On Thursday June 23rd, members from oikos Paderborn, Cologne, Leipzig, Reutlingen, St Gallen and international, met to kick-off the Germany Meeting 2016. After getting to know each other a vegetarian dinner was served at a local restaurant in Paderborn to talk sustainability and catch up.
On Friday the Heldentag took place. With a record of 150 participants from the area, the event started with a sustainability quiz. Introductions were then made of the 6 workshop hosts and keynote speaker. A buffet was then laid out made entirely out of wasted food and a personalized cake for the event, entitled Fair-Anderung (essentially fair change). The first workshops round included a workshop by FemNet, one by Wasteland Rebel and one by Unverpackt Munster. The first drew attention to the NGOs work to combat modern slavery in the fashion supply chain, especially in Southern India. The latter two shared their stories on how to reduce waste and natural alternatives to our current everyday practices. Lunch followed.
Directly after lunch the keynote speaker took the floor, Tanja Steins, is the owner of Contigo Paderborn. Contigo is a fair-trade shop and Ms. Steins addressed the topic of fair trade and how to improve our efforts in cities as a whole towards more fair trade. The keynote presentation was followed by other three workshops: one by Limoment, one by Urgewald and the final was entitled Gemeinwohl-Okonomie. The first related to the lemonade’s brand ‘Limoment’ where the founder spoke about the need for more sustainable beverages and share a drinking moment with the participants. The second rose the issue of sustainability and finance, and presented their actions to eradicate investments in coal and the topic of divestment as a whole. In the third workshop, as the title suggests, speakers presented their criteria for a ‘Gemeinwohl-Okonomie’ in business and for society as a whole. The day was concluded with a pizza dinner.
The final day of the Germany Meeting started with a session on oikos, what is our structure, what are open positions and where can we better collaborate. After interesting discussions, a short city tour demonstrated the interesting characteristics of Paderborn and the sustainability aspects of the smallest official city in Germany. The Germany Meeting was terminated with an alternative lunch over Berlin Doeners and a trip to the Contigo shop where fair trade coffee was roasted and tasted on a rainy day.