The LEAP program is now in its fifth run. Since its launch in 2015, the program welcomed over 250 participants and has had a lasting influence on their lives. Many LEAP participants return to the program as coaches to continue their leadership journey and help new generations of LEAPers – as we like to call our participants – in the process. Today, close to 20 former LEAP participants are still engaged in the program. 

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oikos was founded in 1987 by students who, in consequence to the absence of sustainability in their formal educational programs, aimed to empower young leaders to drive sustainable change. More than thirty years later, the majority of universities still fail to integrate sustainability holistically and struggle to develop sustainability leaders, resulting in a “leadership crisis.”

With the signing of the Paris Agreement in 2016, sustainability became a key priority on the agenda of all major actors worldwide. Various aspects of sustainability such as climate change or energy efficiency guide debates on twenty-first-century challenges. However, a key element to drive the desired transformation of society towards sustainability is often overlooked: the necessity to develop sustainability leaders (Werft, 2015). Sustainability leaders are “individuals who are compelled to make a difference by deepening their awareness of themselves in relation to the world around them, and thus, adopt new ways of seeing, thinking and interacting that result in innovative, sustainable solutions”(Visser & Courtice, 2011). The LEAP program bridges this gap. It builds and empowers a network of responsible and sustainable decision-makers that holds keys to solving the challenges of the 21st century.

Chapter Track

The LEAP Chapter Track is an opportunity for our chapters to receive support, reflect on, and practice responsible leadership at the local level. The target group of the track are the local chapter leaders. 

Program Registration

The Chapter track is based on running registration, so chapters can join in all year long. The commitment time is flexible, and we highly recommend participation in onsite meetings. Click here to register your chapter.

Program Elements

  • Chapter Coaching

All chapters are offered chapter coaching sessions in order to help local leaders better understand their organization and members. Coaching revolves around questions such as: 

What are the strengths, weaknesses, and challenges for your chapter? 

Which topics do you work on? Where do you want to take your chapter in the future?

The chapter coaches empower local presidents and board members. They guide the chapter leaders through their leadership challenges, encourage to reflect on their organizational strengths and weaknesses, share insights on how to engage community members, and provide tools to do so. The coaching process also ensures that members are well informed about oikos and have detailed knowledge of changes happening at the international level.

Furthermore, with the necessary knowledge about chapters’ needs, fields of expertise and topics of interest, coaches can come together and map out possible partners and subjects for their thematic clusters of the Chapter Development Working Group. 

A chapter decides on a representative who joins coaching sessions. The representative is in charge of making use of the learnings in their local community. The 45 min-online sessions should happen every month.

  • End of the Year Reflection

There will be an end-of-the-year reflection call for all participating chapters to provide a space for sharing progress and exchanging ideas. The meeting should take place at the end of December.

  • Chapter Representation during annual onsite LEAP Meetings and Chapter Days

One representative of each chapter will be invited to the annual LEAP Meeting before the Future Lab in Autumn and to Chapter Days before the Spring Meeting. If necessary funds are available, all costs will be covered for these representatives. At the center of these meetings – next to leadership development – are discussions of oikos-related matters and networking. Chapter representatives interested in joining the LEAP Chapter Track onsite have to apply when applications for the LEAP Meeting open, usually mid-summer and early spring.

  • Chapter On-Site LEAP

During regional meetings or other chapter-led events, the oikos chapters can invite a coach for LEAP workshops on selected topics in the fields of self-development and leadership. The chapters can co-create the workshops and decide on the topics together with the coach.

Program Coaches

The program coaches are oikos or LEAP Alumni with experience in chapter matters and group coaching. They create a safe space for chapter leaders to reflect on their organizations. If you’re interested in the position, please contact LEAP[at]

Advanced Track

The oikos LEAP Advanced is an intense 9-month-long leadership development journey that challenges participants to face the most daring questions in life – What are my values? What is my purpose? Why do I take certain actions and not others? 

As the participants adopt and share the lessons learned in their chapters, they start to practice sustainable leadership. The result is strengthened chapter performance and greater impact in line with the oikos mission. These basics, moreover, accompany participants throughout their lives and result in change towards sustainability.

Program Registration

Due to COVID-19 we postponed the LEAP Kick-off Meeting to March and to make it as inclusive as possible and not jeopardize our participant’s health we decided to host a shortened Kick-off online on Thursday, March 18th to Sunday, March 21st 2021. Every chapter member is welcome to attend this event. A week later, on Saturday March 27th, we will host a Kick-off specifically for the LEAP Advanced Track. There we will explain the time line and elements, create our shared culture, brainstorm development interests and find peer groups for the 9 months ahead.

The applications for the LEAP Advanced 2021 are now open.

Applications are open until Sunday, March 21st 2021. This way you can join the shortened Kick-off, try out the offered self-development sessions and then decide if you want to be part of the Advanced journey.

We will have two Info Calls on January 20th at 7:30 pm & February 3rd at 2 pm CET. If you are interested in joining one of the calls, filling out this quick form will keep you informed about this track.

Meanwhile, you can watch a recording of the LEAP Informational Call from June 24, 2019 here for more details about the program.

Eligibility Criteria: oikos member or alumni who have a demonstrated interest in personal and professional growth. 

Selection Process: Interested candidates should apply via an online application, where they answer questions regarding their experience and motivation. Besides, we also consider their age, gender, socio-economic background, and place of residence to ensure diversity among the participants. 

Program Elements

Time: one hour per week (on webinars, reflections, individual coaching, and peer-2-peer discussions). Besides, two onsite meetings (in March 2021 and in July 2021) take place annually. Hours invested in practicing the learnings from the oikos LEAP vary according to participants’ engagement in their chapter or community. 

Program Coaches

Program coaches are former LEAP participants who help new generations of oikos members develop their leadership skills. Allowing former LEAPers to become coaches is the recognition of the progress they made during the program. They receive professional guidance and peer support during onboarding. The coaching experience helps them develop responsible management and leadership skills.   

Life Track

The LEAP Life Track had informally started at the end of the first LEAP Advanced cohort in 2016, through all the Alumni that continuously remain engaged, continuing their personal development journey and learning more about coaching.

With the help of Alumni, this year we have finally made it into a formal LEAP Track with the vision of continuing our development journey, fostering a new sense of ongoing learning, courageous practice and co-generation, in a community of diverse change agents.

Researchers' Track

Many Early Career Researchers are finding it hard to face the environmental and social challenges of today, as only few educational institutions address them, hence finding themselves unprepared, lacking both personal and professional support. This is why in 2020, we launched a pilot program of the LEAP Researchers’ Track with 12 earlier career researchers, aiming to address these challenges. The LEAP Research Track therefore aims to empower academics, helping them reach their full potential in personal development, while fulfilling the mission of transforming economics and management education.

The program focuses on participants’ personal development, alongside providing support in the field of research and teaching. It helps shape their perspective on changes in economics and management education required to face the challenges and better understand their role in pushing these changes by becoming well informed, reflective, and purpose-driven change agents. We intend to contribute to designing an economic system that allows both the Planet and people to prosper.


Participants have access to a collection of learning materials (books, articles, videos, etc.). It is up to each participant to take advantage of these materials and deepen one’s understanding. The creation of the Toolbox is a common effort of the participants and the LEAP organizing team, taking place via their intranet on Podio, which participants also use to communicate on everyday problems they incur.

The LEAP webinars encourage participants to reconsider conventional ideas on leadership and to take actions in order to bring a positive impact. Check out all our webinars on the oikos Youtube Channel or find a collection of inspiring talks below:

Emotions | Dan Newby

Dan is an executive coach, facilitator, online trainer, author and mentor working primarily with leaders and coaches. His writing focus on Emotional Literacy and how leadership and coaching can be learned and practiced.

He currently works with leaders based in the U.S., Germany, Italy, El Salvador, Mexico, Slovakia and Canada. His coaching clients come from manufacturing, educational organizations, and NGOs. He often combines individual with group work. With his largest client, he has trained their top 500 leaders in a 3-year program with a team of 6 facilitators. He was one of the two original program designers for the program.

He mentors coaches through his online training programs, virtual and in-person work which is also on a worldwide basis.

Prior to his work in coaching and training, he worked 25 years in private business roles ranging from production to CEO.

Born in the U.S. he spent 5 years of his childhood in Central Africa and Switzerland and, at 19, one year in Israel. His young and middle adult years he was in the Midwestern U.S. which was his father’s ancestral home. In 2006 he relocated to Colorado and since 2012 has lived in Barcelona, Spain. He is married to Lucy Núñez who is his partner in School of Emotions and co-author of two of his books.

Material Resources

  • The Unopened Gift: A Primer in Emotional Literacy available on Amazon and Kindle in English and Spanish. Co-authored with Lucy Núñez.
  • The Field Guide to Emotions: A Practical Orientation to 150 Essential Emotions available on Amazon and Kindle. Co-authored with Curtis Watkins.
  • 21 Days to Emotional Literacy: A Personal Journey available on Amazon and Kindle in English and Spanish. Co-authored with Lucy Núñez.
  • Emotions and Coaching a six-module online training course available at
  • Pilots’ Emotional Fitness and Aviation Safety Leadership online training courses available at

More info here:

Transpersonal Leadership for the 21st Century: Leading beyond the Ego| John Knights

John is a Co-founder and Chairman of LeaderShape Ltd.

My purpose is to support leaders on their journey to become excellent Transpersonal Leaders.”

He is an international thought leader in the development of leaders and an experienced coach, mentor and facilitator of individuals (especially Chairs, CEOs and senior managers), teams and peer groups.

John has a Senior Executive Coaching Award from the Oxford School of Coaching & Mentoring, lectured at the University of Oxford on leadership development and was Honorary Lecturer at the University of Chester in the field of Work-Based Learning. He is an expert in Transpersonal Leadership which incorporates emotional intelligence, spiritual intelligence, and neuroscience. John also has recognized expertise in culture change, corporate strategy, organizational development, acquisitions, and joint ventures, business finance, and marketing and sales.

John leads LeaderShape’s program to develop as a global organization and works with major corporations, governments, not-for-profits, higher education, and SMEs.

Facilitation | Hanna Hanna Meirelles

Hanna Meirelles – International Trainer and Development Facilitator

Daughter of a teacher and an entrepreneur, Hanna understood the importance of education and business since she was very young. At the age of 11, she started to teach and with 12 years old she created her first company.

She studied Business and specialized in Strategic Planning and Management Development, as well as in Leadership, Culture, and Diversity.

During the last 19 years, she has worked around the world in large organizations in Leadership Development, Education, Consulting, Oil & Gas, Engineering and Mining, as a Human Resources Leader, helping thousands of leaders in all 5 continents to develop themselves and improve their management skills and business performance.

Currently, a Trainer, Development Facilitator, Investor and Entrepreneur in the Education Business, Hanna is one of the most energetic speakers nowadays that travels the world fulfilling her mission: inspire and empower people to be free, so they can develop their own potential and have freedom of choice, while respect diversity.

She is passionate about leadership, cultural differences, women empowerment, people development and education. She also leads a non-profit project that supports children to create a better future for themselves, their families and the world.

Leading Above The Line | Tim Peek

Our speaker, Tim Peek, is an Emmy award-winning journalist, former NBC News executive, and today works as a leadership consultant and coach. He has spoken to investment groups, professional associations and at corporate annual meetings about the ways consciousness and strategy interact in the business world.

Leading for More Sustainable Education | Prof. Geoff Scott

Dr Geoff Scott is Emeritus Professor of Higher Education and Sustainability at Western Sydney University, Australia. From 2004-12 he was Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Quality) and Executive Director of Sustainability at UWS. During this time he led a range of successful external quality audits and established RCE-GWS. He is a widely published author on change leadership, professional capability, assuring achievement standards and quality assurance in higher education. His book Turnaround Leadership for Higher Education with Canada’s Michael Fullan (2009) was nominated for the 2010 US Colleges Bellwether Award.

He is a former director of the Australian Council for Educational Research, a Fellow of the Australian College of Education, a member of TEQSA’s Panel of Experts and a higher education auditor and consultant in many countries. From 2014-16 he was a National Senior Teaching Fellow with Australia’s Office for Learning and Teaching. In 2007, he was the Recipient of the Australian Higher Education Quality Award.

Find out more about his work at

Thinking Innovation For Better Projects | Daniel Hires

Daniel calls himself a “third culture kid at home in innovation, entrepreneurship, startups, social business, sustainability, and all things digital.” His background ranges from music, over marketing and events, to a number of social startups.

Daniel is passionate about building communities that empower people to take collaborative action on their ideas for a better world. He has conducted numerous projects and grown businesses in the sustainability realm. To name a few, he co-founded MakeSense, an online matching-platform for social entrepreneurs, co-authored the book “Phase 0 – How to make some action” (, established the silent climate parade and now works with the UN environmental program to connect the landscape of green entrepreneurs in the MENA region.

Find out more about Daniel & his projects at

Check out his Webinar here:

Communicating Effectively | Julian Treasure

JulianJulian Treasure is chairman of The Sound Agency, a UK-based audio branding consultancy specializing in soundscapes that increase dwell time in major shopping malls worldwide. His book Sound Business is the seminal work on the intentional, effective business sound. Julian has been widely featured in the world’s media and is a top-rated international speaker. His five talks on sound and communication have been viewed over 20 million times; the latest is in the top 30 TED talks of all time.

Check out his webinar here:

Building Relationship/Partnerships | Michèle Joanisse

Photo Michele JOANISSEMichèle Joanisse is a seasoned development professional with 23 years of work experience in the philanthropic sector. During her career, Michele raised over 330 million euros for medical education, research, and humanitarian projects.

She currently holds the position Head of External Relations at DNDi – Drugs for Neglected Diseases initiative in Geneva since October 2012 where she is leading a campaign to raise €200M by 2018 to find better treatments for neglected tropical diseases such as malaria, sleeping sickness, Chagas disease, leishmaniasis, filarial diseases, and pediatric HIV. She is working with an international team of 14 staff based in New York, Rio, and Geneva.  To date, she and the team secured €187M for R&D projects from governments, foundations and high net worth individuals in Seattle, London, Geneva and Tokyo.

Prior to DNDi, Michele raised funds for the Faculty of Medicine at McGill University in Montreal, Canada for seven years.  From 2006 to 2012, she leads a CDN$130M campaign and exceeded her goal by CDN$25M two years ahead of campaign close.  Specifically, Michele secured multi-million dollar gifts from alumni, the corporate sector, foundations, and high-net-worth individuals to advance epigenetics research, nursing, autism, pediatric musculoskeletal diseases, urology, cancer, Parkinson’s and Alzheimer diseases and established a series of university-hospital endowed chairs, doctoral and post-doctoral fellowships, and student awards.

From 1998 to 2006 Michele leads the fundraising team at Médecins Sans Frontières in Canada.  During her eight-year with MSF, she grew the fundraising program from a CDN$1M to CDN$22M annually through a multi-faceted direct marketing strategy which included direct mail, street canvassing, telemarketing, online fundraising along with with establishing major gift & planned gifts (legacies) program. She also developed & directed three ambitious fundraising strategic plans and lead a London-Berlin-Amsterdam-Toronto strategic planning exercise to map-out the best financial investment strategy to raise funds globally. She continues to be involved with MSF as a volunteers and moderates international debates for the movement.

Experienced in generating revenues through diversified fundraising program, Michele has manage large departments and complex cross-sector partnerships to meet her targets.  She is fluent in both English and French with a deep knowledge of the medical and educational sectors. She graduated from the University of Ottawa with a BA in Communication and Management and is currently completing a Certificate in International Organisation Management at the University of Geneva.

Check out his webinar here:

The Importance of Responsible Education | Mehdi Majidi

24428ddDr. Majidi is a university professor and international consultant in sustainable socioeconomic development and cross-cultural management. He has served as the Chair of International Business Administration (IBA) Department at the American University of Paris (AUP) and Director of a graduate program he created on cross-cultural and sustainable business management. In these positions he has strategized and implemented a new vision across the department to integrate business management education with liberal arts and aligning its learning objectives with the United Nations Principles for Responsible Management Education (UN PRME) objectives creating a balanced technical skills and holistic understanding educational approach. His recent professional interest and academic research are focused on cultural values and sustainable development while extending his work toward secular spirituality and sustainability. He advocates social entrepreneurship as an effective initiative for socioeconomic transition toward sustainable development.

His consulting projects include assessment of innovative projects and innovations for commercialization, educational curriculum development, professional training programs, industrial development, workforce development, and the design of a solution to measure, monitor, and evaluate the dynamics of the socioeconomic progress of a country based on international standards indexes. He has worked at, and consulted for, Coopers and Lybrand (C&L), PricewaterhouseCoopers (PwC)’s Global Consulting and IBM Global Business Services, at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID), the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the U.S. Department of Education (ED), the World Bank and the National Technology Transfer Center of Kazakhstan (World Bank grant initiatives).

Read more about his projects here.

Check out his webinar here:


The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People: Powerful Lessons in Personal Change by Stephen R. Covey

In The 7 Habits of Highly Effective People, author Stephen R. Covey presents a holistic, integrated, principle-centered approach for solving personal and professional problems. With penetrating insights and pointed anecdotes, Covey reveals a step-by-step pathway for living with fairness, integrity, honesty, and human dignity — principles that give us the security to adapt to change and the wisdom and power to take advantage of the opportunities that change creates. With a balance of theory and practical examples, this guide to personal and professional life describes seven principles of life management. Targeted toward anyone who is interested in personal change, it guides you through private victory, public victory and renewal. More info here.

Building the Bridge As You Walk On It: A Guide for Leading Change by Robert E. Quinn

“Building the Bridge As You Walk On It” tells the personal stories of people who have embraced deep change and inspired author Robert Quinn to take his concept one step further and develop a new model of leadership “the fundamental state of leadership”. The exploration of this transformative state is at the very heart of the book. Quinn shows how anyone can enter the fundamental state of leadership by engaging in the eight practices that center on the theme of ever-increasing integrity – reflective action, authentic engagement, appreciative inquiry, grounded vision, adaptive confidence, detached interdependence, responsible freedom, and tough love. After each chapter, Quinn challenges you to assess yourself with respect to each practice and to formulate a strategy for personal growth. More info here.

Tribes We Need You to Lead Us by Seith Godin

A tribe is any group of people, large or small, who are connected to one another, a leader, and an idea. For millions of years, humans have joined tribes, be they religious, ethnic, political, or even musical (think of the Deadheads). It’s our nature. Now the Internet has eliminated the barriers of geography, cost, and time. All those blogs and social networking sites are helping existing tribes get bigger and enabling new tribes to be born―groups of ten or ten million who care about a political campaign or a new way to fight global warming.

Who is going to lead all these tribes? The Web can do amazing things, but it can’t provide leadership. That still has to come from individuals―people just like you who have a passion for something. Anyone who wants to make a difference now has the tools at their fingertips.

If you think leadership is for other people, think again―leaders come in surprising packages. Ignore an opportunity to lead and you risk turning into a “sheepwalker”―someone who fights to protect the status quo at all costs, never asking if obedience is doing you (or your organization) any good. Sheepwalkers don’t do very well these days.

Tribes will make you think (really think) about the opportunities for leading your fellow employees, customers, investors, believers, hobbyists, readers…. It’s not easy, but it’s easier than you probably imagine. More info here.


More inspiring videos


How to inspire leaders to grow by Omid Aschari. He will be with us at the Presidents’ Meeting! 

The Tribes We Lead by Seith Godin

How great leaders inspire action by Simon Sinek

How to Make Work-life Balance Work by Nigel Marsh

The Puzzle of Motivation by Dan Pink

Dare to Disagree

The Power of Vulnerability by Brene Brown


LEAP Program | 2018/2019

LEAP Program 2018/2019 – its Presidents (now Chapter) and Advanced Tracks – welcomed 55 participants from 16 countries representing 20 different nationalities. The participants included BA, MA, and Ph.D. students, as well as recent graduates and young professionals eager to share their experiences and embark on a journey of self-development. Representatives of fellow youth organizations – National Union of Students (NUS) UKNetzwerk N, Green Office, REFEDD – also joined us at the LEAP Meeting 2018 in Leysin, Switzerland.

The program was partially made possible thanks to the financial support of  Movetia.

To learn more about our participants and the LEAP Program, check our articles.

LEAP Meeting 2018: sharing experiences for a better world

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

30 seconds with the LEAP Advanced Cohort 2018/2019

LEAP Advanced: At the outset of a life long journey

LEAP Program | 2017/2018

Over 120 participants took part in the LEAP Program – Basic, Presidents and Advanced Tracks – from October 2017 to July 2018.  The LEAP Meeting 2017 was the largest gathering of the LEAP group so far. This year we accepted 66 participants from Europe, Asia, and North America. For the first time in 2017, we also opened the LEAP doors to our partner organizations: rootAbility, NUS, GRLI, and CSS.

The program was partially made possible thanks to the financial support of  Movetia.

To learn more about our the LEAP Program, check our articles.

LEAP: The perks of the self-development journey

LEAP Program | 2016/2017

LEAP welcomed close to 40 participants in 2016 in Speicher, Switzerland for the first meeting of the cohort. In total, over 100 participants took part in the program 2016/2017.

The program was partially made possible thanks to the financial support of  Movetia.

To learn more about our participants and the LEAP Program, check our articles.

Inspiring Better Leadership at the oikos LEAP Meeting 2016

What a Difference Two Days Make – The Second LEAP Advanced Meeting

LEAP Program | 2015/2016

In 2015, oikos launched the Leadership Program – LEAP. For its first edition, LEAP brought together 40 young change agents. The program created a safe space for personal and professional exchanges and allowed young change-makers to build a support network of like-minded peers from across the globe. LEAP continued into 2016 and became one of the most successful oikos undertakings.

Empowering Young Leaders at the Presidents’ Meeting 2015