oikos Vienna

students for sustainable economics and management

FutureLab 2015: Day 2 – I COMMIT to Change

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Anhang 1-2Even though, everybody was a little bit tired from the demanding first day, the program of day 2 of the FutureLab was as promising as the day before.

We had the chance to hear a highly motivating speech from Ed Gillespie, co-founder of Futerra, one of the first specialist sustainability communications agencies worldwide. However, maybe some of you know him better as “The Slow Traveller” and author of the book “Only Planet” in which he and his girlfriend went on an around-the-world-trip without flying. In his “Call to Action” he emphasized the importance of taking action and make change happen.

Anhang 2

After that, we immediately had the chance to translate his words into deeds and to work on new projects and ideas in the different Learning Circles. I was part of the Management Learning Circle which was organized by the COMMIT team consisting of Chris, Anna, Julia and Nikolay (f.l.t.r.). COMMIT has its origin in the FutureLab 2014 Learning Circle on management education. It is a “student-led initiative aiming to make a difference to the way future decision makers are taught at university level. It stands for Change Of Management-education & Methods In Teaching”. Read more about it in Anna’s post from the Spring Meeting in London here.

Anhang 1-3The Learning Circle was quite different from what I expected as the COMMIT team wanted – according to their goal – to try out a different teaching / learning approach. Therefore, we were asked to split into groups of four or five based on pictures we had to choose beforehand. In these teams we had to play the “Marshmallow Challenge”: 18 minutes, teams must build the tallest free-standing structure out of 20 sticks of spaghetti, one yard of tape, one yard of string, and one marshmallow. The marshmallow needs to be on top.

Anhang 3-2Unfortunately, I have to report that all three teams weren’t really successful (you can see our masterpiece on the picture on the right 😀 ). But no surprise there, as teams of business graduates are usually among the least successful groups and also the ones who are frequently beaten hands down by kindergarten kids! This speaks not really in favor of our current education system which does not encourage creativity and thinking outside the box.

Anhang 4However, in our next task we had the chance to prove this realization wrong! We had to prepare a 30-minutes-lesson for the rest of the group about a topic of our choice. To find a consensus about the topic proved to be the most challenging part of this task for my team but we succeeded after a lively discussion. We decided we want to talk about the different aspects of “Entfremdung” (alienation/estrangement). We started our session with this short video which shows kids who are so disconnected from nature that they don’t know what the vegetable shown is. After this input we started a group discussion in which way people feel disconnected from something in their life. The results were really interesting und we came up with quite a few different aspects of estrangement! Also the presentations of the other groups were creative and something to think about. Overall, the COMMIT Learning Circle was demanding but also very informative and entertaining and I’m happy that I joined it!

Anhang 3The rest of the day at the FutureLab Day was spent with the Impact Fair where participants presented projects from their respective chapter, the summary from the different Learning Circles and our pledges on how we want to #MakeEducationMatter! Last but not least, we celebrated a successful FutureLab with an entertaining dinner and party.

As always, it was a great pleasure to meet the international oikos crowd and share ideas, projects and motivation across chapters. A great thank you to the organizers of the FutureLab for such a great and inspiring event!

by Astrid

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