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News oikos Academy

Democratized, Innovative and Sustainable Education for the Future – oikos Curriculum Academy 2021 in retrospect

The third oikos Curriculum Change Academy was jointly organized by oikos St. Gallen and the oikos international Curriculum Change Initiative team from February 26 to 28 2021. Due to the COVID-19 pandemic, the event, which was originally going to take place in St. Gallen, was held fully online. Despite this particular context, we were so grateful to have gathered more than 30 people from several countries in this inspiring Academy.

The main novelty of this year’s Academy was the involvement of LEAP’s researchers track participants. Under the motto: “Bringing together early career researchers and students for curriculum change” we hosted events to learn together and kicked off our Curriculum Change Coaching Program. For the latter, LEAP researchers underwent coaching training and they were paired with oikos chapter members to support them in their CC efforts.

Over the course of 3 days, we tried to grasp the breadth of economics and management subjects and relate them to current social and environmental challenges. 

The first day started with a panel on Democratization of Academic Research that counted with the inspiring presentations by Madeline Donald, Lorenzo Velotti, José Eustáquio Romão, and Marguerite Mendell. They covered several dimensions of the current undemocratic state of academic research from different perspectives, including pedagogy of the oppressed, Polanyian, and ecological and social sustainability. The panel was followed by breakout rooms where participants discussed how to take things into action. The first day was completed with sessions for LEAP early career researchers only, where they had time to learn about coaching.

The second day started with a workshop on Learning and Teaching Methods imparted by Simon Zysset from WWF Switzerland. He discussed what are the competencies that an education for sustainable development requires. Simon also introduced us to  holistic approaches and competence-supporting methods that could be best suited to get there, such as action-oriented learning, transdisciplinary learning, transformative learning, and others. It was followed by a nice discussion on what are the current ways of teaching, and how we should change them in a curriculum change process.

Then, we had a discussion on Doughnut Economics led by Flavia Moraes e Silva from the INET/YSI Sustainability Working Group. After her presentation introducing the concept we had an engaging discussion on the practical implementation of this concept.

The third day was all about the Curriculum Change Coaching Program. oikos chapter members were introduced to coaching and were assigned one early career research as their coach.hey had their first coaching session together. And all this was just a start! We are looking forward to the future sessions that will take place in the months to follow.The Academy was followed by the Open Evenings organized by oikos St. Gallen. You can read a report of the event in Prisma.