Relating – LEAP YOUth Module 3

During the 10-month 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 July to August participants went through the RELATING MODULE – caring for others and the world. In this module they explored how to relate from a sense of appreciation, humility, connectedness and empathy. 

During these 2 months they developed interpersonal skills learning tools and/or frameworks that would offer reflection and inspiration to how to relate to self-others-nature with fundamental qualities and caring.

The first webinar was held by David Sibbet, with the focus on fostering relational intelligence with The Four Flows Model. The model provided an archetypal way of thinking about the four ways we humans relate to things – through awareness/attention; energy/emotions; information/identity/map and through matter/mechanisms/operations. 

In ancient times these levels might have been called “spirit,” “soul,” “mind,” and “body.” These flows also resonate with what Carl Jung called intuition, feeling, thinking, and sensing. To fully engage with the model, participants connected those 4 levels to the 4 skills of the Relating model and learned different mindfulness practices for embodying relatedness. 

For the RELATING workshop, our host was Dr. Stephan Harding, cofounder of the Schumacher College (England), senior lecturer in holistic science and pioneering earth scientist with a focus the theory of Gaia. Harding introduced the cohort to the concept of Deep Ecology, based on the work of professor Arne Naess, weaving the concept by building on the four-fold way of knowing mapped out by C.G. Jung (thinking, sensing, feeling, intuiting) and used by Sibbet in the previous webinar. Harding reinforced that ecological science is mainly concerned with facts and logic, and alone cannot answer ethical questions about how we should live in harmony with people and planet. He explained that for this we need ecological wisdom, adding the word deep to ecology to consider values and philosophy, what Naess call an ecosophy: an evolving but consistent philosophy of being, thinking and acting in the world, that embodies ecological wisdom and harmony.

Harding engaged participants in a deep conversation exploring the topic and its main proposal: that to relate in a deeper way to self-other-nature we need to develop deep experience, deep questioning and deep commitment. He explained that through living deep experiences in our relations we develop a strong sense of wide identification with what we are sensing and this helps us developing wide identification in which the sense of self is no longer limited by the personal ego, but instead encompasses greater and greater wholes. This identification involves a heightened sense of empathy and an expansion of our concern with the non-human life. We realise how dependent we are on the wellbeing of nature for our own physical and psychological well-being. As a consequence there arises a natural inclination to care and protect all life. The new sense of belonging to an intelligent universe revealed by deep experience often leads to deep questioning, which helps to elaborate a coherent framework for elucidating fundamental beliefs, and for translating these beliefs into deep commitment to different decisions in how we want to relate, how to pursue a more sustainable lifestyle and to take action for a more harmonious relation self-others-nature. 

Some thoughts of participants during this module were:

“Thanks to this module I was reminded that deep thinking, deep sensing, deep feeling and deep intuition have always gifted me with deep connections to people and progress in life. Even though I already used to be an active listener and valuing relating with presence this module also showed me how to further develop these skills both theoretically as well as practically”. – Max, participant

“The deep sense of gratitude and connectedness I experienced during the midterm meeting was a precious gift and I have understood that learning is a fruitful process and how constant awareness towards all IDGs promotes growth in long run if not right away” – Soundarya, participant

“I think this module is very important because it includes other people and everything around us. They are a big part of our lives and it is important to learn how to approach them. The most important things I learned are practices for embodying relatedness” – Marija, participant

I discovered it is important to have more personal practices to connect with myself and nature. We have to talk about it and practice that more.” – Ana Karen, participant

“LEAP has been a transformative experience, don’t stop it”. – Bhargav, participant

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oikos International

posted September 29, 2022

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Transforming our World – oikos Camp 2022

Imagine a world where students can change the future by transforming their education. This summer, oikos International brought together six teams of students from all over the world to do just that. These future-leaders worked closely together to develop sustainability projects that would empower their fellow students to change the world. 

This project is part of the Transforming Education work that oikos International participates in. We help students to take ownership of their own education and fill the gaps their universities have. In an era of climate emergency, students, of all stages, work together to push for institutions to teach ways of interacting with the planet and society in a respectful and sustainable manner. Want to learn more about our work? Check out our website!

Maybe you saw our pilot Camp last year in Sestriere, Italy? Our experience in planning Camp 2021 helped us create an amazing atmosphere and program for the oikos Camp 2022 participants. Now, we’re set up to make Camp a permanent part of the oikos International programming. We want you to be a part of it for next year! Do you want to join us? Email us at te.squad@oikos-international.org

oikos Camp 2022 Participants

Welcome to Camp 2022

oikos Camp is a week-long, non-formal, educational program by the oikos International Transforming Education initiative where student teams work together on developing projects related to sustainability and education. Camp provides the teams with a physical space to meet, workshops with trained coaches, and a platform to publish & share their projecst. If you are interested in the rationale for Camp and what inspired it then you can visit our website to learn more!

For this year’s iteration, we gathered at Cal Vidal, a Spanish ecovillage, located in the old textile town of Puig Reig, not far from Barcelona, Spain. This beautiful site, surrounded by mountains and rivers, provided the perfect space to disconnect, concentrate on our projects, and reconnect with nature and with ourselves. 

Cal Vidal, Spain

Our Courtyard

The Old Textile Factory

There were six teams that joined this year plus our organizational and magical coaches we liked to call the Genies. Below we go into the output each team was able to achieve but this article tells you a little bit more about why each team joined the Camp

While at Camp, one of our teams, the Story Squad created this cool recap video to explain exactly what we worked to achieve. Check out the video below to learn more about Camp 2022.


The Work We Achieved Together

With each Camp, we reach out to our network and invite teams to work on their projects together with us. These teams get to contribute to the transformation of our educational system from a bottom-up approach and share their work widely. The onsite and collaborative nature of our program builds connections across the world and supplies students with expert help. The innovative style of our work, focus on skill development, and time in nature creates a unique experience for our participants. We’re so proud of the work our teams achieved. 


ESADE Transformation Lab

Team: Yiyuan Cai, Manuela Montaño, Laia Batchellí (left to right)

ESADE University has been a long time supporter with the local chapter, oikos Barcelona, and was willing to cooperate with our Camp planning to sponsor student-led team to further develop the University’s ongoing curricular change initiative. This is an example of how universities can participate in the work oikos does. 

At Camp, the ESADE team envisioned the Transformation Lab which aims to create a sharing environment among different degrees with different generations of students within ESADE. Based on pilot events conducted within the faculty, the team realized it was useful to create a permanent, inter-generational and inter-disciplinary dialogue that could bring together undergraduate students (juniors) and students from the Executive Development Programs (seniors). Gathering both profiles of scholars will unleash a wide range of possibilities beyond the academic because the Lab facilitates a streamlined exchange of powerful ideas from members of a talented community that, despite having different backgrounds, do share the same topics of interest. 

During the Camp, the team developed a proposal to ESADE to have the Lab be incorporated as a year-long elective class. This proposal includes information in regard to the volume of participants and their respective degree, the content of each session (each session will deal with a sustainability-related topic), and an evaluation system. In addition, the Lab will track the impact of the initiative, as well as, incorporating a feedback mechanism in order to make sure the project will be able to constantly adapt to the needs of students interested in being part of it. For more information, you can find our presentation here: Transformation Lab.

The team from ESADE included Yiyuan, Manuela, and Laia. They are organizing the transformation lab and would love your help or maybe you want to start one at your university. Please email Laia to learn more: laia.batchelli@oikos-international.org
You can check out the ESADE Team’s presentation on our YouTube Channel.


Story Squad

Team: Kai Proessdorf, Michael Winter, David Reventos (left to right)

The story initiative of oikos International aims to enhance the impact students have on transforming higher education by improving the way we all create, weave and frame our stories. By sharing meaningful stories with a broader community the Story Squad works to attract more students to oikos, to lobby for curriculum change at the Universities oikos works with, to make the impact of oikos and students more visible, and to strengthen the relationship oikos has with partners and donors.

At the oikos Camp 2022, a team of engaged storytellers kickstarted the Story Squad with the intention to elevate the storytelling abilities of oikos. The Story Squad created a video story about the oikos Camp itself and crafted a framework for creating and sharing impactful storytelling. Within this framework, the learnings from the video creation process were integrated. Make sure to watch & share the video summarizing camp.

In the upcoming months, we want to develop the Story Squad and the framework further and spread it within the oikos community. Stay tuned to hear more about the Story Squad and join if you are interested. Reach out to Michael if you want to join: michael.winter@oikos-international.org 

You can check out the Story Squad’s presentation on our YouTube Channel.


Sustainability Basecamp

Team: Lennart Reymann (computer), Darija Miletic, Elena Tobar, Sophie Charrios (left to right)

The Sustainability Basecamp team gathered around the common passion to create an interactive & playful online learning platform to prepare oikees for the journey towards Mount Sustainability! For a long while, oikos International has been sitting with the question & challenge of equipping our diverse community of student change agents, with a systemic perspective on sustainability that transcends the wonderful normative and culture-influenced conversations that are such an important part of a holistic understanding. The team started developing a short core training with several proactive & reflective elements during Camp. Throughout this incredible experience, the team formed a clear vision, sharpened the core values for the course, started the magic of content creation, and collaborated with multiple teams on site while having a lot of fun and connectedness. The first draft is more than ready and the team has managed to charm a few campers to contribute as beta testers. 

The team strongly believes that this course will allow students to get in touch with a more systemic perspective on sustainability, find further resources, & share their own learnings with one another. Click here if you’d like to see the team’s camp presentation.

Are you ready to climb Mount Sustainability with us? 😉 Become a part of the base camp to start your hike. If you’d like to learn more about the project then reach out to Darija: darija.miletic@oikos-international.org

You can check out the Sustainability Basecamp presentation on our YouTube Channel.

Photo Title: Darija, Elena, and Sophie (left to right)


Sustainable Business Models (SBM) Team

Team: Lilia Yang, Navya Shivaprakash, Ann Neuberger (left to right)

The mission of the oikos SBM team was to empower companies and organizations to move towards a more circular and sustainable economy. The team developed a workshop structure to build a Sustainable Business Model for companies during Camp. Within this workshop, there were many different tools that the team developed together like these data service cards which show the many different areas where a company can look at to incorporate sustainability. Another tool developed was the Green Data Canva to dive deeper into a company’s data sources. Finally, the team proposed an idea for an online moodle platform to support further learning that companies can access to drive change. The team not only managed to accomplish a lot of different tasks for this project but they also grew, connected, and learned from each other. This camp experience brought the team closer to ourselves, nature, each other, and their dreams. This is the power of Camp. 

If you’d like to learn more about the proposals the SBM Team made, their slides can be found here: oikos SBM Slides. Lilia, Navya, and Ann are working on this project as part of their education and look forward to working with businesses to drive real change. If you are a company or a fellow researcher interested in participating in this project or using the resources the team is developing then please reach out to Lilia: lilia.yang@graz.oikos-international.org

You can check out the SBM Team’s presentation on our YouTube Channel.


Sustainable Finance Toolkit

Team: Luke Ryan Pickering, Nadja Vitorovic, Hülya Afat, Stephen Snider (left to right)

The Sustainable Finance Squad gathered at oikos Camp 2022 with the purpose of expanding the oikos Sustainable Finance Toolkit with knowledge about the industry. The toolkit can be found here: www.oikos.world/susfin.

During the camp, work was done to improve the toolkit website, to develop outreach materials, and to make event connections between oikos chapters and business professionals. The target audience of our project is students and young professionals interested in finance. Those willing to learn can use the platform to access various resources, find chances for networking, and view a guide on hosting an event on Sustainable Finance. The development of these outcomes was the key achievement during the week of camp. 

For the team, Camp was a good opportunity to meet new people with great passion towards creating a better and sustainable society as well as develop ourselves professionally. They hosted 8 interviews during the Camp where they could network with practitioners and researchers. These interviews are available on the Toolkit. More interviews will be recorded and posted. If you’d like to join the squad, develop content for the toolkit, and participate in networking activities reach out to Stephen to join: stephen.snider@oikos-international.org.

If you would like to see our presentation to the community check it out here: www.oikos.world/SusFinCampPresentation and be sure to check out our website at www.oikos.world/susfin.

You can check out the Sustainable Finance Team’s presentation on our YouTube Channel.

Photo Title: Stephen, Hülya, Nadja, and Luke (left to right) Present the Toolkit


Transforming Education (TE) Squad

Team: Laia Barchellí, Leonie Egenhofer, Longyue Zheng, Noemi Zmork (clockwise from top left)

The TE Squad came together to transform and reshape the existing oikos International’s Curriculum Change Squad into the Transforming Education Squad (TE Squad). As a group, the team quickly found a common vision for what a TE Squad would look like. The aim here is to empower and connect students from local oikos chapters all around the world that are working on transforming education. The Squad would help by providing them with a platform for knowledge exchange and support because when the world needs to change, teaching needs to change. With this clear objective in mind, the TE Squad designed a framework about how they will work in the future, a structure for the online meetings, and the design of the new website to tell the world a bit more about our project. The priority was to create an environment where the members feel heard and see their needs fulfilled, where synergies can be created, and where people remain engaged. Therefore, members will get responsibilities but also space to create or attend workshops and shape the TE Squad as they want it to be! 

If you want to have a look at their presentation, it can be found under the following link: oikos TE Squad Slides. The camp experience gave them an opportunity to work, connect and grow together as a team. It also let the squad meet other oikees who share the same values and learn about new projects towards sustainability. They believe that together, we have the power to change the world and achieve our dreams!

The TE Squad at Camp was made up of Leonie, Longyue, and Noemi and had support from our Transforming Education Program Manager, Laia. If you would like to join the Squad please email at te.squad@oikos-international.org

You can check out the Squad’s presentation on our YouTube Channel and if you want to learn more about it please check out our recent article on the TE Squad.


New Ways of Working Together

The work of oikos is to empower future leaders and inspire new ways of working and thinking. Our sustainable future depends on us connecting and sharing together. The safe, collaborative, and innovative space created during Camp allows teams to go further, faster, and with higher quality outputs that are from a realistic work style while in nature. This is what all our work could be like if we tried. 

To achieve what we did at camp, it was possible with the help of four facilitators named “Genies” who accompanied the teams throughout the week. The genies took care of community building, creative workshops, and collaboration between the teams. Why genies? Because the team is making wishes come true and creating magical experiences for the participants. 

The Genies: Sophie Charrios, Ellie Obermann, Elena Mueller, Peter Supper (clockwise from left)

Their magic gave the individual participants time to reflect and explore new ways of interacting with each other in the projects. For example, the first thing in the morning after breakfast were activities such as movement research, collective breathing in a meditation practice, and/or walks in nature. 

Besides the magic for community building, creative workshops allowed the teams to create their vision, reverse some assumptions, give each other feedback, and become aware of team dynamics. This was possible through 2.5-hour workshops every day. Each workshop was held in the community, with a focus on individual projects. For instance, in the first workshop, teams applied the ABCD backcasting on strategic planning for a sustainable future to their projects. This workshop was facilitated by the genies among others throughout the week.

Overall, the genies helped create an atmosphere of community-awareness, creativity, and reflection and spread lots of love, magic, and fun around the camp. These facilitators were invaluable in making the oikos spirit real. Our work together really felt joyful and inspiring as the ideas and the connections they planted within our teams blossomed into great accomplishments. Don’t you want to participate next year to witness the magic of our genies? 


Life at Camp

So what was camp 2022 like? Let’s hear it from the participants themselves with this Feedback Video that the participants created for us to give an overview. Also here are a few highlights from our first day together: Highlight Video.

While at the eco-village we got to learn more about the community living there and their work to build new ways of engaging in the community. 

It was so nice to have such Great Food, be surrounded by a beautiful river River, commune with Nature, and participate in music and friendship Music


Until Next Year

We hope you have enjoyed learning about the oikos Camp 2022. There are some exciting plans for next year and maybe you would like to be a part of it. Please reach out to us to join the planning team for next year. If you have an idea for a project you want to bring we can find a way to include your work in the Camp. Maybe you are a corporation or foundation looking to support us and we would love to have a conversation with you about supporting us. 

We are sad to go but we look forward to next year’s version of Camp.


Thanks to Our Sponsors

The oikos Camp 2022 would have not been possible without the help and support of our generous sponsors. 

ESADE sent a team to Camp, provided our bus transportation to and from the eco-village, and were supportive of the efforts of oikos Barcelona in promoting and spreading the impact of the work we do. Curriculum change and transforming education continues to be an important part of the work oikos and ESADE partner on.

Aviva Investors sent the Sustainable Finance Team to camp by providing a travel stipend to the team to cover costs for getting to Barcelona. This mean that a diverse group of students from around the globe could be together and develop sustainable finance resources. Aviva Investors continues to be a great supporter of the work oikos International does for sustainable finance. 

Partners for a New Economy (P4NE) provided a large grant that allowed the reservation of the eco-village and covering costs related to organizing the camp. The support P4NE provides to oikos continues to be essential to the work we do as they see our value in empowering student change agents around the globe.  

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oikos International

posted September 23, 2022

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Newsletter August-September 2022

Welcome to the September edition of our newsletter!

This edition covers both August and September, bringing you the exciting news and opportunities from our Community!

Throughout summer we’ve been raising funds for supporting oikos Programs, with one of our Alumni contributing by successfully cycling across Europe, however the campaign is still ongoing, with potential matching on your doantions by GlobalGiving. As the new semester nears, we’re preparing to kick it off with a special event, and are looking towards next year as applications open for new oikos International Board Members. We also have new regular event formats with oikos Agora and the new Transforming Education Squad prepare for their launch later this month.

LEAP has been goin strong as always this year and you can have a glimpse into the current LEAP YOUth Cohort with the follow up to the recent Mid-Term Meeting and the recently completed second module of the Program. Finally, we’re looking to strenghten our team by hiring a new Transforming Educaiton Project Manager and also open doors for a volunteer Community Engagement Coordinator.

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oikos International

posted September 15, 2022

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Join our team: We’re looking for a Transforming Education Project Manager

Paid position at oikos International

oikos International is an international, student-led non-profit organization for sustainability in economics and management. Founded in 1987 in Switzerland, it empowers student change agents worldwide to embed sustainability in academia and from there into day-to-day business, government, and personal activities. One of the core missions of oikos is the transformation of education. For that, oikos launched the “transforming education initiative”, with three core programmes: oikos Camp, TE Squad and oikos Academy. The transforming education initiative aims at supporting students to lead the change in their local universities in order to incorporate a sustainable perspective in their teachings. 

Job Description

You are independent, flexible, and resourceful, and you enjoy working with students and young professionals in a dynamic, international, and remote team? 

You have…

… knowledge about leadership, facilitation and hosting online spaces

… a commitment and knowledge about transforming education

… drive for creativity and dynamism

… a high proficiency in English written and spoken

… event and project management skills

… good command of Office Suite and familiarity with Google Drive

… interest and commitment to the oikos vision and mission

… good organizational and time management skills

… the ability to anticipate needs, solve problems in a collaborative environment, and sensitivity to deadlines

… the ability to work under pressure and multi-task

… the ability to protect confidential and sensitive information of the organization

Then we might have a fantastic opportunity for you to work with the oikos TE Program!

Your tasks include, but are not limited to: 

Coordination of the TE Squad

Facilitate and co-create the TE Squad space. TE Squad is an online monthly gathering of chapter representatives which aims at fostering knowledge sharing, connectivity between chapters and the development of local projects in the transforming education field.

TE Squad is a dynamic space and each chapter representative acquires an active role in it. Thus, it is expected from oikos international to adopt a supporting role and develop activities such as: meeting moderation, communication, information gathering etc.

oikos Camp organizer

Oikos Camp is a week-long programme in which oikees from all chapters join in international teams to develop projects related to economics and business management education and sustainability.

The future applicant will be in charge of organizing, communicating and logistically handling oikos Camp’s next edition. This role includes:

  • Communicating the updates of Camp in the oikos webpage
  • Booking all needed accommodations and items needed
  • Creating of applicant and participants’ guides with relevant information
  • Reporting obligations

Fundraising

Support the fundraising for the program. This may include grant writing, networking etc. 

Mentoring

Answer chapters’ petitions, questions and doubts in regards to the transforming education initiative. Provide aid when needed to their inquiries.

Be Part of the oikos International team

Work with the diverse team on the organization’s strategy, help shape the path oikos takes in the future and support the development of the oikos community. Exchange with the team regularly to provide feedback and find synergies between the organization’s different programs and support each other’s work. 

Benefits of working for oikos International

  • 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
  • Get a coach to develop yourself further
  • Connect to an extensive network of various NGOs

Important Information

Application deadline: September 30th 

Starting Date: October 17th  30% for onboarding (12.6 hours per week); November onwards 50% (21 hours per week) 

Duration: 1 year (extendable), 50% (21 hours per week) 

Salary: 1000 CHF per month

Location: remote 

Recruitment Process

If you are interested in the position, send us your CV (max. 1 page) and a brief motivation letter or an application video (max. 2 pages/3 minutes) by September 30th. The letter/video should outline why you want to take up the position and what makes you a suitable candidate.

We would be interested to know…

  • Why do you want to work for oikos?
  • What do you uniquely bring to the table, including your background in the “topic of the application”?
  • What makes for the ideal company or job, in your opinion?
  • How did you find out about this job opportunity and, if someone referred you, including the person’s name.

Please, email the required documents to laia.batchelli@oikos-international.org with the subject line “Application for Project Manager at Transforming Education Initiative.” For any further questions, please reach out to us via email.

Interviews will be held throughout the period of application until October 7th. 

Ideally, you would start your new role with a 30% commitment (12.6 hours per week) on October 17th to get you settled in and work 50% (21 hours per week) from November on. 

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oikos International

posted September 13, 2022

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Shaping a new generation of responsible leaders: LEAP Mid-Term Meeting 2022

The end of July was time for the most awaited event of LEAP: the onsite Mid-Term Meeting. This year’s meeting took place in a mountainside village of Churwalden in East of Switzerland where participants and volunteers gathered for the event from 24 to 31 July. As usual, the volunteers’ preparation meeting also took place from 22 to 24 July. For many, the favourite part of the program, once more, the mid-term meeting brought oikees students from different countries and backgrounds together united in values and goals of growing into conscious leaders of tomorrow.

We wanted to guarantee these days together would be a deeply restorative journey for everyone. For the volunteers preparation meeting, the goal was to create space for individuals to arrive at easy, for the team to bond and to become equipped with capacity and confidence to host participants in the following days. The mid-term meeting is as much of a journey for volunteers as it is for the participants. Activities as embodiment practices, solo reflection walk in nature, collective artwork creation, brave space circle and group dialogue exercises, were carefully carried together with sessions to build intention, prepare logistics and finalize the program’s agenda. Those activities allowed them to focus on 5 main grow zones in hosting and facilitation:

  • Softening for quality of presence 
  • Learning to prepare, trust and let go 
  • Learning to work with diversity 
  • Exploring connectivity with self, team, nature and for the program’s agenda.
  • Self-discovery and development

Once the volunteer team was ready, it was time for our beloved participants to arrive! Over the course of the week, our LEAPers explored each of the five dimensions of the Inner Development Goals – Being, Thinking, Relating, Collaborating and Acting. The program provided opportunities for everyone to ground, have space to reflect on themselves and to connect with others and nature, building key conditions for conscious leadership to flourish. Through the carefully picked agenda, the volunteers created a platform for participants exploring deep questions that might go overlooked in our day-to-day lives; to contemplate about past, present and future path in life; as well as to reflect about the roles and relationships they are currently involved with; to connect to their purpose with insights into ways of using talents and gifts to make a positive impact in the world; all while learning about and expanding interpersonal relationships.

The first and last days were fully dedicated for arrival and settling in & for celebrating and preparing for leaving.

For the Being day they experienced a spaceful time to develop a deep level of presence, with embodiment exercises, time in nature for connecting to self, games to get to know others in a fun way and creative reflection activity to build the intentions for the week. Yet, there was still time for exploration of topics for self-awareness as diving into our personal beliefs to the different aspects of life using the Wheel of Life exercise.

For the Thinking day, we had sessions to connect to your why and to build a long term vision for the future, and to explore complexity and perspective taking with multi stakeholder roleplay games.

On Relating day, our connection to nature was at spot. We reflected about our current development paradigm and worldviews in connection to our relationship to nature and experienced the outdoors with different eyes through exercises such as forest bathing in pairs and hiking using special intentional cards to foster contemplation and dialogue.  

During the Collaborating days, some important activities were the Warm Data Lab around trust; exploring embodied communication; being creative and taking the lead with setting your own activities with the Open Space Technology and coming together to co-create the LEAP Summit, an event intended of being a giving back experience where participants bring back to their communities their learnings with the different Inner Development Goals at LEAP.

The Acting day was the final time to reflect, integrate and step up to how to bring all the LEAP experiences and learnings forward, exploring what we want to commit to and presenting the LEAP Summit ideas.

Still, in all the days there was enough free space for morning well-being activities, to spend quality time together along with delicious vegetarian meals and for evenings together sharing cultural or games nights, dancing or gathering for a look at the night sky and stars. Talking about the sky, as always, the outdoor element had great value in shaping the activities. For the most part of the days, we were blessed with sunny and warm weather that allowed us to realize the program’s agenda mostly in our terrace and green areas, which highlighted the incredible setting for this year’s meeting. Sitting on a gentle slope between towering mountains, we had the soundtrack of silence, the singing of birds and of a river water running. With enough free time allocated, participants would enjoy nature playing any of the few sports at hand, sitting down for contemplation or talks or going for walks exploring the beautiful surroundings. 

With so many soul-food elements, the Midterm Meeting has a special place at the heart of every cohort. The in person element allows one to have time and space to explore themself on such a deep level, connect with peers and share personal stories and experiences, creating strong bonds between participants. As LEAP Meetings are very touching, a fundamental piece of it is creating a safe space for flow of trust and confidence and where everyone can feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, sharing emotions and feeling empowered to count on peers for support. 

Connected to that, we want to first thank our volunteers! The meeting was an incredibly valuable experience, which would not have been possible without this amazing team who dedicated time and effort, taking part in creating and carrying out all the sessions and being role models, guaranteeing that the LEAP safe space atmosphere and culture was always omnipresent throughout the meeting. Their shared inputs, insights, experience and feelings provided unique guidance, encouragement and support to participants! 

We also wanna thank our lovely participants for having had the courage to step in to work on themselves and to create a strong community and group spirit allowing a deep sense of belonging and connection to emerge! You all truly shined in that regard.

Here we share with you some of the participants perspectives and stories from the LEAP Midterm Meeting:


THE DAY BEGINS

We wake up early in the morning.
When the sun is still hiding behind the mountain.
When the clouds are hanging low covering the valley.
We step on the wet grass.
We let the fresh cold air touch our sleepy warm bodies.
We take a little hike up the hill.
We find ourselves surrounded by trees, rocks, a creek running through.
We take off our clothes. Embrace the chill.
And then we dip. Our feet. Our hands. Our full bodies. On the THREE. Into an ice-cold water. Feeling the power of the water falling creating tiny waterfalls.
Feeling our body parts sting. Blood rushing through our veins.
That’s how the day begins.
The sun shines over the top on the mountain.
It sprinkles the glitter over the water, tiny drops on our bodies.
Warms up our numb fingers.
The sky clears up.
The day begins.

“We kept calling our space PLAYGROUND. We were free to open our minds for all the possibilities, explore ourselves, our thoughts, learn about other people and nature. The moment in the mountain that teaches life lessons. Empowers to crave for deep experiences. Makes us fall in love with ourselves. Inspires to commit to our dreams. Shows how different and special each of us are. Sparks the hope for the bright future.

We talked about how we wished that every person has gone through LEAP experience at least once in their life. The world would be a different place – full of kindness, openness, support, and freedom. But until then, we can plant the seeds in our communities and create little LEAP moments every day”.

-Patricija, participant


“This week was one of my best weeks in my entire life!! Being with the other participants in this beautiful place in Switzerland was just magical! It made me feel so well, so peaceful, so connected, so grateful and so much more and definitely helped me to become a better leader and person as a whole :)”

– Antonia, participant


“It’s been a beautiful learning journey & honour to be with you, witnessing myself and the group as we’ve been tinkering around with our comfort zones. The leap is part of my life for about 6 years now and this year would have rendered the first without my proactive involvement wouldn’t you have invited me to hold you in the process. This dedicated role allowed me to host from my essence, to be more myself than rarely before in my work. Boundaries blurring, and you allowed me to be ok or even embrace that. To trust that there’s a rosebush, not only the wondrous smell of a flower or the spikeyness of thorns. it’s been a real honour to meet everyone of you, see you grow and to share a little more of who I am becoming. I cannot wait to see where we will meet again, may it be at next year’s leap, in the virtual office or just a call away. I count on your adventurous spirits to think of me in the right moment – and I hold so much trust, compassion and love for all of you”.

-Sophie, oikos International team member and LEAP volunteer


-Salil, Participant
Matthieu, LEAP Volunteer
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oikos International

posted September 12, 2022

This might be for you.

Get ready for the new oikos Transforming Education Squad!

Addressing challenges such as climate change, biodiversity loss and poverty requires a level of awareness and knowledge, which most students aren’t prepared to face through their universities. At oikos we cherish education as a powerful tool to shape values of future decision-makers, on which we’ve been focusing our efforts for over three decades. Over that time, we’ve created a global network of local chapters, working together with schools and organizations in order to make students’ voices heard.

Transforming Education

To transform education means to change the ways sustainability is taught at universities along with questions and challenges it tackles. In order to face the challenges the tomorrow will bring, students worldwide want, even demand to be better prepared by their universities. This not only means change in what they’re taught, but also how they’re taught, hence Transforming Education also implies exploring innovative ways of teaching that will engage students and make them interact with the topic more. Furthermore it also calls for rethinking of the classroom, introducing an intersection with the real world, and connecting students to real-life challenges. Over the years, we’ve been seeing a growing initiative by the students to take on projects in bringing change to their education, around which we formed an initiative to address their needs and support their efforts.

Transforming Education is one of the key domains of what we do as an organization, creating events like oikos Camp and oikos Academy which gather students, researchers and academia from the oikos Community and beyond. However as it is an ongoing process, there is a need to keep students constantly engaged – for which over the past two years the Curriculum Change Squad played an important role. With the internal restructuring of the Curriculum Change Initiative into Transforming Education, we’ve been working on adapting the important aspects of the initiative in a way that would make them ever more encompassing, inclusive and open to our community. We wanted to add more clarity, understanding and easiness of approach to the matter of bringing change to higher education, along with the joint effort of our community in contributing to it.

Reshaping the Squad

Reshaping the former Curriculum Change Squad into the Transforming Education(TE) Squad was an important step in doing so. The idea behind the TE Squad is to create a platform for oikos chapters, with a goal of empowering and connecting students working on transforming education, where they can exchange, support and learn together, as well as from each other.

The TE Squad is made up of, but not limited to chapter members with a monthly online meeting structure, where they’re provided information and support, along with discussions and brainstorming on relevant topics. The monthly Squad Meetings are two hours long and of an interactive character, with everyone’s encouraged to engage in discussions and get to know their fellow members. As part of the Squad, members also take part in shaping it themselves, in a way that would best suit their needs and vision. TE Squad is also a space where its members can put their talents to use, with occasional workshops the Squad hosts for the entire oikos Community to get to know Transforming Education better.

The TE Squad is a platform to facilitate the work of students working on projects in the field of transforming education hosted by oikos international. It provides space for our local chapters to interact, share, exchange, and connect with other chapters working on similar topics, learn about tools, and benefit from its diversity. Collaboration among chapters is a key side to the squad – different chapters have different experiences on transforming education efforts. Each with their own story, they can share challenges and solutions, needs and ideas among themselves, creating synergies which could result in universities adapting curricula with more regards to sustainability challenges.

Engage yourself

Do you want to be a part of the change and contribute to the transformation of higher education? Some of the contents the Squad creates like workshops on the topic will be open for everyone to join – from the oikos Community and beyond. Keep an eye on the oikos website or our social media to stay up to date and get informed of the upcoming workshops you can attend!

If you wish to get involved in the squad – proactive and engaged students, motivated to contribute to changing higher education are always welcome! If you have any questions about the squad and are interested to learn more, contact our Transforming Education Team!

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oikos International

posted September 7, 2022

This might be for you.

Apply for the oikos International Board 2022/23

Are you one of our next Board members? Apply for the oikos International Board 2022/23!

You are passionate about oikos and its international community of student change agents? You love putting strategies into action and are looking to enhance & develop your skills in a specific field that aligns with your strengths? 

Then this is your next leadership opportunity: Become a Board member of oikos International! Work in a team of like-minded people from all over the world, while learning all about an international non-profit organization!

What is the oikos Board & how do we work? 

The oikos International Board is part of the oikos International Team and governs the strategies and actions on the international level. Representing the oikos community, the Board is given the responsibility for inspiring and empowering the community to move towards our common purpose, mission and vision and for demonstrating its core values. Next to this, expanding the organization’s resilience, and exploring systematic linkage with other organizations engaged in the pursuit of similar objectives are topics that move the Board as a whole. Each member of the Board is needed as a proactive and co-creative participant in a body that functions effectively as a team, taking on roles that match their strengths. 

What are the main roles & responsibilities of a Board member?

Each Board member…

  • Empowers and inspires the community through practicing leadership and exploring strategic directions for the organization
  • Works alongside their fellow Board members, as a body that is in constant exchange and supports each other.
  • Pursues a certain thematic role and is accountable to the community for competent, conscientious, and effective accomplishment of this mandate. This includes developing strategies together with volunteers and employees and overseeing the implementation of everything related to your mandate. In other words, you might convene and manage a sub-team of oikos International, depending on your role and the situation within the team.
  • Assesses the impact of our organization and reporting them to the community and partners
  • Stays informed and engaged with all fields, initiatives, squads etc. related to and organized by oikos International 

Next to these general duties of a Board member, our Board works hands-on to support a specific circle within the organization. At the beginning of the term, the newly elected Board comes together to agree on the ways of working and the official roles and responsibilities of each individual Board member. These conversations aim at co-creating commitments that highlight our strengths while covering all fields of responsibility.  

Below, you can find summaries of the current roles covered by Board members. These fields might give you some orientation for your application – but might be restructured based on the needs of the team and organization. If we identify that roles are missing, we will add them during the process. One Board member can cover several of these additional roles, according to their availability and scope of commitment. We will also set priorities and specify goals of your roles within the Board. We are looking for curious people who are eager to try out new things!

Fundraising

The fundraising role is diverse and challenging. If you are a real people’s person and great at keeping an overview, then this is for you. We have different fields in fundraising, like the work with foundations, the outreach to new potential partners and alternative approaches like crowdfunding. As a board member for fundraising, you are at the forefront of coordinating a team of volunteers, coordinating their work and support of the international team.

Current BM: Niklas Ziemann

Partnerships

Partnerships within oikos International are hosted by individuals across the team. The partnership role in the Board is responsible for supporting the hosts in starting, tending and ending these partnerships. Each relationship to our partners is unique and the network of partners very diverse. Broadly speaking, we categorize partners in three different domains depending on the frequency and depth of the relationship. We distinguish between friends, collaborators and donors. To give an example, PRME (collaborator), AIESEC international (friend), and Movetia (donor) are some of our important partners within oikos. Your role as a Board member for partnerships is to create an overview for the team and check-in with the hosts to support and give space for arising needs and questions around the topic. You are also responsible for the maintenance of our Airtable CRM tool and the development of the infrastructure.

Current BMs: Elena Müller, Mehraj Aliyev

Communication & Marketing

Communication & marketing play an important role for the organization, with diverse tasks and needs to be addressed regularly. It combines finding strategic direction and putting projects into action together with the communications team. The team is responsible for the management of the oikos International website contents, social media engagement, newsletters, print media, and other marketing channels. You will be responsible for stewarding the team and collaborating closely with all the different teams at oikos in order to communicate the activities and the impact we make as an organization and a community. Additionally, co-creating important documents like the annual reports or reports to donors are particularly important for us as a non-profit organization. Beyond that, we also want to make sure our communication always reaches the right people (our community, potential donors etc.). Recently, we’ve put a greater focus on story-telling, over which we shape around the communication with the oikos community and beyond it. By telling stories, we aim to teach, inspire and motivate, but also extend the reach of the impact oikos creates.

Current BM: Yari Marquina Amador

Community & Chapter Development

This role is all about tending to the heart of oikos International, namely our wonderful network of 42 local chapters at universities around the world. As Board member for chapter and community development, your task fields currently include chapter pathways (supporting the everyday operations of chapters through the semester kick-off and reflection calls, monthly house calls and chapter check-ins with the oikos International Board), community development (conceptualizing and implementing new formats for oikees to come together internationally, such as in the oikos Agora), chapter lifecycles (supporting the foundation of new chapters and closing chapters if necessary) and squad support (enabling oikees to self-organize across chapters around topics that they are passionate about). In this role you will have the opportunity to connect personally with oikos members from all around the world and practice your leadership and facilitation skills by coordinating a team of community volunteers as well as a team of house facilitator volunteers. In 2021/22 we split these roles between two people. 

Current BMs: Francois Bernier, Anna Kurth

Organizational, Team & People Development

Over the past years, we have established our so-called “team team” – a team of people tending to everything related to organizational, team and people development at oikos International. These fields of development are wide – and in these roles, prioritizing and having an overview is key. Together with the co-presidents and the responsible person for human relations at oikos, you might work on topics like feedback, decision making and organizational culture which all are key to the thriving of oikos. Recently, we have been working hard to “reinvent” our organization, focusing on our organizational structure and are currently in the process of aligning our internal communications with it. This process requires further prototyping, reflection and adaptation and is an exciting opportunity to learn by taking the whole oikos International team with you on our collective development journey. In the past term, the roles around organizational (OD), team (TD) and people development (PD) were held by three people in the Board.

Current BMs: Anna Kurth (OD), Elena Müler (TD), Carolin Lemke (PD)

Legal Matters

There are many legal questions to address for an international organization with multiple layers of complexity. In this role, you help address these questions together with our legal partners, coordinating between the sub-team with the issue at hand and the legal support. One of the main recurring tasks: preparing and co-charing legislative meetings, understanding our legal base (constitution etc) and helping to keep our governance structure up to date. You don’t have to be a legal expert to enter this role, you only need some great coordination competencies and interest in diving into legal topics affecting our organization. 

Current BM: Carolin Lemke

IT (Information Technology)

You want to provide strategic direction on the use and optimization of online administrative tools, data management policies & processes, and privacy and security threats & opportunities? You have an interest in digitization and want to learn how it looks like on the IT admin side of a remote organization?

No need for having coding skills or being an IT expert for this exciting role! One of the most important characteristics are curiosity and the willingness to learn and dive into the topics. For the upcoming Board term, it is really about leading a team of dedicated IT volunteers, moving projects around data security & privacy ahead and continuously improving internal workflows for us as a remote organization. An additional project would be updating our data privacy guidelines and communicating those new guidelines in an accessible way. 

Current BM: Carolin Lemke

What are Opportunities and Benefits of becoming a Board member?

There are plenty! You will, for example,…

  • Join a high performing and multicultural team in an innovative and open-minded environment 
  • Take decisions that guide the direction of the organization with a truly international scope and impact and see our vision come to fruition;
  • Enhance your networks and connections with students, faculty and sustainability professionals from all over the world;
  • Develop a variety of skills that surely will last beyond your time as a Board member (eg. leadership, strategy and communication skills)
  • Gain deeper knowledge of your role and areas of responsibility while having the opportunity to create and try new things
  • Have the opportunity to be coached by a professional coach
  • Join our international gatherings, programs and strategy sessions (onsite or online) and get to know the oikos community from a completely different perspective

What should you bring – Qualifications & Requirements

You should…

  • Be a current Bachelor, Master or PhD student or recent graduate
  • Have a commitment to, and a clear understanding of the purpose, mission and vision of oikos;
  • Have a minimum of one academic term (4 months) of experience at oikos at any level;
  • Have a B2/C1 level in written and spoken English;
  • Be open-minded and curious to try out new things. oikos is a playground and we do most of our work in co-creation. You should be up for working together and be willing to communicate and take time for teambuilding and similar efforts.
  • Be available for a one-year commitment to oikos, excluding the handover process until the end of 2022. We see that long-term, honest commitments are the only thing that serve the organization, so please only apply if you are up to staying around for a whole year;
  • Have the will and availability to dedicate approximately 10 h/week (40 h/month) to oikos. In view of this, we request candidates planning to go on exchange, graduate or take up a full-time job within their mandate to carefully consider if you would be able to fulfill a sustained commitment to oikos and to state possible restrictions in the application. Furthermore, from experience we see that a double commitment as a chapter president and an oikos International Board member is hard to balance, so please take this in consideration, too;
  • Be available for weekly and monthly calls, annual international meetings and strategy meetings.

How to apply? 5 simple steps! 

If you are interested in applying, please fill in this form until Wednesday, 5.10.22, 11:59 pm CEST. Next to some general information about your person, you will have to upload

  1. Your curriculum vitae (max. 2 pages);
  2. A motivational letter stating why you wish to apply, how you want to make a difference, the skills and experiences you will bring to oikos, and a brief summary of your time availability over the next one year. You can also share your motivation for certain roles you might be interested in, knowing that you won’t be elected for any of them, but as a Board member in general (max. 2 pages);
  3. Your vision for oikos in general and the roles you could imagine to fulfill in the Board  (max. 2 pages)
  4. A short 100-word biography and a picture to be put on the oikos website.
  5. A 3-to-5-minute video to introduce your candidature to the Legislative Assembly 

Once the application deadline closes, we will share all information with our community as a preparation for the Legislative Meeting where the new Board will be elected. Documents (except the short biography) won’t be published on our website and are only accessible to community members on our Google Drive. 

All applicants then are required to join the virtual Legislative Meeting on 16.10.2022. via Zoom in order to take part in a panel conversation, defend their application and run for election. The election of the Board members is a democratic process involving all chapters holding the status of a full membership. 

Any questions? Please contact us at darija.miletic@oikos-internatioanl.org or reach out to any Board member. 

We are looking forward to your application!

The oikos International Board

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oikos International

posted September 2, 2022

This might be for you.