oikos Alumni completes 2,500km fundraiser bicycle trip across Europe!

Our dear oikos Alumni Benoit Pitsaer took on the challenge of completing the 2,500km long bicycle trip from Vienna to Istanbul in an effort to raise funds for oikos International programs! Ben enjoyed the support of his employer – NSI IT Software who agreed to match up to 2,500EUR of donations raised throught the effort.

Starting from 1 August, the trip took Benoit from Vienna, visiting cities like Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade, Constanta, Burgas and more before reaching the final destination on the Bosphorus strait. In Vienna, Belgrade and Istanbul, Ben met with the local oikos chapters as well as the oikos Alumni, making these stops good opportunities to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

The first milestone to be reached was the 2,500EUR in funds raised on Monday, 22 August, as Benoit was less than 150km away from Istanbul, which he had reached a few days later, welcomed by the local oikos chapter and thus completing the journey. Just as he reached his destination, Ben wrote:

“I never thought I would be able to make it to this city, this border between Europe and Asia, given the timing. This journey required a lot of humility. To take a break when the body demands it. To stop when it is too hot. To get up early during heat waves. Even earlier to avoid the rains. And above all… to accept that the number of kilometres I am able to ride does not depend on me but on the quality of the road and the weather. Not easy to accept that.

In short, I didn’t know if I could do it. But I wanted to above all.

So what can I say? Thank you, thank you to everyone who supported me. Not only NSI IT Software & Services for stepping out of the box and supporting the organisation I was fundraising for: oikos International to bring more Responsibility and Sustainability into this world.

Thanks also to oikos International for keeping its mission alive and well since 1987. More than 30 years that have changed so many Curricula, that have trained so many Generations in Responsible Management. Many thousands of Students have passed through their programs internally and not only.

Thanks also to their community that I met along the way in Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Turkey.

I don’t quite realise I’ve arrived yet. But this is just the beginning. So here is a spontaneous and informal video on my arrival. What an achievement!”

Over the 2,500km travelled, Benoit passed through many countries. Across the Pannonian Plain through Austra, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, down the Danube valley in Romania, despite a predominantly flat terrain, it was a difficult journey over the countryside roads – in the summer heat or heavy rain, he kept on going. Coming into Bulgaria, the terrain became even more challenging as the Balkan Mountains stood in his way to Turkey, but in the end Benoit made his way to Istanbul, where we hope he’s having a well deserved rest!

What does this mean?

Benoit’s fundraiser was created in support of our ongoing crowdfunding campaign – “Amplify impact for 1200+ students worldwide”. The funds raised will support oikos programs on leadership development and transforming education, helping us maintain them completely free for students, while providing learnings largely unaddressed by most universities’ curricula. Completing the fundraiser marks an important milestone in our fundraising efforts, but does not mean the end to the campaign. If you wish to support us you can still do so by donating here or helping spread the word!

We would like to thank Benoit for his amazing effort in supporting our organization and the programs we create as well as the awareness he’s brought to many with his trip. We also extend our gratitude to everyone who’d donated to the campaign so far.

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oikos International

posted August 29, 2022

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Thinking – the LEAP YOUth Module 2

During a 10-months journey, participants at LEAP YOUth experience the Inner Development Goals framework in 5 modules to explore the 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. Besides input webinars and workshops, they are supported by 1-1 coaching sessions, peer groups, are invited to engage in personal reflections and can enjoy 2 main onsite meetings.

Continuing our LEAP journey, from May to June participants went through the THINKING MODULE – Cognitive Skills. In this module they explored the topics of navigating complexity and fostering imagination for the future we want to bring forward.

Over these 2 months they developed cognitive skills learning tools and/or frameworks that support us to make sense of our vuca and interconnected world, at the same time leveraging understanding of different perspectives and developing more robust and critical ways of thinking for wiser decision-making processes.

At the first workshop participants learned about the Cynefin Framework and the Iceberg Model. To fully engage with the tools and practice it, participants had the chance to work through a situation they were facing  as a challenging experience. First, they would have to sense-make and be aware of the complexity of their experience, and reflect about the circumstances that were involved, which could be barriers to move forward with solutions. 

Afterwards, they would use the 4 domains of reality that the Cynefin Framework introduces – complex, complicated, chaotic and clear – to visualise the challenge at a certain level and then think about how to respond to it accordingly. Participants had to share their processes with others to exchange perspectives and exercise critical thinking.

In a second moment, the Iceberg Model was introduced, supporting deeper insights into the roots of challenges. Both tools helped participants understand on a broader level what could be a clear and positive way to attend the situation they were facing.

For the THINKING input webinar our host Rob Hopkins, cofounder of Transition Town Totnes and Transition Network, introduced the cohort to the idea of long term vision with the power of imagination. Using the concepts of his book “From What Is to What If: unleashing the power of imagination to create the future we want”, he took the participants on a journey, starting from seeing how big changes had happened in the past 10 years and how to rise again the forgotten power of imagination. He introduced the Imagination Sundial, a design tool for how we might set out, intentionally and skilfully, to rebuild the imaginative capacity of people, organisations or nations to bring alive a more connected and integrated future.

At the end of the session, participants were part of a collective imaginative experience, where they were invited to visualise the world they would like to be living in 10 years from now and could share thoughts on how to bring it to practice.

A main message Rob left to the cohort was about the importance of recognizing the type of narratives we select to approach sustainability topics as climate change. He highlighted that pessimistic narratives can lead to apathy, denial, feelings of helplessness or other negative responses in general. As a way to approach differently, Hopkins inspired participants to co-create spaces and places that tells a powerful immersive story to visitors of how the future could be. In this sense, breaking down our internal constraints and societal norms to open up again in ourselves a greater sense of what is possible. Unleashing positive emotions and active hope, so we can collectively respond in a more loving way to what we are living today, paving the path for a positive sustainable and flourishing future.

Some thoughts of participants about this module were:

“Especially, given the current world situation, this module has given me the tools to see this world in a more opportunistic way and give me the tools to see myself as a leader who can balance different uncertainties and turn them into something good through creativity”. – Nea, participant

“Very inspiring and giving a bright vision of the future and the tools to imagine this future together with other people” – Amelie, participant 

“The models explained here can be used in breaking down the problems and finding the root causes which will be both helpful in the personal and professional life” – Asha, participant“This module has helped me greatly in acquiring these important skills of thinking for effective leadership. My decision making has really been sharpened by what I learnt in the module”. I am a better resilient leader.- Abdulbaki, participant

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oikos International

posted August 17, 2022

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Newsletter July 2022

Welcome to the July edition of our newsletter!

The oikos summer is in full swing as we just wrapped up the LEAP Midterm Meeting and are preparing for the upcoming oikos Camp. We are also running a new crowdfunding campaign in order to keep these and more oikos projects open and free for students worldwide. In order to support this campaign, one of our alumni set off on a cycling trip across Europe to help raise with their employer matching the donations made.

As we asses the mipact made over the past academic year, we share with you the oikos Graz Transforming Education Story about the effort their team has put in order to bring sustainability to campus. Finally we’re looking forward to the next semester and the new faces in the oikos International Team as we open up a new volunteer position.

Read here Subscribe

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oikos International

posted August 5, 2022

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Join our team: We’re looking for a Community Engagement Coordinator

Become the Community Engagement Coordinator of an International Organization
If you are passionate about marketing, this is your opportunity to become an active member of the oikos International Team while being involved in outstanding sustainable projects and initiatives.

Position: Volunteer
Time: 5-10h a week.

To provide support in the communications domain and increase engagement with the community, providing greater visibility to chapter projects and activities. Working together and coordinating with the Community team, as a bridge connectiong the Communications and the Community Team of oikos International.

Supporting communication on 52 Chapters around the globe, through managing Canva (members, templates etc.)
Tracking chapters’ activities and sharing on social media, newsletter, website, with access to teams from 52 different countries.
Supporting the Community Team with communication materials for community projects at international level (AGORA, Legislatives, Community Impact Contests…)

– Diversify our communications and the content we share with and from the community- Actively supporting in including chapter activities in our communication: website, social media, newsletter- Coordinate with the Community Team, providing support with communications around Community Projects
Does this sound like you? Send us your CV today, and become part of the change.

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oikos International

posted August 5, 2022

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Counting down the days to oikos Camp

The excitement grows as we near the kick-off of the oikos Camp!

This year 5 teams will gather working together on developing their projects from 8 to 14 August. They will be hosted by our amazing Transforming Education Team with support from oikos International Team and oikos Community Members in sunny Barcelona. More precisely, the participants will be based in a cozy eco village that, while still near and easily accessible from the city, provides a level of seclusion from the everyday life and city noise, making it easier to connect to beautiful surrounding nature and focus of bringing the best out of projects at hand. Throughout the week, our team will make sure that all teams get the space for most fruitful collaboration, provide support with trained coaches and give a platform for sharing the results and outcomes of Camp projects.

The camp teams were created around five projects, with some familiar names – like the Sustainable Finance Toolkit – making a return after last year’s oikos Camp. Two of them are based on the oikos Squad structure – oikos community groups gathering oikees with similar interests and passions. The Curriculum Change Squad is our long-lasting squad which is going to take on a new shape at the camp and will be joined by a new – Story Squad centered around creating and sharing Transforming Education Stories. Finally, the Sustainability Basecamp and Sustainable Business Model are the teams covering topics and areas that have not been previously part of the oikos Camp. If last year’s Camp projects are anything to go by, we are excited to see what the week in sunny Catalonia will bring to the world of Transforming Education!

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oikos International

posted August 3, 2022

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