What are student change agents and why do we want to support them ?
The common definition of change agents or sustainability leaders (used interchangeably) aligns with our own understanding: They are ‘’people who through their own initiative […] engage in complex societal issues with an aspiration to contribute to systemic change on some scale level: in local communities, regions, countries, the global society” (Jordan 2011, 48). The value-based actions of our students follow the aim of collaboratively fostering visions and taking action towards sustainability and resilience. oikos creates spaces for people to step into this way of seeing the world and put it into practice. We nurture the leaders of tomorrow.
Leading in Complexity
Change-oriented leadership is relational, non-hierarchical and contextual with an ecocentric perspective (Goffee and Jones 2009). It was found to be essential to develop creative, construc-tive solutions to our complex organizational and societal issues (Senge 2015, Bendell et al. 2017). There is a need to foster this kind of leadership to guide society in addressing the sustainability challenge and recover the health of our planet (Koskela and Goldman Schuyler 2016). Through our own leadership, our programs and local initiatives, we foster this kind of leadership with oikees all over the globe. The collective experiences hold the community together – for over 30 years.
How do we want to live, lead and learn together for a thriving, sustainable tomorrow?
A LEAP for a new era of leadership
Our leadership initiatives equip students & their allies with what they need to facilitate change in their local environment. LEAP equips participants with knowledge, tools, capacities, and the mindset to become conscious, collaborative leaders who move society towards sustainability and the well-being of people and planet.
Change happens where we are – in our universities
To support youth in becoming sustainability leaders, education has to enable students to have a better understanding of themselves, their fellow humans and the world. The curriculum as a tangible structure is a good place to start removing obstacles and designing more human-centred, sustainable spaces.
Together we get
Our community makes us stronger! Together with youth from across the globe, we foster a vivid, intercultural support network. Learn more about the spaces where we host each other & how we accompany the journeys of our local groups, the oikos Chapters.
OUR THEORY OF CHANGE
shifting the iceberg
The iceberg model is a framework to understand systemic change – and it can also show how our initiatives contribute to a transformation in the world out there. oikos has a history of diving deep & touching people at the level of beliefs and values – and fueled by this, initiating truly transformative change in the re-design of system structures like the curriculum.
Our work at oikos International is focused on supporting and tending our change agent community for exactly these reasons.
We empower and encourage student change agents in their development and actively co-facilitate shifts in the way curricula are structured and developed, while fostering a strong support network that enables all of this.