives from Malawi, Indonesia and the UK, to reflect on how they are working to change what we teach.
Finally, Adam McKay, the Director of “Don’t Look Up,” will share his thoughts on how youth can take action for nature and the climate.
Adam McKay, Academy Award-winning Writer, Director and Producer – “Don’t Look Up” Director
Agnes NyaLonje, Minister of Education, Malawi
Baroness Barran, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State, Minister of School System, United Kingdom
Mr. Anindito Aditomo, Head of Agency for Standard, Curriculum, and Education Assessment, Deputy Minister, Ministry of Education and Culture, Indonesia
A dozen generations of oikees have gathered around the oikos campfire to bring our organization’s history to life!
Who doesn’t enjoy sitting down around the bonfire with friends and family, taking a moment to look back and share stories, embracing the warmth and cherishing the time together?
Last Thursday, we invited all present and past oikees to a night around the (virtual) campfire as a way to connect with each other through their oikos stories. Participants brought and shared photos and memories, which made us travel back in time. Together, we rekindled the flame of the oikos beliefs and purpose inside each and every person present, no matter which generation or chapter they were from!
From some of the founding members back in 1987 to our changemakers of the present day: we were blessed to host oikees representing 12 different generations of students from the last 35 years, who all shared a common goal and identity with our community. Diving from one story into another, we connected the dots across the generations and created an image of what oikos looked like over the years, how it was shaped and how it impacted the world around us. The space allowed oikees to look back at how they faced and overcame a diverse set of challenges, but also to recall some funny anecdotes that have a special place in their hearts. These are the stories that bring oikos to life and bring us closer together. We left the campfire with a sense of encouragement, having learned something new about oikos and connected with fellow oikees on a deeper level… Virtual sparks were flying high in the sky as we celebrated our community.
Homecoming: diving deeper into the oikos History
What a start to dive deeper into the history of oikos! We hope that this will only be the beginning of our homecoming exploration, our journey to uncover and learn from and with our roots to continue writing history together.
After spending over a year in the making, gathering documents and information of all sorts and from all sources, compiling our learnings and laying the groundwork for the current infrastructure that would support the development of the HOMEcoming project, we discovered the three layers of the project and their purposes.
The first layer, the Chronics, is the most accessible to all, as it is a summary of oikos’ whole History since it started, back in 1987, available on our website Chronics .
Want to dive even deeper? There are the Archives – the backbone of the HOMEcoming. This is where we have stored all of our information on the Cloud. They can be accessed by anyone and are designed to be user friendly and, most importantly, to be updated by our whole community! Our new, collaborative Digital Archives & the Archives Guide are freely accessible.
Another gem of the HOMEcoming project is the Great List of Everything. It is a simple document that gathers all main information regarding everything we know about. It is also what the Chronics is based upon. Browse through our Great List of Everything with a chronology of important events & people
Outside the realm of the tangible and the written: our Campfire Gatherings. Sparking History back to life by bringing together and reconnecting with our community and alumni, these events are one of the main reasons why we’re doing this: we want our community to grow, connect and learn to empower everyone of us to become the change agents that are resting inside of us.
Celebrating the nature of oikos, we invite you to contribute proactively to this endeavor: Do you have some old pictures you could share? Any historic documents that would fill the gaps in our archives? Do you remember some information that is missing in the list of everything?
Every little contribution counts – and there is always space for more! 🙂 You could for example become our new homecoming volunteer, moving the homecoming project from conception into activation.
We’re greatly inspired, and want to share a big THANK YOU for the hard work of the current homecoming team!
Our friends at Plural Economics Zurich are organising a Summer school on ecological and feminist economics.
The summer school is taking place from August 28 to September 3 in Beatenberg, in the canton of Berne. It is meant for people who study economics as a major or minor on the bachelor, master or PhD level. The aims of this summer school are 3-fold: First of all, we would like to offer students the ecological and feminist perspectives on economics on a beginners and advanced level. We were already able to gain Irmi Seidl and Julia Steinberger as speakers for ecological economics. Secondly, it will be discussed what pluralism in economics means and why it is important. In workshops which are prepared by our group in Zurich we will further discuss an overview of the history of different theories and the politics behind pluralism. Thirdly, we want to start developing projects during the summer school which are meant to be implemented after the summer school so the rethinking economics movement in Switzerland can gain new activists and grow.
Learn more about Plural Economics Zurich and the project here.
Are you ready to rise to the challenge of stewarding a global community of student change agents, together with your learning partner? Does the idea of learning, growing & developing a multitude of leadership competencies ranging from the individual to the community to the global economy level excite you?
Apply today to become the next Co-President of oikos International!
Application Time: 17.02 – 30.03.2022
Election: during the virtual Legislative Meeting in April(prospective date: 10.04.2022)
Duration & scope:
November/December 2022 – December 2024
Full-time employment (42h)
Salary (net): 2000 CHF + travel reimbursements
What the work of an oikos co-president looks like:
As an oikos co-president, you will be working in a highly complex, ever-changing but also truly supportive environment. You will work with a colorful team of around 25 employees and volunteers from all over the world, mostly but not limited to our virtual office. In your role, the team will actively support you and they count on your guidance and facilitation to some extent. What’s new: There will be another co-president stewarding the organization together with you. You will be the second one to enjoy this opportunity of holding the role together with a learning buddy in the second term of this new structure. Learn more about the co-presidency here.
Your core responsibilities:
As a co-president, your roles and tasks are very diverse and cover all aspects of the organization. Roles will be agreed upon between co-presidents, the sharpening and agreement will happen in an appreciative conversation after the election. Acknowledging that oikos is a complex organization, we assume that it needs this space to shape the roles together in close collaboration.
Next to granular roles that are owned by either one or the other, there will be several roles that will/should be shared by both, eg. to better regulate long-term partnerships or help the team to navigate fundraising efforts, and several roles that will need power of togetherness, like strategic clarity and overview. Beyond this, each role is enriched to address oikos’ purpose and the personal development needs of the individuals.
Examples from the portfolio are..
Tending the oikos community by listening in, making sure we are connected to the community, exploring new pathways and encouraging the chapters
Stewarding the international team and taking care of forming & facilitating the oikos Board and the Management Team. There are several organizational development initiatives that require our attention.
Facilitating our international & global strategy development to guide and map the activities, impact and development of the oikos community around the world.
Exchanging and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders towards fostering financial and non-financial partnerships and collaborations. This includes being in the (advisory) board of several partner organizations and representing the network at various international conferences, seminars, etc. Fundraising is a big part of this aspect.
Overseeing, contributing to and advising oikos international initiatives like Transforming Education Initiative or the LEAP Program and advising the organizing teams of community projects with an international scope.
Ensuring that all administrative, legal and HR matters are running smoothly, and supporting the dedicated team members in these matters.
Your needed qualifications and characteristics:
Proximity to and understanding of the oikos community, and the current needs, wishes, and topics of the network. We only accept applications from within the network.
Passion for sustainability in higher education and leadership development with an understanding of how it relates to oikos’ vision, mission and purpose.
Understanding of oikos’ organizational setup and general functioning.
Ability and curiosity for leading in complexity: being able to navigate complex challenges and handle overwhelming situations for yourself and the team.
Willingness to learn and adapt (management skills, software packages such as Salesforce, Google Workspace, Miro, website content management, etc.)
Facilitation competencies and leadership skills
Fluency in English in speaking and writing, basic knowledge of German is a helpful plus
Exceptional communication skills and an ability to collaborate with people of different backgrounds and cultures.
Experience with project management with an attention for detail.
What you can learn and how you can benefit:
Over the two years of presidency, you will grow and learn a lot, not only as a person but also professionally and as a leader. You will gain first-hand insights into how the wider network of sustainability and higher education works, where it is moving and how we at oikos have an influence that matters. On the ground, you will liaise and collaborate with key internal and external stakeholders working in the field of sustainability and foster relationships to key individuals and movements in academia and business. One thing is sure: your leadership competencies will be on test – and you will definitely grow beyond yourself on this fascinating learning journey!
Have you ever wondered what oikos International is all about?
Do you want to be a part of a diverse team that is tending a global community of student change agents?
This is for you! Apply to become our volunteer responsible for the oikos HOMEcoming initiative & help us bring our history to life!
What is the oikos HOMEcoming initiative?
oikos homecoming is an initiative that was started in 2021 by a project team with oI team members & alumni. The intent was to recover a coherent stream of information on our history in oikos and to make the learnings more accessible for future generations. The results of several months of project engagement are a portfolio of formats and information that can inform our future and help us tell our story out there.
Whereas phase 1 (conception & set up) of the project is coming to an end with the end of 2021, we aspire to move into a second phase that is all about implementation, activation and re-sharpening.
What are the responsibilities of the oikos HOMEcoming volunteer & what is the estimated time commitment?
The purpose of the role is to take on responsibilities in the homecoming initiative such as facilitating, communicating, maintaining & strategizing, so that our history can become a vivid, colorful, evolving base for our future action. As a volunteer, you would help strategizing our roadmap for the second phase of the project, which is about the implementation and sharpening of all formats.
The time commitment is flexible, with an estimation of 3-5h/week on a self-paced, virtual basis. The volunteer will start in March and the position will be focused on the project, closing at the end of 2022. It would be great if you already have an idea about – or experience with – oikos, either on the chapter or the international level.
Tasks can include, but are not limited to
Optimizing the web-presence & communication strategy for the homecoming initiative
Creating maintenance processes for the database
Facilitating homecoming events
Answering comments & emails
What will you get from joining the team?
Work experience in a virtual project setting with the opportunity to shape a projects strategy and milestones #projectmanagementskills
Learn about the history of oikos: 35 years of driving change!
Become part of a network of student change agents & alumni, all working for a more just & sustainable tomorrow
Work with purpose in a multicultural, dynamic, international team that puts a high value on walking the talk and innovating ways of working
Learn about the day-to-day working of an international organization and gain insights into the global opportunities and challenges of international NGOs
Gain experience in working remotely in a virtual office
Connect to an extensive network of various NGOs
Who are our volunteers?
Volunteers are autonomous members of the International team, trusted with particular projects in a certain area. They become part of our teams and take real responsibility in making oikos work.
Are you interested in joining our Crew? Contact us via email or directly apply here!
Last month, as we kicked off the new semsester, we are excited to share the news opportunities we have in store for you! The oikos Homecoming Project which will be introduced at the campfire event later in February is an amazing opportunity to relive some fondest oikos memories from the past. We are going strong with our Transforming Education initiative in 2022, starting a new blog segment – Transforming Edcuation Stories, and are delighted to welcome a new cohort to the LEAP Researchers Track.
The flagship event – oikos International Chapter Conference is making a return in spring of this year in the Austrian city of Graz and you can already register! Recently oikos and Positive Impact Rating have featured in Financial Times and we’re happy to share it with you, along with some amazing opportunities from our partners’ networks – the PRME book launch and the new edition of the International Green Gown Awards.
Have you ever felt like there are important problems that need to be tackled? Problems that are maybe very abstract. Or too large for one single person to combat. Or maybe you just did not know where and how to start. Then you are definitely not alone! In this article, we would like to take you on Michaela’s Journey and show you how, together with the right people, and initial idea can develop into something great. Everything begun not even two years ago…
Michaela was a 21-year-old student in Vienna. During her vacation before her third semester at university she started to engage a bit more with sustainability-related topics. After having seen all the news and debates on the media, she started to question her own consumption behavior, her media intake and also her surroundings. While reading she quickly stumbled upon the SDGs by the UN and was shocked that she has never heard of them before. She was angry at her surroundings, especially her university because she felt that is also in the scope of responsibility of her educational institution. With the newly found anger she started to look for like-minded peers and found the student association oikos Vienna. She was immediately hooked and was happy to see the semester kick-off event in March 2020. With the pandemic having started a couple weeks prior, she was even more curious to use her free-time and make an impact in the university. During her kick-off she met the president of oikos Vienna and was mesmerized by the impact and size of oikos Vienna. Hearing that the association is currently looking for members for a newly founded department within oikos called “Curriculum Transformation”, Michaela thought that she really hit the nail on the head and immediately signed up. Together with 3 other new members they met regularly to think about a vision and strategy for the department. Their primary objective: integrate sustainability better into the existing curriculum on their university. Sounds easier said than done. They did not want to make enemies with the university nor really change the topics taught in courses – that is nothing they felt their responsibility. Rather, Michaela and her peers wanted to serve as an inspiration and also rethink sustainable teaching methods and insert small sustainable facts of examples into existing courses to nudge students towards a more sustainable-oriented thinking. They felt that this was their responsibility. Shortly after having set up such a vision, they contacted the STaR institute at WU Vienna. It is the center for sustainability transformation and responsibility, dedicating its efforts to support WU Vienna’s societal responsibility as a driver of sustainable transformations. Michaela set up a meeting with the team members to collect valuable input and feedback to their vision. The meeting went wonderfully, and a lot of collaboration possibilities opened up! The first one Michaela and her peers wanted to tackle was the possibility to create a listening exercise for the first English course for the next year – this was a huge opportunity. Every single student at WU Vienna had to take the course. So, the goal was to make it a clearly structured, sustainability-related and fun-to-do exercise and the team felt empowered to do so: they were students themselves and could integrate their own feedback into the creation. They talked to the respective professor to set a frame and understand which learning and content aspects they had to follow. The listening exercise was to be an interview with a team member from STaR talking about SDGs and sustainability aspects on campus. English-wise it had to contain numbers, different tenses, and language exercises for comparison. Michaela was thrilled and immediately started to write a script with interview questions and possible exercise-questions for the students to answer while listening to the exercise. Several feedback loops were done by Michaela, the English professor and the interviewee to really have everyone on the same page and satisfied with the exercise. After having rehearsed it, the team set up an interview setting (due to the pandemic on-site meetings was still not possible) and put together the 10-minute listening exercise. At the end, Michaela and her team were so proud of their work and even though it was just one exercise out of many, it felt like they truly had an impact because finally sustainability topics were talked about and openly discussed in a university setting and used exemplary. Michaela was happy and content with what they have achieved as a team and felt this was only the first step on a long journey.
The high Michaela lasted over the summer an in October 2020, new members joined the department of oikos Vienna. This felt like great news to Michaela, as there were even more likeminded people that wanted to push forward sustainability in education. And with this new, enlarged team, new and larger projects could be tackled. But this also came together with new challenges, as the more people involved in a project, the more organization is required. But with the motivation of the entire team, this felt only like a small barrier and despite the complicated situation due to the pandemic still going on and the shifting of most of the work to an online environment, visions for the new semester were created. The integration of new team members worked quite well and soon tasks for all were found and they could transfer their motivation into action. After all, there is always enough to do when it comes to promote sustainability in education! And this idea, that as a team and with enough motivation you have the power to change things that might appear impossible at first sight, kept the team motivated to pursue their work together. One big task waiting for Michaela and her team: a very important pitch for the rectorate to introduce themselves and try to get the support of their university for future actions. Therefore, in long rounds of preparation, it was very detailly discussed how to approach this huge but very exciting task. And then, finally, the great day arrived and the entire team gave its best to convince the rectorate of their actions in a 15 minutes call that would later have quite an impact on the entire team. After this very important experience for the team, they felt like they could achieve even more, although the task they had engaged upon still needed to be taken seriously. They had engaged a few months prior on providing a listening comprehension, which Michaela and her team had already worked on, however it was not perfect yet. It still needed some final fixes before it could go online and teach students at their university about the SDGs. Several emails later, their (slightly modified and improved) final version of the listening comprehension and questions going with it were accepted by the responsible professor at their university. This was an important moment for the entire team as the project, they had worked so much on and they believed would have a great impact on future students, was now completed and accepted. Michaela felt that, within one year since creation, the now grown team had achieved something wonderful which also left each single member back with something proud about what they had achieved. But of course, this huge achievement did not mean that the oikos Vienna team had reached its goals. There was still more than enough work to do regarding sustainability in higher education. And full of motivation from the feedback they had gotten from their rectorate pitch, more than ever, Michaela felt like, with her peers, she could achieve something great. They decided to listen to the feedback they had gotten and turn it into practice. This implied changing their name to fit better in the university environment and not scare professors away with their ideas, but also share their experience within their oikos community. One idea however remained in Michaela’s mind: It is great what you are doing, however you should think bigger in your actions. So, were there opportunities to have even a bigger impact? And how would these look? After all, the whole team only consisted of students. Very motivated students that had gained quite extensive knowledge within their work for oikos, but of course their main perspective was still that of a student. It turned out that Michaela would still have to wait a while until she would get answers to her questions. This is probably the downside working closely together with the university, everything goes very slowly! But this was no reason for Michaela and her peers to remain inactive. Through their engagement in promoting sustainability, they had found themselves some advocates within their university. And as soon as those had some project they could involve the team, they were contacted. Next to implementing their project, it also became more important for the team to also talk about those projects, so that people get to know about their work and achievement and maybe join or support them in their work. And therefore, Michaela and her peers were grateful for the offer they got from
their university. In April they were asked whether they wanted to present the work they had achieved, and their motivation behind, in the scope of a video series from their university about the SGDs. Of course, the whole team was happy about this opportunity to talk about their achievements, and maybe also inspiring others to take actions too. Quickly it was agreed upon Michaela to be the speaker for the interview. And together, the team prepared the interview questions. This was not feeling like hard work, after all, they were now experts on the topic! And then came the day of the interview. Michaela was quite excited; this was the first time she would give an interview. But once she reached the university campus where the filming should take place, she felt empowered. Now she could tell the world (or at least those interested in) about the role sustainability should play in education and how little steps can already improve the situation. Everyone seemed interested in the project and at the end of the interview, Michaela felt great as total strangers were interested in the project they were pursuing and those were thinking that it was a good thing and should be pursued further. This was not the only opportunity the oikos Vienna team had gotten. In the scope of an overview of sustainable student initiatives, they could also promote their activities within their university. Although not so many people did know about the work they were doing, the opportunities to promote their projects and talk about their actions were growing. And the team was taking them as they were presented to them! Another of these opportunities was the chance to hold a workshop for a university course, which aimed at promoting engagement during the study time. The team was flattered that they were asked to show how they work as an example for engagement next to studying: Michaela and her peers were presented as a model example! And this was also an opportunity going beyond talking about their engagement as this was a perfect opportunity to get some feedback on how to improve university courses. After all, having students sitting in front of them, they had the perfect source of information, because who else would be qualified of saying which teaching concepts work and which do not! Altogether, Michaela felt like many little steps were slowly but surely leading her team to success. More and more people knew about their projects and what they were doing. And maybe this would inspire someone to also take action and join them on their journey.
On one day in May, the oikos team had gotten a very important email. The long-awaited answer from their university about the existing opportunities at their university promised during the rectorate pitch came. And this was more than what the team had expected. They got the offer to help in providing content for a database that should enable lecturers to implement sustainability in education more easily. But although this was an amazing opportunity for the team, it also implied a responsibility and commitment. This was thus an important question for the entire team. With engaging in that project, they would probably have to give up some of the freedom they had as the university would set up some rules and also have the last word. This was a very important decision, as it would also have an impact on the next generation of oikees. It was clear that the decision had to be taken together, as a team. And before agreeing upon the project, several questions were raised. One being whether the team would have the ability to complete that task, after all it would be of no help to engage in a project if one cannot deliver. Finally, after lots of rounds of thoughts but also calls with those being responsible for the project, Michaela and her team decided to engage on that new exciting journey! By then, not knowing exactly what they should expect, but all together they had the feeling that with this new project, they could achieve something great and make an important contribution towards more sustainability in education over the next months and years! After one and a half years of engagement, Michaela still felt like her journey with oikos was not over. Now that they had agreed on starting a new large project, she felt like she could, more than ever, achieve a real change trough her work. Of course, they would need new members to achieve this task. But this, and that she was pretty confident about, would not be a problem as there are enough students out there that want to use their energy, time, and ideas to make their university a slightly better world, at least regarding sustainability. So, with these optimistic ideas in the back of her head,
Michaela could go on her summer break, already trilled about the new challenges and achievement she and her team would face in the next academic year! In October, Michaela’s expectations were fulfilled: two new members joint the team bringing in lots of energy and an even more motivational spirit on working together on this big new project, the sustainable education platform. With the support of these new, likeminded people, Michaela and her team got to know each other better at a cozy café, when it still was possible in these crazy times. She felt very comfortable with the people around her, especially in those times during ongoing lockdowns, the emotional support of her colleagues really confirmed her in what she did. They discussed the division of the work with some ginger tea and enjoyed a pleasant time together. During the next month, the team collected as much information and data as possible to evaluate suitable teaching methods, courses and course material for their platform. By asking for support from the big oikos network, they could make use of a supportive base to fulfill a common goal – changing the word together to a more sustainable one. Right now, Michaela is very busy with planning and preparing everything for the upcoming pitch of the project, while gathering ideas on the detailed implementation of the platform with her team. Michaela looks forward to upcoming achievements and challenges they will face as a team and feels certain about reaching their goals together! Michaela’s journey is not unique. A lot of students have similar feelings and want to use their time to make an impact! It is important for them to really change the face of the current problems and difficulties of our society – especially in the university context. We, at oikos Vienna, encourage you and them to do so! Pursue those aspirations and find others to join you on the journey. Our projects were only possible, because we were eager to change something, even if it is just a small example or listening exercise. That’s why we would like to serve as an inspiration and give you a few key facts with you on the way:
Hard and continuous work pays off – don’t quit just yet, but keep on going!
Find common ground and similarities instead of differences and try to collaborate and not compete.
Work together – we can only say #teamworkmakesthedreamwork
Talk about your ideas and projects with everyone and collect feedback and input. This is the only way to enhance your ideas and who knows – maybe new collaboration possibilities open up.
Those collaborations are key to success. Similarly, to the team, you need others to pull the same string you do. Go out there, change the world and enjoy it while you do it! All the best and lots of love from Vienna, oikos Vienna Sustainable Education Team
As a community of changemakers aiming to make a difference in the world through education, we know that sometimes you need a little something to push you to make your contribution to the change. To overcome this challenge we’ve equipped ourselves with stories – from both within and beyond our community, that serve to inspire or motivate you in making the change. Over the years our Transforming Education (formerly named Curriculum Change) Initiative with its events created an amazing platform for sharing such stories and now we want to grow it further and open it up to the world – beyond just the oikos Community.
This is why, with the help of wonderful teams from oikos chapters we created Transforming Education Stories. Through storytelling around the successes and challenges of these team we want to share their experiences that can support and help you navigate in your own efforts to drive change in education, be it as an individual, a team or an organization. We find that the best way to foster change is to share it with everyone, no longer limiting the impact solely on the local campus, but spreading it out over different universities through sharing with fellow students. Whether it’s raising a controversial question around the campus or setting up a whole new university course, we want to make their stories heard and inspire a new generation of changemakers.
The first Transforming Education Story is the one of our very own Vienna oikos chapter and will be published soon, so stay tuned!
On our blog we will regularly share Transforming Education Stories from various universities. Do you wish to join the TE conversation and share your story? You are welcome to share your stories by submitting them here. If you wish to engage into our Transforming Education Projects you can explore the initiative here.