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Germany Meeting 2019: Taking the Lead for Change

The Germany Meeting 2019 took place in Cologne from 7th to 9th of June. Thirty oikees from seven different chapters gathered under the motto „Take the lead for Change! – Us for a sustainable future“ to spend a nice weekend together with a colourful program and a lot of inspiring conversations. Read all about the Meeting in this article from the team.

During the first day of the meeting, we were focusing on getting to know each other and ourselves better. After welcoming the participants at our university we had some Ice-Breaker-Games and a short introduction of oikos international including an online pitch about the Curriculum Change Program. After that followed an Empowerment Workshop with professional Coach Viola Wünning, who helped us paint a better picture of ourselves and of the various individuals taking part in the meeting. With inspiring methods, she guided us to open ourselves to positivity and motivated us to follow our beliefs and strengths. After the session the first evening faded away with a shared dinner in a nice venue, giving the participants the opportunity to chat and socialize in a cosy atmosphere.

The program on the second day was then full of highlights. Starting the day with an optional “consume critical” morning walk through the city, where we reflected on the way society consumes these days whilst looking at some of the good and bad examples in the shops and on the streets. We then gathered together at the university for a panel discussion. Four speakers from various positions – a professor on energy science, a Fridays for Future activist, a founder of a local Zero Waste Shop and Club and a representative of a sustainable bank – discussed different approaches for tackling modern sustainability challenges. It was a very stimulating discussion moderated by one of our team members and provided the audience with a lot of new impulses. After a lunch break, we reflected on the discussion from the morning and looked closer on how to make a change in the world by differentiating the individual, the societal and the political possibilities and challenges to act for a better future.

During “Inspirational Fair”,  we gave further examples on how to act for sustainability by opening a forum for exchange in which various local initiatives were able to present themselves and get in contact with the participants.

After these theoretical inputs, during the big oikos Summer Clean Up we went outside to take real action and clean the environment around the university. Thanks to a moving DJ station, we brought our activity to the attention of the passers-by. Many of them joined us collecting the trash and we were able to raise awareness for waste issues. After two and a half hours in which the rain luckily just very shortly came down, we collected about eight big bags of rubbish, separating crown corks and cigarette buts to recycle them. We ended up back at the park close to the university with a big vegetarian barbecue and an open-air party where we enjoyed the great fun of spending time together as the oikos community.

On Sunday, we spared some time for inputs from the participants. Since the last night’s party was affecting our punctuality and fitness, we started with cosy breakfast & coffee until most participants arrived. After a quick and funny warm-up in the sun, we heard some more information on the oikos international programs, dates and alumni-work, before having an individual workshop session, with four interesting workshops facilitated by visiting participants. After another coffee break, we ended with a round of reflection where the oikos spirit once again spread its wings, making us all feel grateful for taking part in this inspiring event and motivating us to take further actions in the future.

It was a great and inspiring weekend with a number of things to cherish: Getting to know all the like-minded oikos people and their different ideas and perspectives on how to change the world was a truly enriching experience.

Your oikos Cologne Team

Germany Meeting in Pictures: