Following a very successful spring meeting organised by oikos London we finished our trip to the island with a workshop focusing on the campaigning strategy for COMMIT, led by Chris Taylor from the Globally Responsible Leadership Initiative (GRLI). COMMIT is an initiative which evolved from the Management Education learning circle held at the oikos FutureLab in St Gallen in November 2014.
After preparing for the workshops intensively within the last few weeks we kind of freaked out a little when we realised that a workshop held at 9 am on a Sunday morning (which felt even earlier after considering losing an hour to summer time) might not have been such a good idea after all, when taking into consideration that people might be recovering from a final showdown of the #oikosSM15 Saturday night.
Experiencing some difficulties at the start – phones (alarm clocks) which would not adjust to summer time automatically and our impact walk idea being flushed away by typical English weather – we started our workshop with a little delay but with more motivated oikees than we expected considering the intense partying the night before. Chris quickly adjusted to the changed circumstances and we used the questions we originally wanted to discuss during our impact walk from the hostel to the LSE for a quick warm-up to get to know each other a little better.
As a next step we tried to figure out our very personal approaches to leadership and how we described our own abilities of being a good leader by describing one of various objects which grabbed our attention more than the others provided by Chris. (I automatically grabbed a pretty piece of hematite (“stone”) and had to think quite hard of reasons why it reflected my abilities. This task really pushed me and my fatigued brain 😉 )
Using the ideas and findings we accumulated since the oikos FutureLab, Chris prepared some buzzwords like reflection, critical thinking, collaboration and many more for us to focus on. Everybody had to choose one single word which was the most important to him or her and later explain their choice to the others. I was torn by critical thinking and reflection but in the end I decided for the latter, since it is a very important active thinking task often forgotten in the process. When looking at the key factors we defined within the process we started to choose a few particular essential (but not easy) points important to drive forward our campaign for COMMIT. Here we focused on “doing”, seeing things from our fellow students’ points of view and trying to imagine wearing our faculty’s shoes. Who would have thought it was so hard to put yourself into someone else’s position keeping your own assumptions on their ideas to a minimum? :O
Time was rushing by with a final outburst of creativity and cooperation close to the end. However, after amazing but intense days spent at the oikos Spring Meeting our workshop had to come to an end. Every participant determined their personal commitment to the initiative for the next few months by building an “I #COMMIT to” sign and describing their plans on how they would support the initiative to the others. Tired but also motivated we made our way through the busy streets of London to meet the rest of our lovely oikos Vienna travel companions for our trip back home.
– by Anna