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!
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:
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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:
Integrity and Authenticity
Openness and Learning mindset
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
From 21 to 24 April, our Community had the pleasure to be hosted by the Graz chapter of oikos for this year’s edition of the International Chapter Conference(ICC), which took place in the Austrian city. Over the course of four days the sessions would cover a wide range of topics focusing on bringing changes to systems around us. Deeply rooted throughout this year’s ICC was belief that small people could make a change and hope of coming together to collaborate and drive the change. There were plenty of opportunities to learn, challenge our perspectives and ideas, exchange and connect with active members and alumni from the international oikos Community. In this article, we look back to the Conference and take away the most important parts of it.
The day one of the ICC was traditionally centered around oikos International. On this day we had the opportunity to present to our Community, as well as external – local and international students taking part at the conference. The Conference opened up with a few words from oikos Co-presidents Sophie Charrois and Darija Miletic, welcoming everyone and presenting the agenda for the day. It was truly a large Community gathering, with plenty of chapters represented by both – members attending the full conference along with those partaking in the LEAP YOUth onsite Kick-off Meeting which had also taken place in Graz in the three days leading up to the conference.
Naturally, the oikos International day of each conference is the place for networking and connecting with fellow oikees, exchanging about each other’s ideas and projects, sharing inspiring stories and building up the community feeling. It is also an important platform for oikos International to present our initiatives and opportunities in which oikos chapter members can take part, along with tools and developments we specially designed for the chapters. We had a diverse audience of oikees, coming from different chapters and with varying amounts of experience. Whether they’re long-time members or had just joined their local chapter, each of them could take back home new learnings to apply in local projects and activities.
Day two of the ICC kicked off with a scavenger hunt in the morning. The four-hour walk around the city of Graz, finding local sustainable businesses and getting to know the city a bit better were so captivating that even the rainy weather couldn’t wash away the good mood and energy among participants. A well planned route with an incredible selection of stores had seen oikees pay a visit and learn about natural cosmetics, fair fashion, social workshop, secondhand, bike rental and zero-waste groceries. There were plenty of things to take away from all of the stores, but the highlight for most was printing their own oikos shirt to take home as a souvenir.
After the exciting morning, we came together for an opening ceremony which took place later in the day, with the hosts from oikos Graz officially kicking off the main part of the Conference. The ceremony was honored by a speech from a Graz city official as the city provided support to the organizing team, along with a speech of an alumni member – the founder of the local chapter Clemens Mader, which marked the 20-year anniversary of oikos Graz. Clemens took us on a journey back in time and showed us how things were back in the day and how the chapter, but also the international network has changed and evolved over the last two decades.
Following the ceremony, Ana Pribil addressed the all-important connection between the climate crisis and our psychology in a workshop around Climate Anxiety. This aspect of the climate crisis that is not explored too often was very eye opening, creating discussions among participants and reflecting on our own habits.
Day three of the Conference was all about our surroundings, opening up with a set of 8 workshops on a variety of topics which participants got to choose from. With plenty of interaction and addressing interesting points, the workshops provided a great energy to start the day with.
Later that day we were joined by Weitzer Wood Solutions which presented the growing importance of wood and it’s many applications in the modern world. Being in Graz, in Styria – often called the Green Heart of Austria, it had a special place in the agenda as a local product, but also as a means of offsetting the carbon footprint through a more wide spread of wood in construction. With a motto Wood is high-tech, wood is lightweight, the session explored the innovative side to constructing with wood, especially in the car industry, along with its benefits in regards to reducing emissions, energy efficiency and reducing costs.
Following this sessions, participants split into groups for the World Cafe where they could sit down for a coffee and discuss on a few selected topics related to sustainability. At the same time, an Alumni Homecoming took place as a venue for active oikees to get to network and exchange experiences with alumni from Graz and a few other chapters. This space was very insightful for our International Team as we got an overview of the organizational challenges and experiences faced in the past, but also as a way of contributing to out own HOMEcoming project.
We finished off the day with an evening of oikos Talk, with a panel discussion on the topic Policy making, or policy faking? Which featured Kornelia Vogl, the SDG Ambassador for Graz, Jakob Schwarz, a Green Party MP in Austria and Dr. Ralph Aschemann, University of Graz. The discussion was very engaging, with many participants joining in with questions and pointing out some critical issues and challenges from perspectives of different backgrounds.
On the final day we got to see another interesting panel discussion with Gerald Babel-Sutter, Urban Future; Hannah Wundsam, AustranStartups’ Phil Wilfinger, Fridays for Future Austria and Vanessa Roi, Das Liebig. All four of these System changers shared their individual stories about how they’ve identified certain issues and shaped their work in a way to tackle them and contribute in part to driving the change in the world around them. Coming from four different backgrounds, they gave us insights into their world and experiences which drove the discussion further with the engagement of the audience.
In the following session, we were graced with the opportunity to hear Rob Hopkins – something of a ‘celebrity’ in the world of climate activism. Rob joined us online via video call, but his motivation and energy translated so well into the Conference venue that it was easy to forget he was hundreds of miles away. Together with Rob, we reimagined the future in which, despite the setbacks there is still hope to make the change to live in a more sustainable world. The session left us inspired and it set up the mood for the closing activity of the day and the entire conference – planting together in a local university community garden.
No doubt the Conference left a long lasting impression on all of us. It was the biggest gathering of the oikos Community since 2019 and we were happy to see changemakers coming together and engaging from even the most distant corners of our network. There’s plenty of praise to give to the organizing team of oikos Graz who have put an incredible amount of effort over the past months to create a captivating program, find amazing venues and feature many inspiring speakers.
On behalf of oikos International we would like to give our gratitude to the team and extend it to all the members of our Community who made the experience ever more fulfilling with their presence!
A dozen generations of oikees have gathered around the oikos campfire to bring our organization’s history to life!
Who doesn’t enjoy sitting down around the bonfire with friends and family, taking a moment to look back and share stories, embracing the warmth and cherishing the time together?
Last Thursday, we invited all present and past oikees to a night around the (virtual) campfire as a way to connect with each other through their oikos stories. Participants brought and shared photos and memories, which made us travel back in time. Together, we rekindled the flame of the oikos beliefs and purpose inside each and every person present, no matter which generation or chapter they were from!
From some of the founding members back in 1987 to our changemakers of the present day: we were blessed to host oikees representing 12 different generations of students from the last 35 years, who all shared a common goal and identity with our community. Diving from one story into another, we connected the dots across the generations and created an image of what oikos looked like over the years, how it was shaped and how it impacted the world around us. The space allowed oikees to look back at how they faced and overcame a diverse set of challenges, but also to recall some funny anecdotes that have a special place in their hearts. These are the stories that bring oikos to life and bring us closer together. We left the campfire with a sense of encouragement, having learned something new about oikos and connected with fellow oikees on a deeper level… Virtual sparks were flying high in the sky as we celebrated our community.
Homecoming: diving deeper into the oikos History
What a start to dive deeper into the history of oikos! We hope that this will only be the beginning of our homecoming exploration, our journey to uncover and learn from and with our roots to continue writing history together.
After spending over a year in the making, gathering documents and information of all sorts and from all sources, compiling our learnings and laying the groundwork for the current infrastructure that would support the development of the HOMEcoming project, we discovered the three layers of the project and their purposes.
The first layer, the Chronics, is the most accessible to all, as it is a summary of oikos’ whole History since it started, back in 1987, available on our website Chronics .
Want to dive even deeper? There are the Archives – the backbone of the HOMEcoming. This is where we have stored all of our information on the Cloud. They can be accessed by anyone and are designed to be user friendly and, most importantly, to be updated by our whole community! Our new, collaborative Digital Archives & the Archives Guide are freely accessible.
Another gem of the HOMEcoming project is the Great List of Everything. It is a simple document that gathers all main information regarding everything we know about. It is also what the Chronics is based upon. Browse through our Great List of Everything with a chronology of important events & people
Outside the realm of the tangible and the written: our Campfire Gatherings. Sparking History back to life by bringing together and reconnecting with our community and alumni, these events are one of the main reasons why we’re doing this: we want our community to grow, connect and learn to empower everyone of us to become the change agents that are resting inside of us.
Celebrating the nature of oikos, we invite you to contribute proactively to this endeavor: Do you have some old pictures you could share? Any historic documents that would fill the gaps in our archives? Do you remember some information that is missing in the list of everything?
Every little contribution counts – and there is always space for more! 🙂 You could for example become our new homecoming volunteer, moving the homecoming project from conception into activation.
We’re greatly inspired, and want to share a big THANK YOU for the hard work of the current homecoming team!
Are you ready to rise to the challenge of stewarding a global community of student change agents, together with your learning partner? Does the idea of learning, growing & developing a multitude of leadership competencies ranging from the individual to the community to the global economy level excite you?
Apply today to become the next Co-President of oikos International!
Application Time: 17.02 – 30.03.2022
Election: during the virtual Legislative Meeting in April(prospective date: 10.04.2022)
Duration & scope:
November/December 2022 – December 2024
Full-time employment (42h)
Salary (net): 2000 CHF + travel reimbursements
What the work of an oikos co-president looks like:
As an oikos co-president, you will be working in a highly complex, ever-changing but also truly supportive environment. You will work with a colorful team of around 25 employees and volunteers from all over the world, mostly but not limited to our virtual office. In your role, the team will actively support you and they count on your guidance and facilitation to some extent. What’s new: There will be another co-president stewarding the organization together with you. You will be the second one to enjoy this opportunity of holding the role together with a learning buddy in the second term of this new structure. Learn more about the co-presidency here.
Your core responsibilities:
As a co-president, your roles and tasks are very diverse and cover all aspects of the organization. Roles will be agreed upon between co-presidents, the sharpening and agreement will happen in an appreciative conversation after the election. Acknowledging that oikos is a complex organization, we assume that it needs this space to shape the roles together in close collaboration.
Next to granular roles that are owned by either one or the other, there will be several roles that will/should be shared by both, eg. to better regulate long-term partnerships or help the team to navigate fundraising efforts, and several roles that will need power of togetherness, like strategic clarity and overview. Beyond this, each role is enriched to address oikos’ purpose and the personal development needs of the individuals.
Examples from the portfolio are..
Tending the oikos community by listening in, making sure we are connected to the community, exploring new pathways and encouraging the chapters
Stewarding the international team and taking care of forming & facilitating the oikos Board and the Management Team. There are several organizational development initiatives that require our attention.
Facilitating our international & global strategy development to guide and map the activities, impact and development of the oikos community around the world.
Exchanging and collaborating with internal and external stakeholders towards fostering financial and non-financial partnerships and collaborations. This includes being in the (advisory) board of several partner organizations and representing the network at various international conferences, seminars, etc. Fundraising is a big part of this aspect.
Overseeing, contributing to and advising oikos international initiatives like Transforming Education Initiative or the LEAP Program and advising the organizing teams of community projects with an international scope.
Ensuring that all administrative, legal and HR matters are running smoothly, and supporting the dedicated team members in these matters.
Your needed qualifications and characteristics:
Proximity to and understanding of the oikos community, and the current needs, wishes, and topics of the network. We only accept applications from within the network.
Passion for sustainability in higher education and leadership development with an understanding of how it relates to oikos’ vision, mission and purpose.
Understanding of oikos’ organizational setup and general functioning.
Ability and curiosity for leading in complexity: being able to navigate complex challenges and handle overwhelming situations for yourself and the team.
Willingness to learn and adapt (management skills, software packages such as Salesforce, Google Workspace, Miro, website content management, etc.)
Facilitation competencies and leadership skills
Fluency in English in speaking and writing, basic knowledge of German is a helpful plus
Exceptional communication skills and an ability to collaborate with people of different backgrounds and cultures.
Experience with project management with an attention for detail.
What you can learn and how you can benefit:
Over the two years of presidency, you will grow and learn a lot, not only as a person but also professionally and as a leader. You will gain first-hand insights into how the wider network of sustainability and higher education works, where it is moving and how we at oikos have an influence that matters. On the ground, you will liaise and collaborate with key internal and external stakeholders working in the field of sustainability and foster relationships to key individuals and movements in academia and business. One thing is sure: your leadership competencies will be on test – and you will definitely grow beyond yourself on this fascinating learning journey!
Have you ever wondered what oikos International is all about?
Do you want to be a part of a diverse team that is tending a global community of student change agents?
This is for you! Apply to become our volunteer responsible for the oikos HOMEcoming initiative & help us bring our history to life!
What is the oikos HOMEcoming initiative?
oikos homecoming is an initiative that was started in 2021 by a project team with oI team members & alumni. The intent was to recover a coherent stream of information on our history in oikos and to make the learnings more accessible for future generations. The results of several months of project engagement are a portfolio of formats and information that can inform our future and help us tell our story out there.
Whereas phase 1 (conception & set up) of the project is coming to an end with the end of 2021, we aspire to move into a second phase that is all about implementation, activation and re-sharpening.
What are the responsibilities of the oikos HOMEcoming volunteer & what is the estimated time commitment?
The purpose of the role is to take on responsibilities in the homecoming initiative such as facilitating, communicating, maintaining & strategizing, so that our history can become a vivid, colorful, evolving base for our future action. As a volunteer, you would help strategizing our roadmap for the second phase of the project, which is about the implementation and sharpening of all formats.
The time commitment is flexible, with an estimation of 3-5h/week on a self-paced, virtual basis. The volunteer will start in March and the position will be focused on the project, closing at the end of 2022. It would be great if you already have an idea about – or experience with – oikos, either on the chapter or the international level.
Tasks can include, but are not limited to
Optimizing the web-presence & communication strategy for the homecoming initiative
Creating maintenance processes for the database
Facilitating homecoming events
Answering comments & emails
What will you get from joining the team?
Work experience in a virtual project setting with the opportunity to shape a projects strategy and milestones #projectmanagementskills
Learn about the history of oikos: 35 years of driving change!
Become part of a network of student change agents & alumni, all working for a more just & sustainable tomorrow
Work with purpose in a multicultural, dynamic, international team that puts a high value on walking the talk and innovating ways of working
Learn about the day-to-day working of an international organization and gain insights into the global opportunities and challenges of international NGOs
Gain experience in working remotely in a virtual office
Connect to an extensive network of various NGOs
Who are our volunteers?
Volunteers are autonomous members of the International team, trusted with particular projects in a certain area. They become part of our teams and take real responsibility in making oikos work.
Are you interested in joining our Crew? Contact us via email or directly apply here!
We feel that in this spirit of the holidays and the sense of closing another wonderful year, it is a perfect occasion to express our gratitude in the name of oikos international for all the hard work, effort and support all of YOU – the lovely oikees have dedicated to oikos, its programs, projects and fulfilling our shared mission and vision.
It’s truly a blessing co-presiding over such a community of devoted changemakers joining forces in pursuit of making a difference and realizing our common goal of a more sustainable future. Your contribution, whether on a local chapter level as a member, or alumni, or at the international level as members of the Thematic Squads, Working Groups, Board, Management Team, or the organizing teams of various projects is immeasurable to oikos International.
This year, what we, as a community, have created had a far-reaching impact, both on local and international levels and all of this was made possible by YOU! Your great dedication and hard work served as an inspiration to others, both within and beyond our network. Your stories create hope, new ideas and fresh energy – all of which we need to bring the change to our homes, universities, communities, environments and ultimately – the entire world. We want to make your stories heard! The stories which will inspire a new generation of leaders eager and capable to drive climate action and advance the Sustainable Development Goals.
Thank you all once more for the passion and all the efforts you have put in oikos 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!
2021 was an eventful year at oikos and as it draws to its end, we take a look at the past twelve months in our Community! The stand-out element of the year behind are the changes and adaptability, both in regards to the current global circumstance and future-proofing our organization. You may see some notable differences between what oikos is today and what it was exactly a year ago. Our governance model has changed, our community has created great impact beyond the oikos network, we have reimagined the way we connect and interact within and beyond the community and we’re determined to take all of that with us to 2022 and realize the maximum oikos potential.
In this article, we will review the year chronologically, highlighting the most important moments and highlights over the last twelve months.
We kicked off the year in the best way possible – our oikos family had grown for not one, but two new chapters. The first one was Cairo, just over a month after their compatriots in Alexandria, students from the Egyptian capital brought oikos to the second university in the country. Not long after, the Istanbul chapter was opened – the first ever oikos chapter in Turkey. It is the result of an amazing effort of local students to contribute to driving change at universities in two of the largest cities in the region and among the largest in the world. Another important highlight of January was the translation of the oikos Guide to Pluralist Economics to German, making it accessible in a third language after English and Italian.
We went into February bigger and stronger, with a bright look at the future. However, there was still attention to be given to the past – for over three decades oikos has seen many generations of students from around the world. We wanted to immortalize their great effort, making it more accessible and visible to the world. For this reason we kickstarted the oikos HOMEcoming project with a goal of creating an open and easy to access archive housing the works and impact of thousands of oikees throughout the years. This month also saw a new Thematic Squad – the oikos Consultancy – an initiative of oikos Barcelona which opened its doors for all members of the oikos Community.
The third oikos Curriculum Academy, followed by the Open Evenings took place from late February to early March. The event was co-hosted by oikos International Curriculum Change Team and the oikos St. Gallen chapter. This month saw another Thematic Squad launched nurturing leadership skills – the Responsible Leadership Squad. In late march the oikos International Spring Legislative Meeting was held, where the chapters’ representatives voted on for the second mandate of the oikos International President and adopted new Constitutional Changes.
The main event of April this year was the milestone 10th FutureLab. Originally meant to take place on autumn of 2020, the conference was moved to spring with a new, entirely online format. With the main topic of Justice Shift, the online conference welcomed students from different backgrounds providing a platform for learning, but also lead to creating project teams for the oikos Camp which took place a few month later.
In May the spotlight was on the oikos Winter School. Traditionally organized by the oikos Witten/Herdecke chapter, this year brought some changes to the plans due to the pandemic, which had seen it moved from winter to spring. The conference tackled the topic of how a transformation towards sustainability can succeed. The organizing team focused on the interactiveness, the social dimension and the spontaneity of the conference, creating a format to allow for a better experience of an online conference.
A new chapter joined the oikos family in June, with a third UK city added to the oikos map – Nottingham. Following the adoption of Constitutional Changes at the Legislative Meeting in March, the groundwork was laid for rolling out new changes to the oikos International. This means the shift towards a co-presidency model, with two co-presidents taking up on existing and new roles with a goal of more efficiently and effectively managing the organizational side of oikos and addressing the needs of our community. At the UN PRME Global Forum in June, the Positive Impact Rating launched its 2021 Report, covering 46 business schools across 21 countries.
We started off the month with exciting new of the oikos St. Gallen chapter winning the 2021 International Green Gown Awards. The amazing work of their students saw the chapter awarded the highest recognition in the Student Engagement Category. The easing of travelling restrictions in a number of countries in early summer meant after over a year of online events, we were finally able to host an onsite event, the LEAP Midterm Meeting in Leysin, Switzerland. However, as not all participants were able to join, we still maintained a hybrid format – allowing for those left at home to join virtually.
August was a historic month for oikos as that’s when the community came together for an Extraordinary Legislative Meeting to elect the first ever oikos Co-President. At the Meeting the chapter representatives elected Darija Miletić to work along side with Sophie Charrois as the first two co-presidents of oikos International. At the end of August, our Curriculum Change Team hosted oikos Curriculum Camp in Sestriere, Italy which was attended by 9 teams working together on education projects and presenting them to the public. One of the projects to come out of it was the Sustainable Finance Career map – a learning platform for students and researchers in the field of sustainable finance, ESG and impact investing.
Once again we got to see the oikos family grow as a new chapter joins – Kano. The city in northern Nigeria is the first ever oikos chapter in the country and is a result of cooperation between local students and professors dedicated to sustainable development. In September we kick off a crowdfunding campaign for the first time, thanks to the opportunity from the GlobalGiving platform. This campaign provided us with donations and support from our incredible donors, allowing us to become permanent members of GlobalGiving.
At the Legislative Meeting in October, the oikos Community came together for the third time this year to elect a new oikos International Board. The oikos chapter representatives elected seven board members to take mandate for 2022. Later that month, oikos St. Gallen and oikos international co-hosted the oikos Conference, which was our biggest community gathering in almost two years. A number of chapter members and the oikos International Team members got together to learn and connect, but also get to know the new community platform oiKosmos which was officially launched at the conference.
Following the success of our first crowdfunding campaign, we reflected back upon it and all the challenges from the earliest parts of preparation. It was a good learning experience for our Fundraising Working Group, providing some different insights and perspectives which we were happy to take with us for the next campaign. With the first one centered around organizational changes, we decided to create a new one as a way to increase our impact and open up our projects to more students than ever next year.
Our community has made an incredible impact this year and despite sometimes challenging circumstances, made the best of all opportunities. With some new changes taking place and some new possibilities opening up, we look forward to 2022 and aim to make our impact go further, even beyond the oikos networks and campuses. As we finish planning out the year ahead, we keep on working together in driving change for a better tomorrow!