This July, meet our dedicated, hard-working organizers of the Germany Meeting 2019. In this brief letter, they describe how the team came together, divided up tasks and then worked day in and day out to ensure that everything went well at the meeting.
The café around the corner of our university was crowded and dark, twelve curious faces squeezed together at two tables in the corner, dull murmuring and slow beats coming from the speakers filled the air. Everyone seemed a little nervous, not knowing what was going to await them in the upcoming six weeks. Since most of us had just joined oikos, the earliest challenge was to get to know each other so that we would build up a certain team spirit. The first point on the agenda: finding a headline for our Germany Meeting. Questions were being thrown into the room: What is it that we want to communicate and achieve with this meeting, broken down into a catchy phrase? Slowly, the ice began to break, awakening the spirit and motivation in each one of us. Slogans were being suggested, changed, thought about and eventually voted on. After an intense ninety minutes, having left our heads smoking like little volcanos, the title for our Germany Meeting finally stood: Take the lead for change- US for a sustainable future. This rather nerve-wracking upbeat to the planning made us realize: first of all, the team spirit was definitely there, developing each minute and everyone was here for the right reasons. And secondly, we underestimated the time that is needed for planning and organization of such an event.
We had divided our team into five different domains the week before: There was the program that had to be worked out and well thought through, the participants had to be contacted, informed and taken care of during their stay in Cologne, of course, the finances needed to be calculated and potential sponsors had to be contacted. Logistics had to be taken care of and the event itself had to be promoted on various social media platforms. Every week we would come together to update each other on the progress being made. Weeks went by quickly whilst every one of us fulfilled their tasks as well as they could.
When it came to another Wednesday meeting up at the cafe, a look on the calendar left us with a little shook: the Germany meeting was no longer a distant vision in the future, it was right in front of us, only two weeks away to be exact. We could feel a shift in the team spirit, slight panic replaced the calmness of routine. It was rapidly clear to us that we had to organize ourselves differently, bringing in new energy for the final countdown. So, we ended up dividing our members according to the different events taking place during the meeting rather than according to work groups.
We made sure that every member got the chance to find its strongest feature and contribute accordingly to the organization of the event. We trusted each other and each of us took on certain responsibilities. But the small crises we experienced also taught us that, when it comes down to it, we have to stand behind the whole thing as a team, think as a team and always represent the team, meaning that no one should feel like they are carrying the weight of it all on their own two shoulders. It was certainly something special to see people coming together, putting their best efforts and growing with their tasks each week. We channelled all the motivation into a strong team spirit that never stopped growing, leaving us more connected than we could have ever imagined on that first Wednesday in the café.