oikos members across the world engage on a broad range of sustainability topics – both through extracurricular activities as well as in the classroom and their research. Their agendas range from A as in alternative economic indicators to Z like zero carbon future.
To support members in pursuing their passion for a particular topic and expanding related engagements of oikos, we introduced the role of “oikos Associates” in 2016.
oikos Associates join our international management team to pursue their passion for a particular topic, and to explore key questions, examine answers, identify innovative players, and develop their own perspectives around it. They also take the lead on organizing workshops, debates and roundtable sessions on their topic of interest, and foster an exchange within the oikos community about the issues at hand as well as share their insights in a final report.
The prevalence of a single school of economic thought and inherent bias against others often observed at universities in Europe and elsewhere motivated our new oikos Associate, J. Christopher Proctor to focus on the topic of Pluralist Economics. Pluralist economics is the idea that the best way to understand the economy is to study a large number of competing theories, since each individual theory is necessarily incomplete and limited.
J. Christopher joined us in October, 2017. Since then he created a guide to give people a quick introduction to pluralist economics and led a series of workshops on the topic in a number of oikos Chapters in Europe. In addition, he organized the workshop on Pluralist Economics for participants of FutureLab 2017 and oikos Spring Meeting 2018. In March 2019, he published second pluralist report titled “Mapping Pluralist Research”. The report provides an overview of the research which has come out of the student movement for pluralism in economics. You can download Mapping Pluralist Research here.
Digitalization and Sustainability
Digitalization and Sustainability was the topic of first oikos Associate, Christoph Rappitsch, who joined us in 2016. He explored the opportunities and risks of the digital economy for a broad sustainability agenda and thus for people, communities and the planet in the first oikos Associate Report published in 2017. His research demonstrated how new tools, such as apps and technologies, help live life and run companies in a more sustainable way. At the same time, it emphasized the possible drawbacks of these developments.
Besides condensing his research into a comprehensive report, Christoph took the lead for various events on the topic – including a workshop on digitalization and leadership at the oikos FutureLab, hosting an oikos Alumni Debate on smart cities in Zurich, and organizing a roundtable on Fintech and sustainability.