Community Impact Contest – oikos Chapters making waves with their change work

The oikos Community is always striving to find new ways to make learning more interactive, interesting and innovative and raise awareness for sustainability challenges they face on multiple levels. The incredible intrinsic motivation and the diversity of approaches is one of the main strengths of our community which flourishes into an ocean of ideas contributing to the highly needed change in our world.

At oikos international, we want to celebrate and showcase the thriving efforts of our local chapters. Therefore, we launched the Community Impact Contest: a platform for our chapters to learn, exchange & get inspired within and beyond the oikos community while celebrating each other’s work! After the local groups shared some of their most beautiful projects, the global network voted and selected the most thought-provoking and ground-breaking ideas.
After a very exciting and fun voting which took place during our International Chapter Conference (ICC) in Graz , we can finally reveal the results. Let us proudly announce the most celebrated projects of our community:

  1. The oikos x Swire Coca-Cola HK Sustainability Impact Case Competition, by oikos Hong Kong. This business case helped students acquire a sustainable business mindset by designing and developing innovative solutions for a real-life business case, while raising awareness for urgently needed waste reduction in Hong Kong.
  2. The Momentum Camp, by oikos Barcelona. This 3-days-event which gathered students, private as well as the public sector of Barcelona to discuss sustainability challenges the city is facing and the purpose of education in solving those challenges.
  3. The survey on Transforming Education, by oikos Graz and their home university. Through this initiative, oikos Graz aims at helping their host university (University of Graz) to take a proactive stand on sustainability and 21st century education by surveying students on what their perceptions and needs are regarding knowledge on sustainability at their university, as a part of the project of improving their local curriculum in the following years.
  4. The Green Jobs Fair, by oikos Warsaw. This job fair allowed students to see sustainability not only as a theoretical university course, but also as a real career path filled with new opportunities.
  5. The guest lecture on Sustainable Business, by oikos Graz. This event allowed students to learn how to integrate sustainability into businesses, what corporate social responsibility means and how to avoid greenwashing in these contexts.
  6. The Woman in Sustainability event series, by oikos Graz. This event series is dedicated to female scientists, entrepreneurs and activists, their role in the sustainability movement, the challenges they’re facing as women and tools to help women to overcome those challenges.

We want to thank all those who have participated in this event, and we want to congratulate all of our chapters for their stunning work and impact!
We are celebrating our beautiful community!

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oikos International

posted May 31, 2022

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oikos at 2022 PIR Global Deans Positive Impact Summit & 2022 Virtual PRME Global Forum

As June nears, we’re counting down the days until we get to see our community represented at exciting events!

On 2 June Stephen Snider, the Sustainable Finance Lead of oikos International will join the Look to the future: positive impact towards 2030 session at the PIR 2022: Global Deans PositiveImpact Summit in New York, creating a new vision for business schools and develop positive impact-related commitments.

The next day on 3 June the oikos International Co-president Sophie Charrois will join Thomas Dyllick at the launch of the Positive Impact Rating 2022 Edition results at the 2022 Virtual PRME Global Forum. The online event hosted by UN PRME is still open for registrations. You can learn more about it and register at the event page.

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oikos International

posted May 31, 2022

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Higher Education Summit 2022

The HIGHER EDUCATION SUMMIT 2022 focuses on research- and practice-related issues to realize an economy that strives for a safe and just world for everyone, within our planetary boundaries. This international conference is the place to be for anyone who wants to be a changemaker in the field of transformative learning for sustainable development within higher education!

From 6-8 September 2022, Hasselt University will open its doors for a three-day physical conference in Belgium. Take your diary and mark the dates in the color of your favorite doughnut! Be prepared for a summit full of interesting plenary sessions, keynotes, interactive workshops, inspiring talks, onsite excursions, lots of networking opportunities and much more! Have a look at the program and register here.

If you want to learn more about the event and sign up, you can do so by visiting the event page.

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oikos International

posted May 27, 2022

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Being – the LEAP YOUth Module 1

At the end of April the LEAP YOUth Cohort 2022 finished the first Module of the program. During the 10-months journey, participants go through 5 modules following the Inner Development Goals framework to explore the 5 main dimensions of conscious leadership: Being – Relationship to Self; Thinking – Cognitive Skills; Relating – Caring for others and the world; Collaborating – social skills and Acting – driving change.

From march to april they have explored the dimension BEING – Relationship to Self. This module’s structure was related to acknowledging and working on our relationship with ourselves, supporting participants to comprehend and practice the qualities of presence, self-awareness, inner compass, integrity/authenticity and openness/learning mindset and how these qualities and capacities can enhance leadership.

They could learn and exercise the different topics and skills experiencing different program elements as online input webinars about strengths and values, a hands on workshop on leading well from within: understanding how our brain works and practicing mindfulness, facilitated peer groups to get together and exchange insights and a 3 days onsite kick off meeting with different BEING exercises for the hybrid cohort. 

All the LEAP elements are facilitated by experts, professional coaches, LEAP alumni volunteers and the LEAP project team. The sessions are interactive and experiential, engaging full presence and participation. The sessions might include for example contemplative practices such as meditation, to help ground participants and get them ready for other inner and reflective practices. 


One example of an exercise from the BEING workshop was a reflection where they were asked to think on how a leader was perceived and which characteristics they embodied, recognizing leaders’ skills, “ways of being”, and capacities. The reflection was first made individually, and then an exchange took place where ideas of participants started to intertwine and expand into robust reflections.

“For me the qualities that I have seen in leaders I have encountered are: first, leading by example, which means that all of their inner qualities are being embodied in a coherent way, their actions, and words. Secondly, a general energy that I feel from them which is relaxed but in control at the same time. And a third one, being open and having the willingness to always learn, but being assertive, for example, when you talk to them you feel really listened to, and that your opinions are respected and you feel they want to learn more, but at the same time, whenever they might have a different opinion they will be assertive and create a space to evaluate the options accordingly.” –Ana Karen Cota, participant

Another important topic discussed during this session was the work of Dr. Daniel Friedland, the author of Leading Well from Within: A Neuroscience and Mindfulness-Based Framework for Conscious Leadership. Being a leader is being able to recognize your emotions and how they can impact your process of thought and consequently your behaviour. Being aware of negative feelings such as fear, could help us have the capacity to evaluate our being during a certain moment and create space to understand where we are coming from and if that can take us to the goal we aim for as leaders. In a cycle of reactivity (no self- awareness), different actions and words could be triggers and expose negative feeling in a relationship, on the contrary, being more mindful, pausing, noticing and choosing how to react could serve us to always be able to create more positive relationships and space to choose a more aligned way of being in accordance to what is happening on the present moment with a sense of openness and curiosity.

Together with carefully designing the program elements, the LEAP team is also making sure to continuously listen to participants and how they are benefiting from the program or if it needs changes, evaluating the impact of LEAP to be able to adapt and best serve this powerful community of change-agents. As part of our evaluations, we were excited about some of the participants’ perceptions from the first module – BEING:

“I think this module impacted me in several ways. It somehow made me more calm and self-aware. I feel like I am getting to know myself even better which is such a good feeling. I can’t say it often enough how important self-reflection is and how great it feels to also talk about it with others. The module also taught me to become a better listener and I really appreciate that. Overall, I had such a good time during the onsite event in Graz and I am so so grateful for this opportunity and all the great and inspiring people I get to meet.” – Antonia, participant

“This module was very useful for me and I can already see that I am implementing the knowledge I got in my personal life. Especially finding out my strengths was very helpful for me, because now that I know them, I can see clearly the path I should take and ways to use them”. – Marija, participant

“I found the Being Module very interesting. With the help of this module I have learned a lot of techniques regarding the relationship with myself and to others, to open to other people, to ask powerful questions and also to identify my own values. I found the topic of “Inner compass” very important. These are just issues that I hadn’t given much thought to before the LEAP Program. It is very important to understand what my values, strengths and purpose are and how they drive and impact the whole.” -Noemi, participant

“Getting to understand that self awareness, presence and openness are some of the things that make a being, I got to develop how to express myself. The breakout room sessions created to interact with other participants from a different background has opened a part of me that has been closed for quite some time. This got me to understand better my being as well as that of others”. -Abubakar, participant

“Thanks to this module I noticed that being clear and frank about who I am is not only affecting the satisfaction level of my decisions but it is also better for working in a team where people can rely on me because they trust and respect me for my openness”. – Max,  participant

I absolutely love the peer group calls, we learn a lot from each other and our facilitator is just amazing and shares a lot of his knowledge and experience with us”. – Anna Müller, participant

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oikos International

posted May 25, 2022

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Join our team: We’re looking for an IT Volunteer (Website & Admin)

oikos IT Volunteer (Website & Administration)
Do you want to be part of a diverse team that is tending a global community of student change agents for sustainability? Do you have a background in IT and want to contribute to a meaningful purpose while using your skills?  Then this is for you!

What is oikos?
oikos is a community of student change agents that is working towards transforming management & economics education for sustainability. We are over 50 local groups, the so-called chapters, driving change in more than 20 countries worldwide with around 1000 active oikees every year.

Who is oikos International?
oikos International, the umbrella organization, brings all of our members together. We are organized as a student-led nonprofit association that supports and fosters the network. Our initiatives focus on empowering student change agents in their leadership development and change initiatives for transforming their own education, as well as providing platforms for the community to come and grow together.

What is the role of the IT team of oikos International?
The IT team of oikos International is part of the oikos International team. We support oikos International and the whole oikos community with IT infrastructure and IT support on different levels, be it by making sure that the website runs smoothly or by helping out with questions regarding the SaaS tools we use.

Your responsibilities

  • Administering our Linux server infrastructure
  • Supporting the oikos international team with publishing content on the oikos website
  • Maintaining the site itself and the oikos WordPress theme
  • Maintaining internal and external tools, as well as our backup system
  • Managing oikos domains and website security

Your profile

  • You have some experience with Linux and Docker
  • You ideally have some experience with web technologies, WordPress and/or the tech our theme is built in: PHP, JavaScript and HTML+SCSS
  • You’re inquisitive and quick to pick up new software and systems
  • You love problem solving, and don’t shy away from evaluating multiple solutions to find the one that fits the best

What is in it for you?

  • Become part of a network of student change agents & alumni, working for a more just and sustainable future
  • Work with purpose in a dynamic & international team that walks the talk and values each individual team member
  • Gain insights about the day-to-day work of a fully remote-working, international NGO and its global opportunities and challenges
  • Develop and move forward ideas creatively in a trusting and safe space where you can take full ownership and responsibility of what you do
  • Participate in community events while meeting our oikos members from all around the world

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!

Apply here
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Jonas Charrois

posted May 23, 2022

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Join our team: We’re looking for an IT Volunteer (Workspace & Support)

oikos IT Volunteer (Workspace & Support)
Do you want to be part of a diverse team that is tending a global community of student change agents for sustainability? Do you have a background in IT and want to contribute to a meaningful purpose while using your skills? 

Then this is for you! 

What is oikos?
oikos is a community of student change agents that is working towards transforming management & economics education for sustainability. We are over 50 local groups, the so-called chapters, driving change in more than 20 countries worldwide with around 1000 active oikees every year.

Who is oikos International? 
oikos International, the umbrella organization, brings all of our members together. We are organized as a student-led nonprofit association that supports and fosters the network. Our initiatives focus on empowering student change agents in their leadership development and change initiatives for transforming their own education, as well as providing platforms for the community to come and grow together.

What is the role of the IT team of oikos International? 
The IT team of oikos International is part of the oikos International team. We support oikos International and the whole oikos community with IT infrastructure and IT support on different levels, be it by making sure that the website runs smoothly or by helping out with questions regarding the SaaS tools we use.

Your responsibilities

  • Managing our Google Workspace and email accounts
  • Coordinating our virtual Zoom office
  • Keeping track of and managing the SaaS software used by the international team
  • Making sure that oikos data is secure and reliably stored, according to our privacy standards
  • Supporting the team and the community in their work
  • Becoming and being a source of knowledge regarding Google Workspace and other tools we use

Your profile

  • You are inquisitive and quick to pick up new software and systems
  • You ideally have some experience working with productivity tools like Google Workspace
  • You love problem solving, and don’t shy away from evaluating multiple solutions to find the one that fits the best
  • You like supporting and interacting with people from all over the the world

What is in it for you?

  • Become part of a network of student change agents & alumni, working for a more just and sustainable future
  • Work with purpose in a dynamic & international team that walks the talk and values each individual team member
  • Gain insights about the day-to-day work of a fully remote-working, international NGO and its global opportunities and challenges
  • Develop and move forward ideas creatively in a trusting and safe space where you can take full ownership and responsibility of what you do
  • Participate in community events while meeting our oikos members from all around the world

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!

Apply here
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Jonas Charrois

posted May 23, 2022

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LEAP YOUth Kick-off Meeting in Graz

Participants of our LEAP YOUth program’s 2022 cohort had the opportunity to meet together in the lively city of Graz, Austria for the long-awaited onsite kick off meeting at the end of April. 

The meeting took place from 19 to 21 April, and was immediately followed by oikos International Chapter Conference which began just after the meeting was finalized.

The onsite meetings of LEAP aim to support participants to build a stronger sense of community with each other. Participants get to deepen their understanding and practice of LEAP foundations, culture and frameworks. As the LEAP YOUth program this year is focusing on the Inner Development Goals, and its 5 dimensions – Being, Thinking, Relating, Collaborating and Acting – the onsite kick off meeting was an opportunity for them to dive into and practice the learnings from module 1 – the BEING dimension – relationship to self.

Through different sessions hosted by our amazing LEAP alumni and volunteers, the participants explored how to cultivate the BEING dimension interacting with its themes of: 

  • Inner Compass
  • Integrity and Authenticity
  • Openness and Learning mindset
  • Self-awareness
  • Mindful Presence.  

Participants had opportunities to self-organise their morning wellbeing activities, connecting with themselves through contemplative practices like meditations, reflections and embodiment exercises. They were invited to explore their inner world through discovering and sharing about values, personal challenges, and strengths. Another exercise focused on learning to design and use powerful questions in life while simultaneously listening deeply to self and others.

We were blessed with an amazing selection of locations our sessions took place in! Part of the program was held in the beautiful hill of Schlossberg, allowing more contact with nature while enjoying extensive views of the city. Another very special location was the Spektral, a creative, community open-space and cultural center near the Mur River.

Outside of the session times, a lot of space was provided for getting to know each other, to exchange between multicultural volunteer facilitators and participants, to learn from different perspectives, to share delicious vegan meals, enjoy fun evening activities and party!  

A big thank you to everyone involved and the LEAP team is excited to see you all onsite again for our LEAP midterm meeting in July in Switzerland!

Check out what facilitators and participants had to say about their onsite experience:

“This is my second year participating with the LEAP program and I am so happy I came back to it after a year off. The on-site meeting was a chance for me to go deeper with my own learnings while being an example to our participants in pushing our comfort zones and being willing to learn. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to lead a mindfulness and well-being exercise to share what is useful in my own practice from yoga and stretching, thoughts of gratitude, and mental check-in. LEAP really gives all of us the chance to lead and improve ourselves”. – Stephen Snider, peer group facilitator and volunteer

“I am beyond happy that I could join the onsite kick-off meeting of LEAP in Graz and get to know in person all the open-minded and inspiring people in this year’s cohort, as well people standing behind it. We worked on ourselves to become better listeners and explored the values we are running on. All of that in the unique chilled atmosphere only LEAP can create! Kudos to organizators!” -Viktorie Vlkova, participant

“I thought the onsite Kick-Off in Graz was an amazing opportunity to meet people in person and connect with other people from other countries. A very great cultural experience. This LEAP program is impressing me more every day. I found it very interesting to immerse ourselves in ourselves and see, for example, what our strengths are and what values ​​are most important to us. Also learning to listen to each other carefully, which is fundamental in mindfulness.” Noemi Zmork, participant

“Hey dear reader, I am ilkay and this is the short description of my LEAP Kick-off meeting experience. Enjoy!! I would say it was the most open and accepting event in my life. We all have friends and close people with whom we can share a lot, but it is hard to do so with someone you have just met. And during the meeting it felt like everyone knew each other for a loooong time and the “trust” was so powerful. For me it was the first time to meet LEAPers since 2020, when I was the participant of this program. I was counting hours to finally go to Austria and meet them. The event took place in a lovely place, Graz, and it is definitely going to my top 20 cities list. During the meeting I hosted my first session, I was super nervous at the beginning. And right at that moment I had the support of the whole organizers’ team, which was so cute I even teared up a bit, just a bit :D. I really enjoyed being part of the team, I brought back a lot of new learnings about teamwork and friendships.” -Ilkai, peer group facilitator and volunteer

“Leap is the place where you maybe don’t know anyone in the room at the start but in a second everyone is your friend. It is the place where you share, where you feel safe and the most positive atmosphere surrounds you. I spent almost 2 days on a leap onsite kick off meeting and in this small time had the pleasure to speak on interesting topics with new friends all around the world, given thoughts of my problems, faced them, found solutions and  asked powerful questions and most importantly developed. And the favourite session, we shared positive energy with each other, small notes on each’s backs, which we will always remember”. – Jaba Jabauri, participant

“As a participant of the LEAP YOUth program 2022 I was invited to spend a few wonderful days in Austria during which I discovered more about myself, especially what kind of leader I would like to be. Already before our on-site session we had a few online gatherings which were put together with love and spirit – but they were nothing in comparison to the environment I found in Austria. In just three days I had so many laughs, learnings and joyous occasions that I feel very blessed to have been invited.” – Niklas Ziemann, participant

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oikos International

posted May 16, 2022

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oikos International Chapter Conference Graz 2022

From 21 to 24 April, our Community had the pleasure to be hosted by the Graz chapter of oikos for this year’s edition of the International Chapter Conference(ICC), which took place in the Austrian city. Over the course of four days the sessions would cover a wide range of topics focusing on bringing changes to systems around us. Deeply rooted throughout this year’s ICC was belief that small people could make a change and hope of coming together to collaborate and drive the change. There were plenty of opportunities to learn, challenge our perspectives and ideas, exchange and connect with active members and alumni from the international oikos Community. In this article, we look back to the Conference and take away the most important parts of it.

The day one of the ICC was traditionally centered around oikos International. On this day we had the opportunity to present to our Community, as well as external – local and international students taking part at the conference. The Conference opened up with a few words from oikos Co-presidents Sophie Charrois and Darija Miletic, welcoming everyone and presenting the agenda for the day. It was truly a large Community gathering, with plenty of chapters represented by both – members attending the full conference along with those partaking in the LEAP YOUth onsite Kick-off Meeting which had also taken place in Graz in the three days leading up to the conference.

Sustainable Finance was the center point of one of the workshops

Naturally, the oikos International day of each conference is the place for networking and connecting with fellow oikees, exchanging about each other’s ideas and projects, sharing inspiring stories and building up the community feeling. It is also an important platform for oikos International to present our initiatives and opportunities in which oikos chapter members can take part, along with tools and developments we specially designed for the chapters. We had a diverse audience of oikees, coming from different chapters and with varying amounts of experience. Whether they’re long-time members or had just joined their local chapter, each of them could take back home new learnings to apply in local projects and activities.

Day two of the ICC kicked off with a scavenger hunt in the morning. The four-hour walk around the city of Graz, finding local sustainable businesses and getting to know the city a bit better were so captivating that even the rainy weather couldn’t wash away the good mood and energy among participants. A well planned route with an incredible selection of stores had seen oikees pay a visit and learn about natural cosmetics, fair fashion, social workshop, secondhand, bike rental and zero-waste groceries. There were plenty of things to take away from all of the stores, but the highlight for most was printing their own oikos shirt to take home as a souvenir.

Apflbutzn zero-waste market was one of the stops in the scavenger hunt

After the exciting morning, we came together for an opening ceremony which took place later in the day, with the hosts from oikos Graz officially kicking off the main part of the Conference. The ceremony was honored by a speech from a Graz city official as the city provided support to the organizing team, along with a speech of an alumni member – the founder of the local chapter Clemens Mader, which marked the 20-year anniversary of oikos Graz. Clemens took us on a journey back in time and showed us how things were back in the day and how the chapter, but also the international network has changed and evolved over the last two decades.

Following the ceremony, Ana Pribil addressed the all-important connection between the climate crisis and our psychology in a workshop around Climate Anxiety. This aspect of the climate crisis that is not explored too often was very eye opening, creating discussions among participants and reflecting on our own habits.

Day three of the Conference was all about our surroundings, opening up with a set of 8 workshops on a variety of topics which participants got to choose from. With plenty of interaction and addressing interesting points, the workshops provided a great energy to start the day with.

Later that day we were joined by Weitzer Wood Solutions which presented the growing importance of wood and it’s many applications in the modern world. Being in Graz, in Styria – often called the Green Heart of Austria, it had a special place in the agenda as a local product, but also as a means of offsetting the carbon footprint through a more wide spread of wood in construction. With a motto Wood is high-tech, wood is lightweight, the session explored the innovative side to constructing with wood, especially in the car industry, along with its benefits in regards to reducing emissions, energy efficiency and reducing costs.

There were 8 different workshop topics for participants to choose from

Following this sessions, participants split into groups for the World Cafe where they could sit down for a coffee and discuss on a few selected topics related to sustainability. At the same time, an Alumni Homecoming took place as a venue for active oikees to get to network and exchange experiences with alumni from Graz and a few other chapters. This space was very insightful for our International Team as we got an overview of the organizational challenges and experiences faced in the past, but also as a way of contributing to out own HOMEcoming project.

We finished off the day with an evening of oikos Talk, with a panel discussion on the topic Policy making, or policy faking? Which featured Kornelia Vogl, the SDG Ambassador for Graz, Jakob Schwarz, a Green Party MP in Austria and Dr. Ralph Aschemann, University of Graz. The discussion was very engaging, with many participants joining in with questions and pointing out some critical issues and challenges from perspectives of different backgrounds.

The audience was very eager to join the discussion with the panelists

On the final day we got to see another interesting panel discussion with Gerald Babel-Sutter, Urban Future; Hannah Wundsam, AustranStartups’ Phil Wilfinger, Fridays for Future Austria and Vanessa Roi, Das Liebig. All four of these System changers shared their individual stories about how they’ve identified certain issues and shaped their work in a way to tackle them and contribute in part to driving the change in the world around them. Coming from four different backgrounds, they gave us insights into their world and experiences which drove the discussion further with the engagement of the audience.

In the following session, we were graced with the opportunity to hear Rob Hopkins – something of a ‘celebrity’ in the world of climate activism. Rob joined us online via video call, but his motivation and energy translated so well into the Conference venue that it was easy to forget he was hundreds of miles away. Together with Rob, we reimagined the future in which, despite the setbacks there is still hope to make the change to live in a more sustainable world. The session left us inspired and it set up the mood for the closing activity of the day and the entire conference – planting together in a local university community garden.

Planting in the Community Garden was the perfect way to wrap up the Conference

No doubt the Conference left a long lasting impression on all of us. It was the biggest gathering of the oikos Community since 2019 and we were happy to see changemakers coming together and engaging from even the most distant corners of our network. There’s plenty of praise to give to the organizing team of oikos Graz who have put an incredible amount of effort over the past months to create a captivating program, find amazing venues and feature many inspiring speakers.

On behalf of oikos International we would like to give our gratitude to the team and extend it to all the members of our Community who made the experience ever more fulfilling with their presence!

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oikos International

posted May 9, 2022

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