oikosSummer and Winter Schools

Summer and Winter Schools

The oikos Winter School and the oikos Summer School are annual platforms to empower agents for change. The events bring together 20 to 30 highly motivated students from around the world in an interactive learning environment on sustainable economics and management.

The Summer and Winter Schools comprise lectures, discussions and project development workshops on sustainability challenges. The events place a strong emphasis on insights into institutional change and stakeholder dialogue.

oikos Winter School

The oikos year starts with the oikos Winter School as an annual event in February or March organized by oikos Witten in Germany. oikos Witten also chooses a topic related to sustainability to discuss with the participants in different formats. It fosters also the exchange between oikos members and people outside of oikos.

The 15th oikos Winter School took place on March 17th – March 23rd, 2019. It looked at urban development in the Ruhr area and all over the world. Mobility and housing were the two main focus points of the conference. An additional topic worth discussing is social cohesion and engagement. During the week the participants learned to work on practical solutions for the cities of the future and reflect different perspectives and ideas. The participants are an international student group interested in sustainability issues, eager to become change agents – oikos members, alumni, university students.

Winter School 2019

The oikos Winter School 2019 explored a range of topics from Megacities and Smart Cities to new energy and transportation concepts to civic participation. Check out an interactive blog prepared by Janina Hoffmann,  one of the participants of the winter school and oikos communications and marketing working group member, you can take a closer look at the topics covered by inspiring speakers and passionate participants.

Take a look at our video from the Winter School

Winter School 2018

In 2018, the Winter School revolved around the topic of Sustainable Development Cooperation and explored main challenges and drawbacks in the field. The Winter School titled “Bottoms Up, Tops Down” took place in Witten, Germany from March 1 to 7, 2018.

Check out the oikos Winter School video diary.

Read oikos article about the Winter School 2018 here.

In Addition, check out what participants thought about the school here.

Pictures from the Winter School is available on our Flickr page.

Winter School 2017

In 2017, the Winter School was titled “You call it Eco. We call it common sense. Sustainability in the fashion industry” and explored the role and impact of the apparel industry on sustainable development. About 30 participants and a dozen speakers from all walks of life spent the week amidst heated debates, discussing the current situation in the industry and possible solutions to its countless problems.

Learn more here.

Summer School 2016


oikos Summer School 2016 will take an in-depth look at the kind of management education we need for a better world. The world faces its biggest ever challenges: climate change, war, mass migration, the growing concentration of wealth and power.

  • What kind of leaders do we need to tackle these challenges?
  • How should they be different from past leaders?
  • How do we change education so that it produces leaders who do what’s best for the world?

Over the course of the Summer School, you will have the opportunity to explore your own leadership skills, look at how you want to develop them and how you want to make a difference in the world. You will also work collaboratively with others to design and rehearse new and innovative approaches to management education – changes that can be implemented in your university.

By the end of the Summer School you will have:

  • Explored innovative approaches to leadership for a better world
  • Reflected on your own leadership skills and attributes
  • Had practical experience of working collaboratively with others – and reflected on your own team-working skills
  • Designed and delivered a “Whole Person” learning session on a topic that’s important to you
  • Looked at what you can do in your own institution to introduce more innovative learning approaches.

Winter School 2016

The 11th oikos Winter School took place from the 22nd to 28th February 2016.

Topic: How to feed the world

Find the final report here.

Winter School 2015

The 11th oikos Winter School took place from the 23rd to 27th February 2015.


The WinterSchool will take place in different venues in the beautiful town of Witten.

Where is Witten and how do I get there?

Witten is located between the cities of Köln, Essen and Dortmund.

You can reach it easily by train, car, or by flying to Düsseldorf Airport. (You may consider to offset your flight onwww.atmosfair.de) As soon as we have confirmed your place in the WinterSchool we will ask you for you travel details, so that we can arrange to pick you up.

Do I need to arrange my accommodation?

No. You will be hosted by friendly students, who will share their apartments with you for the week! If you wish to stay with students of the same sex, please let us know.

I am a vegetarian, will I find something to eat at the conference?

Yes! Our wonderful, freshly cooked food will be all vegetarian. If you have additional requirements, let us know beforehand!

Winter School 2014

The 10th oikos Winter School is organized by students of the Witten/Herdecke University, Germany. This year’s central question is Green Economy or Post-Growth Society? – How can economics and businesses shift towards a more sustainable future and which way could be the most promising to do so?

We will discuss this year’s central question by thinking, debating and creating new ideas concerning the current energy supply situation, social entrepreneurship and the financial market.

The oikos Winter School 2014 will be held from February 21st till March 2nd 2014 in Germany. If you are enthusiastic about working with international peers as well as debating with our amazing speakers, you can apply starting August 4th(cet)! The early-bird application period (250€ participation fee instead of 300€) closes September 15th.

More information here: http://www.oikos-winterschool.org

oikos Summer School

The oikos Summer School is an event initiated and carried out by different oikos local chapters changing with the year it is organized. The theme is set by the local chapter group related to sustainably transforming education. It is an event of joy and sharing as well as dedication and learning. It enables participants to experience and shape their learning experience themselves. 

For more details, check out our archive.