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Maria Pinsker on How oikos Makes You Grow Through Each Challenge

“It is incredible how fast time flies when the event you and your team members have been planning for half a year eventually takes place. This year we were proud to welcome more than 160 participants at our annual University conference “Heldentag – Bist du bereit für Fairänderung?” to promote sustainability among students of all faculties.

When I joined oikos in 2014 I would have never imagined our association to become that popular in summer 2016, especially through our annual sustainability conference „Heldentag“. This year it was my responsibility to find seven speakers working in the field of sustainability and economics who would show that it is absolutely possible to combine both – profitability and sustainability. In six different workshops and one keynote talk, students had the possibility to learn from inspiring speakers who gave practical tips. From zero waste lifestyle t0 a business life running a package-free supermarket and many more. Thanks to the great work of our oikos Paderborn team, it was possible to not only organize the conference but also host our very first oikos Germany Meeting. At first it seemed to be a tough challenge to organize the two biggest events of the oikos year at the same time. However, our oikos team members supported each other and were very motivated to prove that one of the smallest chapters in Germany is able to successfully host a nationwide meeting.

I personally experienced how amazing it is to see your team members supporting the ideas you came up with and how students who are not part of oikos become aware of sustainability and the positive impact they can have on society. It was a challenging time as the vice-president of oikos Paderborn but I am still convinced that it was one of the most influencing years in my life. I truly hope that many of the students who participated in our conference or one of our other projects (Zero Waste Challenge, Documentary evenings, discussions, Veggie Dinner…) were inspired by our values and realized that there are other people supporting the same ideas as them.”




Written by Maria Pinsker, Vice-President, oikos Paderborn