oikos Semeter Reflection

As another semester draws to an end, we invite you to join us for an online Semester Reflection!

Let’s celebrate the achivements, learnings and impacts made by our community and the hard work oikees around the world have done over the past few months! This is a space where our whole community comes together, so feel free to join with the other chapters in your house and bring along your chapter members.

You don’t need to prepare anything – just come as you are, get to know the stories of others and share your own if you feel like it, let’s celebrate it together and inspire each other!

Join us via Zoom on 22 December via this link.

We look forward to seeing you!

Author image

oikos International

posted December 22, 2022

This might be for you.

Welcome, oikos Amsterdam!

We’re delighted to announce that a new oikos chapter in accession in Amsterdam is joining the oikos Family! We are excited to see a new chapter opening up in The Netherlands and wish the best of luck to the chapter in promoting the oikos Vision and Mission at their local campus.

Welcome, oikos Amsterdam!

Author image

oikos International

posted December 9, 2022

This might be for you.

International Volunteers Day – A thank you to our Community

Dear oikees,

Today is International Volunteers Day! We want to mark this important occasion with an expression of gratitude on behalf of oikos International to all of you – our dear volunteers – for all the time, beautiful energy and tremendous effort you’ve dedicated to oikos in fulfilling its purpose, vision & mission throughout the year!

We’re proud to have such a devoted community of changemakers on all levels – from chapter members, to alumni, to the oikos International Board, squads and project teams. As volunteers, your contribution is immeasurable and you are truly the backbone and the driving force behind our global impact as an organization. We feel blessed to be co-presiding over such a community of incredible individuals putting your talents into service of making a difference and joining forces to create a better future for all of us – together.

There’s a thousand unique stories from each and every one of you, all of them inspire and move many, both within the oikos Community and beyond! These stories generate innovative ideas, collaborative energy and  power to move mountains and reach minds across the planet. Piece by piece you are creating impact in your homes, classrooms and offices, and bringing change to our communities, universities, environments and ultimately to the whole world!

As stewards of the community, we’re there to support you and make your stories heard – the stories which will inspire the new generations of leaders eager and skilled to drive climate action and advance sustainable development worldwide.

Thank you all once more for the passion and all the efforts you have put in oikos so far this year! We wish you the best of luck when taking on new challenges in the months ahead and want to reach out our hand – because whatever the challenge is, we can face it together!

All the best,

Darija, Carolin & Sophie
oikos International Co-presidents

Explore more about the International Volunteers Day.

Author image

oikos International

posted December 5, 2022

This might be for you.

oikos Legislative Meeting Fall 2022

The oikos International Board officially invites you to the next oikos Legislative Meeting on Sunday, October 16th 2022 at 1:00 – 4:00 pm CEST online on Zoom. The password to join the call was provided to all chapters via email.

Make sure that chapter president(s) or chapter representative(s) of each chapter register under the following link until October 15th, 11:59 pm CEST. All other chapter members can drop in using the zoom link above without registration.

Not registered chapter representatives are not allowed to vote on behalf of their chapter.

In case the representative changes, please directly adjust the registration form or send a notification email to the Chair of the Legislative Assembly at darija.miletic@oikos-international.org. or directly contact Darija Miletic or Carolin Lemke.

Why you should attend:

– Take your responsibility seriously and have a say: All full chapters have the right and duty to vote during our LMs for important changes & developments in the organization.

– Connect to other oikees: The LM is one of the online occasions to meet people from many different oikos chapters!

– Learn about international updates and opportunities: What is cookin’? 😉

What is the Legislative Assembly, what’s a Legislative Meeting?

As a reminder and explanation for old and new oikees: The Legislative Assembly is the supreme authority of oikos International. It is composed of all oikos Chapters with full membership. The Legislative Assembly holds the Legislative Meeting (LM) which is hosted by oikos International twice a year in order to get informed about the well-being of oikos International and execute their legislative power. It is also a space where important decisions are taken that have an influence on the future of oikos International as the umbrella organization, as well as the whole oikos community at large. With our legal form as a Swiss association, it is necessary that our members (aka Chapters) democratically take certain decisions within the LMs. To start and hold a LM, a quorum of 25% of all full chapters need to be present, otherwise it cannot take place. Which is why the attendance of every chapter is needed to ensure a transparent, inclusive and democratic continuation of oikos.

Who may attend?

The Legislative Meetings are open to all oikees. Every person present is encouraged to actively participate, to ask questions and share their opinion. However, only oikos Full Chapters have voting rights. In the meeting, oikos Chapters can be represented by their Chapter presidents or any other oikee actively involved in the local chapter and vote on behalf of your Chapter. To ensure that only oikees who are currently active in the Chapter represent the Chapter, we require a registration of the chapter representatives upfront under the following link until October 15th, 11:59 pm CEST.

Any other person may be admitted to the Legislative Meeting only on the invitation of the Chair of the meeting or by resolution of the oikos Full Chapters.

Due to reasons of accessibility and inclusiveness, the Legislative Meeting will be held online. For those who have never used Zoom before, please join 5 minutes earlier to get familiar with the tool (Here is a general guide).

What’s the preliminary agenda for Sunday?

In our next Legislative Meeting, we will ..

– elect a new international board (voting item)

– check out our financial statements for 2021

– approve the oikos International Budget 2023  (voting item)

– officially launch the Impact Matrix

– introduce the new oikos AGORAs

– and more….

You will receive another email with the detailed agenda of the Legislative Meeting and more information on the voting items 10 days prior to the meeting. Make sure to read through the materials we will provide and clarify any questions and uncertainties before the session starts so that we have a short and smooth meeting with an informative discussion.

For more information and questions about the Legislative Assembly, please read the Constitution of oikos International. You also can contact us anytime in case something is unclear at darija.miletic@oikos-international.org.

Author image

oikos International

posted October 16, 2022

This might be for you.

Community coming together – What is oikos AGORA?

The oikos AGORA is the NEW ‘central square’ for our community gatherings. Every week, oikees from around the world, coming from different chapters & houses, are joining in the center. We get together and do what we do best: sharing our stories, learning from and with each other & exploring our impact in the world.

Gathering as a community is a practice that is as old as humanity itself. Throughout history, across all cultures in different environments, people would come together with fellow community members to exchange, discuss and learn from each other. In ancient Greek, the language that also gave name to our organization, this central square, forum, was called AGORA, hence we saw it fitting to give the same name to the event which gathers the whole oikos Community.

At oikos, our connection within the network helps us to accomplish the transformations we envision. Whenever we come together, we take a stand to build these relationships & weave the international oikos community. There’s plenty of opportunity, both onsite, and now also online – in our very own oikos AGORA!

We’ve set the base for the regular online Community gatherings with the Community Hours over the past few years, and with the AGORA, we wanted to put to use the learnings and insights we’d made hosting it, allong with recognizing & listening to some of the needs of our Community. In a new format – AGORA will have a weekly gathering, which creates space for more engaggement opportunities for the Community, as well as open up new possibilities for oikees to learn and get more familiar with a wide variety of topics, while building meaningful relationships. Not only will the new format offer a diversity of topics, but also present opportunities for different facilitators – from members of the oikos International initiatives, to oikos Squads, individual oikos Chapters or oikos Houses jointly hosting sessions.

The weekly rhythm is designed to be accessible for all (also taking into consideration the fact that our Community is spread out in the different time zones), and invites different members of the oikos Community to host each other. Everyone can join and come just as they are, no preparation or language skills required.

As we prepare for the start of the new semester and all the exciting AGORAs coming your way soon, we look forward to seeing on TUESDAYS, starting October!

Author image

oikos International

posted October 6, 2022

This might be for you.

Board Applications deadline extended and another Q&A Call date set

We have decided to extend the applications deadline for candidates for the 2023 oikos International Board, with the new deadline 23:59h CEST on Wednesday, 5 October! More about the requirements, process and how to apply for the Board.

On top of that, we will also be hosting another Q&A & Info Call as a space for potential candidates to get more clarity and questions answered if they ahve any. The Call will take place on Tuesday, 4 October at 14h CEST at the oikos Virtual Office Zoom – link to join.

Author image

oikos International

posted October 2, 2022

This might be for you.

Shaping a new generation of responsible leaders: LEAP Mid-Term Meeting 2022

The end of July was time for the most awaited event of LEAP: the onsite Mid-Term Meeting. This year’s meeting took place in a mountainside village of Churwalden in East of Switzerland where participants and volunteers gathered for the event from 24 to 31 July. As usual, the volunteers’ preparation meeting also took place from 22 to 24 July. For many, the favourite part of the program, once more, the mid-term meeting brought oikees students from different countries and backgrounds together united in values and goals of growing into conscious leaders of tomorrow.

We wanted to guarantee these days together would be a deeply restorative journey for everyone. For the volunteers preparation meeting, the goal was to create space for individuals to arrive at easy, for the team to bond and to become equipped with capacity and confidence to host participants in the following days. The mid-term meeting is as much of a journey for volunteers as it is for the participants. Activities as embodiment practices, solo reflection walk in nature, collective artwork creation, brave space circle and group dialogue exercises, were carefully carried together with sessions to build intention, prepare logistics and finalize the program’s agenda. Those activities allowed them to focus on 5 main grow zones in hosting and facilitation:

  • Softening for quality of presence 
  • Learning to prepare, trust and let go 
  • Learning to work with diversity 
  • Exploring connectivity with self, team, nature and for the program’s agenda.
  • Self-discovery and development

Once the volunteer team was ready, it was time for our beloved participants to arrive! Over the course of the week, our LEAPers explored each of the five dimensions of the Inner Development Goals – Being, Thinking, Relating, Collaborating and Acting. The program provided opportunities for everyone to ground, have space to reflect on themselves and to connect with others and nature, building key conditions for conscious leadership to flourish. Through the carefully picked agenda, the volunteers created a platform for participants exploring deep questions that might go overlooked in our day-to-day lives; to contemplate about past, present and future path in life; as well as to reflect about the roles and relationships they are currently involved with; to connect to their purpose with insights into ways of using talents and gifts to make a positive impact in the world; all while learning about and expanding interpersonal relationships.

The first and last days were fully dedicated for arrival and settling in & for celebrating and preparing for leaving.

For the Being day they experienced a spaceful time to develop a deep level of presence, with embodiment exercises, time in nature for connecting to self, games to get to know others in a fun way and creative reflection activity to build the intentions for the week. Yet, there was still time for exploration of topics for self-awareness as diving into our personal beliefs to the different aspects of life using the Wheel of Life exercise.

For the Thinking day, we had sessions to connect to your why and to build a long term vision for the future, and to explore complexity and perspective taking with multi stakeholder roleplay games.

On Relating day, our connection to nature was at spot. We reflected about our current development paradigm and worldviews in connection to our relationship to nature and experienced the outdoors with different eyes through exercises such as forest bathing in pairs and hiking using special intentional cards to foster contemplation and dialogue.  

During the Collaborating days, some important activities were the Warm Data Lab around trust; exploring embodied communication; being creative and taking the lead with setting your own activities with the Open Space Technology and coming together to co-create the LEAP Summit, an event intended of being a giving back experience where participants bring back to their communities their learnings with the different Inner Development Goals at LEAP.

The Acting day was the final time to reflect, integrate and step up to how to bring all the LEAP experiences and learnings forward, exploring what we want to commit to and presenting the LEAP Summit ideas.

Still, in all the days there was enough free space for morning well-being activities, to spend quality time together along with delicious vegetarian meals and for evenings together sharing cultural or games nights, dancing or gathering for a look at the night sky and stars. Talking about the sky, as always, the outdoor element had great value in shaping the activities. For the most part of the days, we were blessed with sunny and warm weather that allowed us to realize the program’s agenda mostly in our terrace and green areas, which highlighted the incredible setting for this year’s meeting. Sitting on a gentle slope between towering mountains, we had the soundtrack of silence, the singing of birds and of a river water running. With enough free time allocated, participants would enjoy nature playing any of the few sports at hand, sitting down for contemplation or talks or going for walks exploring the beautiful surroundings. 

With so many soul-food elements, the Midterm Meeting has a special place at the heart of every cohort. The in person element allows one to have time and space to explore themself on such a deep level, connect with peers and share personal stories and experiences, creating strong bonds between participants. As LEAP Meetings are very touching, a fundamental piece of it is creating a safe space for flow of trust and confidence and where everyone can feel comfortable expressing their thoughts, sharing emotions and feeling empowered to count on peers for support. 

Connected to that, we want to first thank our volunteers! The meeting was an incredibly valuable experience, which would not have been possible without this amazing team who dedicated time and effort, taking part in creating and carrying out all the sessions and being role models, guaranteeing that the LEAP safe space atmosphere and culture was always omnipresent throughout the meeting. Their shared inputs, insights, experience and feelings provided unique guidance, encouragement and support to participants! 

We also wanna thank our lovely participants for having had the courage to step in to work on themselves and to create a strong community and group spirit allowing a deep sense of belonging and connection to emerge! You all truly shined in that regard.

Here we share with you some of the participants perspectives and stories from the LEAP Midterm Meeting:


THE DAY BEGINS

We wake up early in the morning.
When the sun is still hiding behind the mountain.
When the clouds are hanging low covering the valley.
We step on the wet grass.
We let the fresh cold air touch our sleepy warm bodies.
We take a little hike up the hill.
We find ourselves surrounded by trees, rocks, a creek running through.
We take off our clothes. Embrace the chill.
And then we dip. Our feet. Our hands. Our full bodies. On the THREE. Into an ice-cold water. Feeling the power of the water falling creating tiny waterfalls.
Feeling our body parts sting. Blood rushing through our veins.
That’s how the day begins.
The sun shines over the top on the mountain.
It sprinkles the glitter over the water, tiny drops on our bodies.
Warms up our numb fingers.
The sky clears up.
The day begins.

“We kept calling our space PLAYGROUND. We were free to open our minds for all the possibilities, explore ourselves, our thoughts, learn about other people and nature. The moment in the mountain that teaches life lessons. Empowers to crave for deep experiences. Makes us fall in love with ourselves. Inspires to commit to our dreams. Shows how different and special each of us are. Sparks the hope for the bright future.

We talked about how we wished that every person has gone through LEAP experience at least once in their life. The world would be a different place – full of kindness, openness, support, and freedom. But until then, we can plant the seeds in our communities and create little LEAP moments every day”.

-Patricija, participant


“This week was one of my best weeks in my entire life!! Being with the other participants in this beautiful place in Switzerland was just magical! It made me feel so well, so peaceful, so connected, so grateful and so much more and definitely helped me to become a better leader and person as a whole :)”

– Antonia, participant


“It’s been a beautiful learning journey & honour to be with you, witnessing myself and the group as we’ve been tinkering around with our comfort zones. The leap is part of my life for about 6 years now and this year would have rendered the first without my proactive involvement wouldn’t you have invited me to hold you in the process. This dedicated role allowed me to host from my essence, to be more myself than rarely before in my work. Boundaries blurring, and you allowed me to be ok or even embrace that. To trust that there’s a rosebush, not only the wondrous smell of a flower or the spikeyness of thorns. it’s been a real honour to meet everyone of you, see you grow and to share a little more of who I am becoming. I cannot wait to see where we will meet again, may it be at next year’s leap, in the virtual office or just a call away. I count on your adventurous spirits to think of me in the right moment – and I hold so much trust, compassion and love for all of you”.

-Sophie, oikos International team member and LEAP volunteer


-Salil, Participant
Matthieu, LEAP Volunteer
Author image

oikos International

posted September 12, 2022

This might be for you.

oikos AGORA: Semester Reflection

Heya oikees! Just wrapping up an intense semester of juggling university and oikos? Have you had the chance to think back to everything that you have learnt? Time to celebrate all your powerful achievements!

Sophie & Anna are really excited to do all that together with you at our Semester Reflection Call on Tuesday, 21st of June –  5.30 pm IST/ 8 pm HKT / 2pm CEST. This is a space where our whole community comes together, so feel free to join with the other chapters in your house and bring along your chapter members.

No need to prepare anything, and no need to know anything about oikos International before. Main language will be English, and we are all learners so do not hesitate to join!

Join through this link.

Author image

oikos International

posted June 21, 2022

This might be for you.

Community Impact Contest – oikos Chapters making waves with their change work

The oikos Community is always striving to find new ways to make learning more interactive, interesting and innovative and raise awareness for sustainability challenges they face on multiple levels. The incredible intrinsic motivation and the diversity of approaches is one of the main strengths of our community which flourishes into an ocean of ideas contributing to the highly needed change in our world.

At oikos international, we want to celebrate and showcase the thriving efforts of our local chapters. Therefore, we launched the Community Impact Contest: a platform for our chapters to learn, exchange & get inspired within and beyond the oikos community while celebrating each other’s work! After the local groups shared some of their most beautiful projects, the global network voted and selected the most thought-provoking and ground-breaking ideas.
After a very exciting and fun voting which took place during our International Chapter Conference (ICC) in Graz , we can finally reveal the results. Let us proudly announce the most celebrated projects of our community:

  1. The oikos x Swire Coca-Cola HK Sustainability Impact Case Competition, by oikos Hong Kong. This business case helped students acquire a sustainable business mindset by designing and developing innovative solutions for a real-life business case, while raising awareness for urgently needed waste reduction in Hong Kong.
  2. The Momentum Camp, by oikos Barcelona. This 3-days-event which gathered students, private as well as the public sector of Barcelona to discuss sustainability challenges the city is facing and the purpose of education in solving those challenges.
  3. The survey on Transforming Education, by oikos Graz and their home university. Through this initiative, oikos Graz aims at helping their host university (University of Graz) to take a proactive stand on sustainability and 21st century education by surveying students on what their perceptions and needs are regarding knowledge on sustainability at their university, as a part of the project of improving their local curriculum in the following years.
  4. The Green Jobs Fair, by oikos Warsaw. This job fair allowed students to see sustainability not only as a theoretical university course, but also as a real career path filled with new opportunities.
  5. The guest lecture on Sustainable Business, by oikos Graz. This event allowed students to learn how to integrate sustainability into businesses, what corporate social responsibility means and how to avoid greenwashing in these contexts.
  6. The Woman in Sustainability event series, by oikos Graz. This event series is dedicated to female scientists, entrepreneurs and activists, their role in the sustainability movement, the challenges they’re facing as women and tools to help women to overcome those challenges.

We want to thank all those who have participated in this event, and we want to congratulate all of our chapters for their stunning work and impact!
We are celebrating our beautiful community!

Author image

oikos International

posted May 31, 2022

This might be for you.

LEAP YOUth Kick-off Meeting in Graz

Participants of our LEAP YOUth program’s 2022 cohort had the opportunity to meet together in the lively city of Graz, Austria for the long-awaited onsite kick off meeting at the end of April. 

The meeting took place from 19 to 21 April, and was immediately followed by oikos International Chapter Conference which began just after the meeting was finalized.

The onsite meetings of LEAP aim to support participants to build a stronger sense of community with each other. Participants get to deepen their understanding and practice of LEAP foundations, culture and frameworks. As the LEAP YOUth program this year is focusing on the Inner Development Goals, and its 5 dimensions – Being, Thinking, Relating, Collaborating and Acting – the onsite kick off meeting was an opportunity for them to dive into and practice the learnings from module 1 – the BEING dimension – relationship to self.

Through different sessions hosted by our amazing LEAP alumni and volunteers, the participants explored how to cultivate the BEING dimension interacting with its themes of: 

  • Inner Compass
  • Integrity and Authenticity
  • Openness and Learning mindset
  • Self-awareness
  • Mindful Presence.  

Participants had opportunities to self-organise their morning wellbeing activities, connecting with themselves through contemplative practices like meditations, reflections and embodiment exercises. They were invited to explore their inner world through discovering and sharing about values, personal challenges, and strengths. Another exercise focused on learning to design and use powerful questions in life while simultaneously listening deeply to self and others.

We were blessed with an amazing selection of locations our sessions took place in! Part of the program was held in the beautiful hill of Schlossberg, allowing more contact with nature while enjoying extensive views of the city. Another very special location was the Spektral, a creative, community open-space and cultural center near the Mur River.

Outside of the session times, a lot of space was provided for getting to know each other, to exchange between multicultural volunteer facilitators and participants, to learn from different perspectives, to share delicious vegan meals, enjoy fun evening activities and party!  

A big thank you to everyone involved and the LEAP team is excited to see you all onsite again for our LEAP midterm meeting in July in Switzerland!

Check out what facilitators and participants had to say about their onsite experience:

“This is my second year participating with the LEAP program and I am so happy I came back to it after a year off. The on-site meeting was a chance for me to go deeper with my own learnings while being an example to our participants in pushing our comfort zones and being willing to learn. I greatly appreciated the opportunity to lead a mindfulness and well-being exercise to share what is useful in my own practice from yoga and stretching, thoughts of gratitude, and mental check-in. LEAP really gives all of us the chance to lead and improve ourselves”. – Stephen Snider, peer group facilitator and volunteer

“I am beyond happy that I could join the onsite kick-off meeting of LEAP in Graz and get to know in person all the open-minded and inspiring people in this year’s cohort, as well people standing behind it. We worked on ourselves to become better listeners and explored the values we are running on. All of that in the unique chilled atmosphere only LEAP can create! Kudos to organizators!” -Viktorie Vlkova, participant

“I thought the onsite Kick-Off in Graz was an amazing opportunity to meet people in person and connect with other people from other countries. A very great cultural experience. This LEAP program is impressing me more every day. I found it very interesting to immerse ourselves in ourselves and see, for example, what our strengths are and what values ​​are most important to us. Also learning to listen to each other carefully, which is fundamental in mindfulness.” Noemi Zmork, participant

“Hey dear reader, I am ilkay and this is the short description of my LEAP Kick-off meeting experience. Enjoy!! I would say it was the most open and accepting event in my life. We all have friends and close people with whom we can share a lot, but it is hard to do so with someone you have just met. And during the meeting it felt like everyone knew each other for a loooong time and the “trust” was so powerful. For me it was the first time to meet LEAPers since 2020, when I was the participant of this program. I was counting hours to finally go to Austria and meet them. The event took place in a lovely place, Graz, and it is definitely going to my top 20 cities list. During the meeting I hosted my first session, I was super nervous at the beginning. And right at that moment I had the support of the whole organizers’ team, which was so cute I even teared up a bit, just a bit :D. I really enjoyed being part of the team, I brought back a lot of new learnings about teamwork and friendships.” -Ilkai, peer group facilitator and volunteer

“Leap is the place where you maybe don’t know anyone in the room at the start but in a second everyone is your friend. It is the place where you share, where you feel safe and the most positive atmosphere surrounds you. I spent almost 2 days on a leap onsite kick off meeting and in this small time had the pleasure to speak on interesting topics with new friends all around the world, given thoughts of my problems, faced them, found solutions and  asked powerful questions and most importantly developed. And the favourite session, we shared positive energy with each other, small notes on each’s backs, which we will always remember”. – Jaba Jabauri, participant

“As a participant of the LEAP YOUth program 2022 I was invited to spend a few wonderful days in Austria during which I discovered more about myself, especially what kind of leader I would like to be. Already before our on-site session we had a few online gatherings which were put together with love and spirit – but they were nothing in comparison to the environment I found in Austria. In just three days I had so many laughs, learnings and joyous occasions that I feel very blessed to have been invited.” – Niklas Ziemann, participant

Author image

oikos International

posted May 16, 2022

This might be for you.