LEAP 2023 Strategy Presentation

What’s LEAP going to look like in 2023 and what is the strategy our LEAP team has created together with coaches, participants and alumni? Join us for the Strategy Presentation on December 12th, 6-8pm CET!

More information will be available soon!

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oikos International

posted December 12, 2022

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Collaborating – LEAP YOUth Module 4

During a 10-month journey, participants at LEAP YOUth experience the Inner Development Goals framework in 5 modules to explore the main dimensions of conscious leadership: Being – Relationship to Self; Thinking – Cognitive Skills; Relating – Caring for others and the world; Collaborating – social skills and Acting – driving change. Besides input webinars and workshops, they are supported by 1-1 coaching sessions, peer groups, are invited to engage in personal reflections and can enjoy 2 main onsite meetings.

Continuing our LEAP journey, from September to October participants went through the COLLABORATING MODULE – social skills. In this module they explored how to develop trust and constructive communication, and to mobilize and engage others with an inclusive mindset in co-creation. 

During these 2 months they could dive into different tools and/or frameworks that supported learnings towards building fundamental skills to positive and win-win relationships.

The first webinar was held by Yannick Wassmer, introducing his work with Social Labs. The Social Lab is a model that supports groups to put collaboration at the center of problem solving to drive impact on complex challenges. While applying it, people can design, facilitate, and guide processes that enable different stakeholders—even those who don’t understand or agree with or trust one another—to make progress on their toughest challenges. They are an excellent way to work in our VUCA (volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous) world, since it: a) follows a systemic perspective, identifying leverage points for change; b) fosters collaborative processes that enable genuine dialogue and collaboration, and c) allows generative experimental solutions applying innovative and creative responses.

Participants could get a better understanding of why it is important and how to mobilize different groups in this kind of process facing our complex sustainability challenges, what are its main characteristics and steps and to learn and practice listening skills, one of the key methods used within the Labs to build trust and deepen communication between people.

For the COLLABORATING workshop, participants continued learning to deepen listening and communication skills gifted with the facilitation of our LEAP founder Adriana Troxler. Adriana is a professional coach and Trainer of Non-Violent Communication (NVC). She hosted the session around the NVC topic with the aim of guiding others in building trust and managing conflict.

Following a very interactive and dynamic process, Adriana first shared about the process of how we connect with each other and how conflict arises and then presented the method of Non Violent Communication and guided the audience in an internal investigation for dealing with personal triggers practicing the 4 levels of NVC. A simple, yet powerfully transformative model for cultivating conscious leadership as it strengthens self and others awareness, connecting us to our own needs and those of others and stimulates compassion, through its emphasis on deep listening and to awaken our common humanity.

Some thoughts of participants during this module were:

“Every time coming back to the LEAP session is like a breeze of fresh air. You get inspired, you get warm inside seeing beautiful people learning, you get open space to share your thoughts and to ask questions. I’ve never been a person to speak up – but when it comes to LEAP, I am fully there, present, curious, so I ask questions and speak up. In this module I learned the importance of diversity and the value of different perspectives everyone brings!” – Patricija, participant

“This module provided me with a lot of knowledge and had surprisingly many impacts on my personal and professional life. It affected me to see change as possible when we put it in pieces and combine these really unique pieces together in order to create the most sustainable solutions for different challenges”. Nea, participant“I really loved the insights I got from the workshop with Adriana! We had to think about a certain phrase that triggers us (a phrase that some other person(s) said to us) and how that makes me feel and why. Talking about those sentences within the breakout rooms was awesome and it really encouraged me to show honest empathy and understanding”. –Antonia, participant

“I found the Collaborating Module very interesting. I learned to develop skills that help me to understand the relationships in my personal and professional life. I learned a lot about opening to other people, listening carefully and having a feeling of being in a safe space, to develop trust, and tools to learn avoiding and managing conflicts. I now have a deeper understanding about the five social skills and will apply my knowledge at oikos Graz where I am working and in the program that I currently lead there, “chapter LEAP”,  and in my daily life. I see and love that all LEAP modules are very connected”. –Noemi, participant

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oikos International

posted November 11, 2022

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oikos Alumni completes 2,500km fundraiser bicycle trip across Europe!

Our dear oikos Alumni Benoit Pitsaer took on the challenge of completing the 2,500km long bicycle trip from Vienna to Istanbul in an effort to raise funds for oikos International programs! Ben enjoyed the support of his employer – NSI IT Software who agreed to match up to 2,500EUR of donations raised throught the effort.

Starting from 1 August, the trip took Benoit from Vienna, visiting cities like Bratislava, Budapest, Belgrade, Constanta, Burgas and more before reaching the final destination on the Bosphorus strait. In Vienna, Belgrade and Istanbul, Ben met with the local oikos chapters as well as the oikos Alumni, making these stops good opportunities to reconnect with old friends and make new ones.

The first milestone to be reached was the 2,500EUR in funds raised on Monday, 22 August, as Benoit was less than 150km away from Istanbul, which he had reached a few days later, welcomed by the local oikos chapter and thus completing the journey. Just as he reached his destination, Ben wrote:

“I never thought I would be able to make it to this city, this border between Europe and Asia, given the timing. This journey required a lot of humility. To take a break when the body demands it. To stop when it is too hot. To get up early during heat waves. Even earlier to avoid the rains. And above all… to accept that the number of kilometres I am able to ride does not depend on me but on the quality of the road and the weather. Not easy to accept that.

In short, I didn’t know if I could do it. But I wanted to above all.

So what can I say? Thank you, thank you to everyone who supported me. Not only NSI IT Software & Services for stepping out of the box and supporting the organisation I was fundraising for: oikos International to bring more Responsibility and Sustainability into this world.

Thanks also to oikos International for keeping its mission alive and well since 1987. More than 30 years that have changed so many Curricula, that have trained so many Generations in Responsible Management. Many thousands of Students have passed through their programs internally and not only.

Thanks also to their community that I met along the way in Austria, Slovakia, Hungary, Serbia, Turkey.

I don’t quite realise I’ve arrived yet. But this is just the beginning. So here is a spontaneous and informal video on my arrival. What an achievement!”

Over the 2,500km travelled, Benoit passed through many countries. Across the Pannonian Plain through Austra, Slovakia, Hungary, Croatia and Serbia, down the Danube valley in Romania, despite a predominantly flat terrain, it was a difficult journey over the countryside roads – in the summer heat or heavy rain, he kept on going. Coming into Bulgaria, the terrain became even more challenging as the Balkan Mountains stood in his way to Turkey, but in the end Benoit made his way to Istanbul, where we hope he’s having a well deserved rest!

What does this mean?

Benoit’s fundraiser was created in support of our ongoing crowdfunding campaign – “Amplify impact for 1200+ students worldwide”. The funds raised will support oikos programs on leadership development and transforming education, helping us maintain them completely free for students, while providing learnings largely unaddressed by most universities’ curricula. Completing the fundraiser marks an important milestone in our fundraising efforts, but does not mean the end to the campaign. If you wish to support us you can still do so by donating here or helping spread the word!

We would like to thank Benoit for his amazing effort in supporting our organization and the programs we create as well as the awareness he’s brought to many with his trip. We also extend our gratitude to everyone who’d donated to the campaign so far.

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oikos International

posted August 29, 2022

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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

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oikos International

posted May 16, 2022

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Kicking off 2022 cohorts with a fresh new LEAP

Our Leadership initiative – LEAP – kicked-off for the first time in 2015 and since then more than 300 oikees joined, shaping their conscious leadership skills! 

Over the years, we looked for ways to improve LEAP to better serve the needs of the community and society. Along the way, different sub-initiatives were added to the LEAP family. Read ahead to learn more about the different LEAP sub-initiatives and what is new for this year. 

LEAP Advanced takes up a new name

The longest running sub-initiative – LEAP Advanced – officially changed name to LEAP YOUth, starting with this year’s cohort. The old name came from a time where participants involvement in the program was divided in 

  • LEAP Basic – which was bi-monthly webinars open for everyone to join
  • LEAP Intermediate – that included the Presidents meetings (now chapter days) twice a year 
  • LEAP Advanced – which was the 9 month journey that we still have today in a similar form 

Nowadays, without this historic distinction, we understand that the name “LEAP Advanced” does not represent the program well anymore and we chose a name more descriptive. LEAP YOUth relates to the target group of the program – youth students and workers, with the prominent YOU aiming to speak directly to participants, addressing themselves and a focus on their personal development.

The overview – how are LEAP programs shaped this year?

LEAP YOUth is a 10-months transformational leadership program focusing on building capacity in the oikos community with the necessary competencies, qualities, practices, tools and global network to become conscious leaders in the co-creation of thriving and sustainable societies. For the cohort 2022 we have 46 participants from 29 chapters or partners and 64 volunteers engaged, out of which 27 are alumni and 37 are professional coaches. To get to know the program and learn more about it check this document. 

LEAP Researchers is a 9-months leadership program focusing on the personal and professional development of early career researchers. It follows a similar frame and structure like the LEAP YOUth, but it aims to support the development of master’s, PhD and postdoctoral researchers in the field of sustainability, who in return work in their institutions and together with chapters to bring change to education. They experience monthly group online meetings which alternate personal development sessions with professional training, an onsite gathering, monthly individual coaching and peer group coaching. The program runs from March to December with around 15 to 20 participants/year.

LEAP Life is an initiative for LEAP alumni & volunteers who decided to remain engaged with the LEAP community of practice to continue work on their leadership and coaching skills after successfully completing their LEAP YOUth or researchers journey. 

Informally it existed since 2016 with the first LEAP Alumni getting involved as Peer Group Facilitators. Over the years it grew to ultimately become an official sub-initiative with their own events, such as Input & Brave Talks. 

All events & elements are self-organized by the community and evolve out of the needs or offers from participants. 

LEAP Tools is a living set of resources and guides created with oikees to help our oikos students, alumni, partners and friends on the journey to conscious leadership. It is a platform for creating your own leadership journey with your community, counting on the support of the LEAP network.

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oikos Leadership Program LEAP

posted April 5, 2022

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LEAP Advanced Info Call, January 10

Are you ready to become a more conscious leader? Embark on a 10 month self-discovery journey with like-minded adventurers and learn how to transform yourself and your environment to become the change agent this world needs.

The next LEAP Advanced cohort starts already in February 22 and applications open on December 1st! We are hosting two Info Calls for everyone interested to hear about the upcoming cohort and to answer all of your questions on December 1st, 4-5:30pm CET and on January 10th, 7-8:30pm CET, so make sure to join us for the Info Call.

You can join the calls by registering here.

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oikos International

posted January 10, 2022

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[CLOSED] LEAP: Call for Coaches

Open call for professional coaches inspired to support the next generation of leaders to create the change they wish to see in the world!

oikos is a student-led international organization fostering the reflection about how we want to live, lead and learn together for a thriving, sustainable tomorrow. Our community of student change agents works towards transforming education for sustainability.

One of our main initiatives is LEAP – the oikos leadership program to support the community in their personal and professional development. LEAP focuses on building capacity in the oikos community with the necessary competencies, qualities, practices, tools and global network to become conscious leaders in the co-creation of thriving and sustainable societies.

By being part of our LEAP Programs participants become equipped with capacity in key aspects of conscious leadership with a focus on personal development and transformative economics and management (business) education change and change for sustainability; are empowered and inspired to expand their learnings and impact ​​in the different communities they are part of; build capacity for personal wellbeing and resilience; and are part of a global network and community of support within LEAP & oikos.

The LEAP program is composed of different elements including inputs in the form of webinars and reading/watching materials; workshops; hands-on projects; onsite events, and contemplative practices as individual reflections; group reflections, dialogues; peer coaching and individual coaching sessions. 

We are looking for professional coaches who are inspired by the oikos community and the LEAP program to volunteer in monthly 1:1 coaching sessions.

To learn more about the program and register, check the website, the commitments required for LEAP Advanced, and the application form

Applications Deadlines:
– December 31st 2021 for peer coaches & volunteers
– January 20th 2022 for 1:1 coaches

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oikos International

posted December 14, 2021

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LEAP Advanced Applications are open!

The applications for the 2022 cohort of LEAP Advanced are open!

LEAP Advanced is a 10-month transformational leadership programme focusing on building capacity in the oikos community with the necessary competencies, qualities, practices, tools and global network to become conscious leaders in the co-creation of thriving and sustainable societies. The journey will start with an online Kick-off on February 26 & 27 and will run until December 2022. Click here for more information about LEAP Advanced.

Every oikos member (active and alumni) can apply to become a participant of the program. Please take your time to answer the questions thoroughly. We estimate that it will take about 40min to answer all questions. Participants will be chosen solely based on their answers in this questionnaire. We are looking especially for individuals with a strong commitment to their personal and leadership development, who wish to become empowered, skilled and inspired to act as conscious leaders in the different communities and organizations they are part of. In this way, building effective conscious communities that transform systems towards sustainability and wellbeing of people and Planet. The result is empowered student change agents who strengthen their chapter’s performance and create impact in line with the oikos vision and mission of transforming education for a sustainable world.

Do you have a question about LEAP Advanced or want to learn more about the program? Make sure to join the Info call on January 10!

Fill in the LEAP Advanced application form here.

The deadline to apply is January 20.

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oikos International

posted December 7, 2021

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Awakening Conscious Leadership 101

Three oikos LEAP Alumni want to share an opportunity to learn a science-based approach to navigate stress and complexity more skillfully. Lis McNicholl , Louise O’Rourke, and Benoit Pitsaer have been working to offer the Awakening Conscious Leadership 101 workshop to the oikos Alumni community. The workshop is based on the work by Daniel Friedland, MD from SuperSmartHealth in partnership with Jon Berghoff from XCHANGE.

There are two opportunities to join this FREE workshop: Nov 10, 7 – 9 pm CET & Dec 6, 7 – 9 pm CET Here’s the Registration page to view the description of the workshop and to register.

We hope you can join us! Feel free to contact us if you have any questions : benoit.pitsaer@oikos-international.org Wishing you all the best, Lis, Louise and Benoit

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oikos International

posted December 6, 2021

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LEAP Advanced Info Calls

Are you ready to become a more conscious leader? Embark on a 10 month self-discovery journey with like-minded adventurers and learn how to transform yourself and your environment to become the change agent this world needs.

The next LEAP Advanced cohort starts already in February 22 and applications open on December 1st! We are hosting two Info Calls for everyone interested to hear about the upcoming cohort and to answer all of your questions on December 1st, 4-5:30pm CET and on January 10th, 7-8:30pm CET, so make sure to join us for the Info Call.

You can join the calls by registering here.

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oikos International

posted November 26, 2021

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