Today is International Volunteers Day! In what has become our annual tradition, each year we take this occasion to express our gratitude to volunteers that make up the backbone of oikos Community – for all of the effort and dedication you have put into driving the change towards our common goal of a sustainable future!
So much impact of oikos as an organization and a community is the direct result of hours and hours so many of you have devoted to creating and supporting projects, whether local or international, that collectively touched upon thousands of hearts and minds. Chapter members, alumni, oikos International Board, Squads and Project teams – all of you have your own unique stories that are intertwined with one another, from which those within and beyond our Community can learn from and be inspired by in doing their own part.
Most recent examples for this work come from the oikos Academy, where 5 oikos Chapters worked locally on having an impact on their universities and education.
- oikos Barcelona who hosted a panel discussion called “Who leads the change? Transitioning towards a circular economy?” where they brought different stakeholders to the table and empowered students to take action.
- oikos New Delhi who developed and hosted a game to learn more about corporate sustainability concepts in an innovative and playful way.
- oikos Graz who hosted an interactive fishbowl discussion on the topic of “How can lecturers and students work together to integrate sustainability into all fields of education?”
- SIGMA-oikos Jamshedpur who went out to the rural area of Jamshedpur, did a survey on menstrual hygiene and hosted safe and collective learning spaces on menstruation & menstrual hygiene with two other NGOs.
- oikos Kano who will open a garden on campus as a space for connection and learning for students at the university.
Having the chance to work together with such incredible volunteers and student groups, all eager to embrace the role of changemakers and join forces in making a difference in the world, is making the role of oikos Co-presidents all the more special!
It is fitting that the theme of this year’s International Volunteers Day is “If everyone did…”, putting the focus on collective action and the impact volunteers contribute to. At times it may be difficult to grasp or even see immediately the effects of the work you do, but little by little and together with your fellow oikees you play a crucial part in transforming your surroundings. These transformations start at your homes, classrooms or offices, carrying over to your universities and local communities and eventually governance and leadership on the global level.
The selfless drive in achieving a common goal behind each and every one of you, combined with innovative ideas, open mind and collaboration, past and present, have shaped oikos for over three decades. We are proud to have the privilege of representing the collective voice of such a community, being there to support you and make your stories heard, as we spearhead the reshaping of leadership and higher education.
Thank you for all the hard work and passion you have put into oikos throughout the year! We wish you the best of luck in all of the endeavors you embark upon in the upcoming year and as always, we reach out our hand in support, wherever you may need it, as whatever lies ahead, be sure we can face it together!
All the best,
Darija, Carolin & Michael
oikos International Co-presidents