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oikos Co-Presidency 2023: Meet the candidates!

Dear oikos Community, we are delighted to present you the four candidates for the next oikos International Co-president!

Asha Mandapati

My journey with oikos started in 2021. I have always been mesmerized by the working of oikos. As a part of LEAP program, I have got a chance to interact with different oikees around the world and learn concepts about leadership. All my experiences with the student engagement activities that I have engaged have taught me leadership, team building and time management skills.

After taking part as a board member, I have got the opportunity to witness the complexity of the organization. I have been working on enhancing collaboration between chapters and oikos international and increasing awareness about squads. The chapter check ins, house facilitator calls and Agora calls have been so useful in connecting to the chapters and understanding them. My experience while working with the current team has been amazing.

The culture at oikos is inclusive and empowering. I aspire to be a part of such a cool team and create wonders together. I have grown a lot personally after joining oikos. I want to use this opportunity to utilize the skills learnt and give back to oikos. Having worked with co-presidents closely, I have seen how impactful the role of presidency is on the oikos international team and the community. I am eager to learn more about facets of leadership and lead the huge community of
change agents around the world.

As a co-president I would want to work on strengthening connections between chapters and oikos international. There is a huge opportunity in collaborating with the chapters and the community. With the current understanding of the needs of the chapters, I will take the help of Agora which is already existing to gather chapters and foster sharing between chapters. We can use this platform for specific gatherings and sharing useful resources. I am sure that this will build trust among the chapters as the focus is upon the relevant and burning topics.

I would work extensively on building and developing long-term partnerships along with the team. My vision for the upcoming years is strengthening connections with all the stakeholders involved and showcasing the impact of oikos international in multiple international events. oikos has a huge alumni
network and this can be leveraged for promotions and fundraising. Alumni meets can be organized as a part of a project, which will be helpful for both the promotion of the project and the organization.
As a team leader I wish to foster creativity, positivity, inclusivity, and a sense of belonging in my team. I aspire to work for getting one step closer towards the vision of the change agents in transforming management and economics education for sustainability.

Kristina Verena Heilinger

Paul the polar bear came to visit our class in one of my first lectures at the university of St. Gallen. Since then, I am a member of oikos, helped organizing the sustainability week and met people from chapters all around the world at different conferences. All this made me apply for the co-presidency at our association.

As a Project Head of the food blog oismak by oikos, my team and I worked together on the further development of the website, drafting new recipes and collaborating with other organizations. I developed and established the carbon calculation process, moreover, I organized several webinars about zero (food) waste during the semester. During that time, I learned more about how to lead a team online as well as offline whilst having fun and creating new recipes together. My team and I also developed a vision, set goals and measured them together. Moreover, I facilitated different live sessions, webinars and livecookings to teach more university students about easy, sustainable and simply delicious food.

I worked and studied in different regions of South East Asia, including Thailand, South Korea and Singapore. Especially my time as a marketing intern at Environmental Solutions (Asia) was valuable for learning more about the sustainability challenges of a small city state and the level of environmental awareness there. In a team, we redesigned the website of the company and I focused on content for the website, blog articles, and related information materials. This also helped me to work in cross- cultural teams together with different departments that have diverse wishes and needs.

As a co-president it is important to listen to chapters, their needs and to ensure they have all the resources needed for working sustainably at their universities. oikos international team as well as alumni can support them with their experiences, competences and time. The alumni associations are already providing various possibilities for former oikos members in order to keep in touch. My aim is to foster the career part in particular to help young graduates to continue their sustainability journey. Also, an entrepreneurial department could connect like-mineded alumni as well as oikees that have business ideas, providing them with the personal resources as well as the know-how to realize their ideas. This could even lead to new companies created in the oikos network and further career possibilities that former oikees pursue together.

Despite usual fundraising activities, my aim is also to encourage chapters to finance projects with alternative options. As the organization is large and complex, the sharing of best practices could be facilitated in particular for topics that lie at the core of the mission of the organization. Last but not least, the vision and mission is shaped by members, be it active, passive or alumni, they’re always encouraged to add their ideas to this mission statement so we can successfully co-create the next years as well as the long-term future of our association together. For me, serving oikos will therefore not just consist of realizing these points but of further defining and developing them together with you so they can benefit the association during my term and long time beyond for sustainable impact.

Mahmoud Nageb

I studied marketing as minor, finance and investment as major at Heliopolis University for sustainable development. Got internship at Heliopolis admission, was organizer andcoordinator at HU scientific research and technology, got accounting internship at The Arab contractor, finance and investment at STRO (social trade organization) in the Netherlands, participated at doing marketing campaign for Panda express while its expansion in the Netherlands at HRBS university in Bonn. Got scholarship at ZUYD university to study international business in the Netherlands, was financial manager at CESIM where it was online the same as oikos where was doing planning, pricing, budgeting for organization that works all over the world, and achieved best financial performance & second market share organization, team leader for Sekem precious plastic, founded Cash trash as social enterprise, financially analyzed Egyptian banks in the market, and got entrepreneurship skills from Ashoka and Hult prize and was leading a team in a competition also. Last but not least contributed in founding oikos Cairo, and fundraising and alternative fundraising with Oikos international and do finance with oikos consultancy.

So briefly, want to highlight that I studied business and economics at sustainable and development university and already aware of global challenges and prepared to address it. Studied international business with international students in NL. Lead teams once in align with same team leader at different place. Has similar experience as ovbuikos at CESIM where international team meet online, discuss next steps and implement competing with another international team companies.

I’ll be lucky to represent oikos network that do impact in different ways, strengthen links and connections of the whole community. Fostering the impact of the organization according to the financial background I’m from and from the current experience and resources. My future plans is try to link everything with incentives within the community, create mini projects at chapters with feasibility study and common market that’s shared among chapters to do money and start addressing financial stability. Use universities summer time in making sustainable productive workshops that could turn to enterprise later. create new flexible continent leader to fit any role and address weakness points at any level. Lead the team to training and share it in biweekly gathering.

I’m writing my vision and action plan toward oikos international and part of applying to co-
president. Applying to stewarding and tending the oikos community and team, create financial cooperation and non-financial partnerships, representing oikos decently and contributing to it internationally Having everything tasked related to incentives or award always work, so I propose in my action plan to link tasks and achievements to incentives, for example people who do fundraising takes a percent out of the money generated to oikos, maybe win something because of achievement, or collection of stars or titles for example.

Second thing when it comes to action plan is starting mini projects with feasibility study shared to everyone at all chapters creating a common market or supply chain. The projects generate money to oikos community and is led by chapter students as kind of in action empowering leaders, students manage it as part of oikos and freely develop it and create new projects that could be shared to others as well as empowering cases. Third thing to be shared, is using the summer time of universities in doing workshops as sometimes things is not going that well while university times. It could be normal workshops or starting new project that generate money to both the chapter and oikos as mentioned above.

Michael Winter

For most of my life I didn’t know oikos or anything similar. I did my bachelor’s degree in economics and business administration in Nuremberg and there was no oikos chapter. I discovered the sustainability management department at my university, what gave my life its first kick. I was fascinated by the concepts of sustainability and, for the first time in my studies, I started to love learning. I took every course and seminar on offer and embarked on an intense learning journey that didn’t end when I finished my bachelor’s thesis. It just shifted to online programmes, reading books and participating in discussions and (online) conferences.

I knew I had to continue this journey and after some research I found a suitable Masters programme to continue my studies abroad in Graz, Austria and immediately became an active member of the local chapter. In 2021 I became a board member of oikos Graz, participated in the LEAP programme of oikos International, attended the oikos Camp and the idea was born to host the International Chapter Conference ’22 in Graz. In October I started working part-time for the oikos Transforming Education Initiative and then attended the oikos conference as a staff member of oikos International and as a representative of oikos Graz. In 2022 we hosted the ICC and I finished my mandate for oikos Graz, became a facilitator and coach for the LEAP programme, returned to Camp and brought together 5 chapters to co-found the oikos Academy. I went to several conferences, gave keynotes and workshops and started a number of new partnerships for oikos international. Now it is the year 2023 and I have just increased my working hours for oikos International to take over the responsibility in the organisation team of the LEAP programme.

I see the future is bright. I am very positive, while I know that we have a lot of challenges to overcome. For me the vision for the future is about asking the important questions. The following are what I came up with. If you have more questions, please reach out to me and let’s ask them together! I see oikos as a lighthouse. A lighthouse showing the way to a new type of leadership: inclusive, caring and trusting with people and purpose at the heart. How do we make sure our light is seen and our approach is understood? I see oikos as a pioneer. A pioneer reinventing higher education to be transdisciplinary, pluralistic, value-driven and focused on the real-world with students shaping the programs and professors that rather learn together than preach from the book.

How do we make sure that the efforts from a view turn into collective action? I see oikos as a playground. A playground where we can try things, fail hard and stand up again, where we imagine new games, learn and grow together. How do we make sure we keep having fun and being playful, even if struggles are real? I see oikos as a bonfire. A bonfire where people gather around to connect through diversity, to share brave stories of vulnerability and to feel inspired to act from their heart. How can we open ourselves to others, while keeping the intimacy of a safe space? I see oikos as a mycelium. A mycelium that connects students, researchers, faculty, businesses, coaches and partner organizations and that is able to re-allocate resources to where they are needed the most.

How can we become more innovative in finding new (financial) resources and more effectiveness in transporting them through our network? I see oikos as a living organism. A living organism that is ever changing, human-centric, self-organized and finding its own way to become teal organization (cf. Frederic Laloux). How can we make sure that we do not lose our stability while we are in a constant state of transformation? oikos continues to be a world leading student organization for sustainable transformation!

These are just the snippets of the exciting stories of the four candidates, you can read more about them in the materials oikos chapters were provided with via email!

You the oikos Community decides who’s the next oikos Co-President! Make sure your chapter is registered and attending the Legislative Meeting on Saturday 22 April online or onsite in Copenhagen!