oikos Vienna

students for sustainable economics and management

Ethics in Finance? Learning Circle at oikos Future Lab 2015

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Unbenannt1A Facebook post decided my future to work on a newly implemented format of oikos – the learning circles. I’ve joined the finance learning circle as a co-manager with my collegue Sanober and frankly speaking, it was one of the best decisions, I’ve ever made. Very interesting fellow-workers, participants and speakers made my experience priceless.

But let me start from the beginning. We decided to work on two topics: The impact of market power and manipulation in financial markets & the growing movement to divest from fossil fuel companies.

Me, as a passionate student at the faculty of finance took responsibility to work on the first topic, what does market power and manipulation mean? What is their influence on the sustainable development in financial markets and generally, how do we define sustainability in finance? So we decided to search for some interesting information, research papers and articles about our topics which we shared with all our participants on our facebook page. Then something exciting and unexpected happend.

It was a warm sunny day of October. We all met in St. Gallen – a small, beautiful town in Switzerland.

The finance learning circle was officially opened. On the first day we had awesome, very intelligent and interesting speakers, who gave absolutely amazing speeches about market power and fossil fuel divestment. Despite having only little time, we had the chance to ask questions to our speakers and quickly discussed the problems raised. Those two topics are absolutely different from each other, but still they were very interesting and understandable for everyone thanks to our speakers.

After our session on the first day, we had a delicious dinner and a good time with the oikees, followed by a long enough night to think about our session on the second day, where we were supposed to create projects on how to improve finance education and involve all the problems discussed the day before.

As all of us agreed, our modern education system is not perfect, so we started working on a project, on how to make education matter.

Personally I am very sorry that we do not study ethics in finance, we do not discuss, why big banks and financial houses often abuse market liberations. No one ever really talks about this problem, which is why we as students should use our voice and ask for it or start implementing modern methods of education ourselves. The best platform to do so might even be student organizations such as oikos.

At the end, we came up with an idea to make a cross-chapter project in oikos. It’s a long term project and the first steps would be creating a platform to organize this project and set up templates for the easy implementation of the idea in the future. Later on some regional chapters will be able to start realizing the project themselves – one day, one topic, two chapters.

To sum it up, the learning circles are an absolutely brilliant idea, it’s a well known fact that you get the best knowledge and understanding, when you teach. So in our circles, we have the great opportunity to gain this experience and deepen our knowledge about the questions discussed.
The finance learning circle was very interesting and inspiring for me. I hope I will have the chance to be involved in a similar way in the future as well.

Here you can see some comments and impressions from participants of the finance LC, who did an amazing job, sharing their experiences and brilliant ideas, and most importantly, with whom we planned our future projects, to make education matter !!!

Ani Lomouri, oikos Tbilisi

“Participating in the finance learning circle was a great experience to me. During those two days we were given very interesting lectures and were discussing on several important topics related to sustainable finance. The thing I found especially attractive was that it was not only the discussions we did, we worked out projects which allow us to spread our experience and knowledge over a large amount of people. I believe exactly that was the point of oikos Future Lab 2015. Being in this learning circle with amazing people was really very productive to me.”

Luiz Alfredo Santos

“It was my first experience with oikos International. The opportunity of sharing the enthusiasm about sustainability with young students, scholars and leading professionals in the realms of sustainable development was truly great. As I always repeat to myself: The world desperately needs people thinking and acting differently of the ordinary. Of the same old conventions which are clearly not sustainable and are tearing us apart as human beings and as part of a much larger ecosystem. The oikos community is made of such people. I know it sounds like dreamer’s word fully of foolish enthusiasm of those who have not lived enough to become cynical in this confusing world we live in. But If you allow me I would finish these words with a citation of Proust which I believe sums up what I am trying to say: „If a little dreaming is dangerous, the cure for it is not to dream less, but to dream more, to dream all the time.“

By Salome, oikos Prague

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