Being – the LEAP YOUth Module 1

At the end of April the LEAP YOUth Cohort 2022 finished the first Module of the program. During the 10-months journey, participants go through 5 modules following the Inner Development Goals framework to explore the 5 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.

From march to april they have explored the dimension BEING – Relationship to Self. This module’s structure was related to acknowledging and working on our relationship with ourselves, supporting participants to comprehend and practice the qualities of presence, self-awareness, inner compass, integrity/authenticity and openness/learning mindset and how these qualities and capacities can enhance leadership.

They could learn and exercise the different topics and skills experiencing different program elements as online input webinars about strengths and values, a hands on workshop on leading well from within: understanding how our brain works and practicing mindfulness, facilitated peer groups to get together and exchange insights and a 3 days onsite kick off meeting with different BEING exercises for the hybrid cohort. 

All the LEAP elements are facilitated by experts, professional coaches, LEAP alumni volunteers and the LEAP project team. The sessions are interactive and experiential, engaging full presence and participation. The sessions might include for example contemplative practices such as meditation, to help ground participants and get them ready for other inner and reflective practices. 


One example of an exercise from the BEING workshop was a reflection where they were asked to think on how a leader was perceived and which characteristics they embodied, recognizing leaders’ skills, “ways of being”, and capacities. The reflection was first made individually, and then an exchange took place where ideas of participants started to intertwine and expand into robust reflections.

“For me the qualities that I have seen in leaders I have encountered are: first, leading by example, which means that all of their inner qualities are being embodied in a coherent way, their actions, and words. Secondly, a general energy that I feel from them which is relaxed but in control at the same time. And a third one, being open and having the willingness to always learn, but being assertive, for example, when you talk to them you feel really listened to, and that your opinions are respected and you feel they want to learn more, but at the same time, whenever they might have a different opinion they will be assertive and create a space to evaluate the options accordingly.” –Ana Karen Cota, participant

Another important topic discussed during this session was the work of Dr. Daniel Friedland, the author of Leading Well from Within: A Neuroscience and Mindfulness-Based Framework for Conscious Leadership. Being a leader is being able to recognize your emotions and how they can impact your process of thought and consequently your behaviour. Being aware of negative feelings such as fear, could help us have the capacity to evaluate our being during a certain moment and create space to understand where we are coming from and if that can take us to the goal we aim for as leaders. In a cycle of reactivity (no self- awareness), different actions and words could be triggers and expose negative feeling in a relationship, on the contrary, being more mindful, pausing, noticing and choosing how to react could serve us to always be able to create more positive relationships and space to choose a more aligned way of being in accordance to what is happening on the present moment with a sense of openness and curiosity.

Together with carefully designing the program elements, the LEAP team is also making sure to continuously listen to participants and how they are benefiting from the program or if it needs changes, evaluating the impact of LEAP to be able to adapt and best serve this powerful community of change-agents. As part of our evaluations, we were excited about some of the participants’ perceptions from the first module – BEING:

“I think this module impacted me in several ways. It somehow made me more calm and self-aware. I feel like I am getting to know myself even better which is such a good feeling. I can’t say it often enough how important self-reflection is and how great it feels to also talk about it with others. The module also taught me to become a better listener and I really appreciate that. Overall, I had such a good time during the onsite event in Graz and I am so so grateful for this opportunity and all the great and inspiring people I get to meet.” – Antonia, participant

“This module was very useful for me and I can already see that I am implementing the knowledge I got in my personal life. Especially finding out my strengths was very helpful for me, because now that I know them, I can see clearly the path I should take and ways to use them”. – Marija, participant

“I found the Being Module very interesting. With the help of this module I have learned a lot of techniques regarding the relationship with myself and to others, to open to other people, to ask powerful questions and also to identify my own values. I found the topic of “Inner compass” very important. These are just issues that I hadn’t given much thought to before the LEAP Program. It is very important to understand what my values, strengths and purpose are and how they drive and impact the whole.” -Noemi, participant

“Getting to understand that self awareness, presence and openness are some of the things that make a being, I got to develop how to express myself. The breakout room sessions created to interact with other participants from a different background has opened a part of me that has been closed for quite some time. This got me to understand better my being as well as that of others”. -Abubakar, participant

“Thanks to this module I noticed that being clear and frank about who I am is not only affecting the satisfaction level of my decisions but it is also better for working in a team where people can rely on me because they trust and respect me for my openness”. – Max,  participant

I absolutely love the peer group calls, we learn a lot from each other and our facilitator is just amazing and shares a lot of his knowledge and experience with us”. – Anna Müller, participant

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oikos International

posted May 25, 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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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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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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