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Corporations, Sustainability and Multi-Stakeholder Views – The CEE Meeting in Bratislava

On Thursday September 29th oikos members from Germany, Georgia, Switzerland, Czech Republic and Slovakia gathered for the first afternoon of the CEE Meeting 2016. After having settled into the accommodation and having eaten some local cake, the evening continued at a vegan restaurant names ‘made with laf’ where amazing vegan dishes were served. Participants made it an early night so that they could recover from their long travels.


On Friday, the big conference day came with an early start. With more than 40 participants and 6 speakers the open conference started with three perspectives: an academic perspective, an NGO perspective and an entrepreneur (oikos alumnus who founded ‘Solved’) perspective. All three speakers shared their vision on why sustainability is a success factor for corporations. After the break two more visions were shared: one by Ecocapsule the award winning mobile home running entirely on renewable energy systems, and another local NGO focused on ecology and waste management. A lovely buffet lunch followed.

After lunch it was time for an intensive discussion. With the help of a Q&A tool (slido) used throughout the morning, a moderator picked up questions on slido to spark interesting discussions. The group started on the famous debate between what works: more regulation vs. less regulation. This was followed by a discussion around how to teach communities to be more sustainable and what influence best practice nations can have on others. Waste management and the impact of business within capitalistic societies were also hot topics. The discussion ended on different participants, with different backgrounds, sharing how sustainability is practiced by corporations in their cultures and what elements of success can be followed. The afternoon ended with two brief exercises. One helped participants understand why they should follow their passion within their careers, and how they should start with their ‘why’. The second exercise enabled the remaining group of truly passionate participants to ‘define’ themselves, after having listened to the famous TED talk by Lizzie Velasquez. In the evening a Slovak dinner was served.


On Saturday the morning started with finishing the food of the previous day, in order to avoid any food waste. Rado, from Solved then joined the group for an in-depth session on his start-up ‘Solved’. After a feedback session, Rado shared how he wishes to have an impact on education and how to possibly collaborate with oikos as a whole to do so. In the afternoon it was time to finally touch the Ecocapsule, that had been presented on Friday. Participants took the bus to visit the smart house which was an exciting experiential visit for all. In the evening more Slovak food was served, together with many many donated bio food products.


On the final day it was time to visit a little bit of the Bratislava city centre. After a rich breakfast and some work, participants closed the meeting with a large Slovak lunch where the future of oikos Bratislava, oikos alumni and more activities was discussed.