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Bottoms Up, Tops Down: oikos Winter School Participants discussed Sustainable Development Cooperation

oikos Witten/Herdecke hosted oikos Winter School in Witten, Germany from March 1 to 7, 2018. The Winter School titled “Bottoms Up, Tops Down” revolved around Sustainable Development Cooperation and explored main challenges and drawbacks in the field.

A group of 20 avid individuals was selected to participate in the Winter School. The participants from all walks of life and from as different parts of the world as Italy, China, Austria, Japan, Belgium, Germany, Azerbaijan, the Netherlands, and El Salvador sat together to discuss the topic with each other, as well as with leading experts and field professionals. The organizers created the atmosphere where everyone felt welcome and willing to share their own ideas and thoughts. “The open-minded and very nice people, both from the organization and participants enabled a personal and trustworthy environment in which everyone’s input was being valued.” – wrote one of the participants. 

During the Winter School — in keynotes, discussion and workshop series the participants had a chance to learn about the Sustainable Development Cooperation from representatives of academia, NGOs, and the private sector. Their diverse background and experience allowed the participants to gain comprehensive knowledge and become familiar with different approaches existing in the field of Development Cooperation.

On the last day of the Winter School, during the Open Space session, the students reflected on the Day after Tomorrow, as they sought to answer the question: What change does the Development Cooperation Need?

The participants left the School with positive impressions. The absolute majority of those surveyed (17 out of 20 participants filled in the questionnaire) positively evaluated both the academic and the organizing part of the Winter School. 

The Winter School proved a great success thanks to the participants, the speakers, and the team –  who in their own individual way contributed to an open-minded, inspiring atmosphere.

More pictures from the Winter School is available on our Flickr page.

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