Together with Denisa from oikos Bratislava I (Julia) took the very early morning train (05:30 am!!!) from Vienna to St. Gallen (Switzerland) to attend the LEAP Intermediate Meeting by oikos International.
„The oikos LEAP is designed to inspire young leaders to become more responsible in their decision making and equip them with insights, knowledge, and tools to do so. The oikos LEAP program is divided into three tracks. One of them is he Intermediate track. In all tracks, the learnt knowledge, competencies and tools are expected to be implemented in oikos-related work and participants’ personal lives.“
While traveling to St. Gallen and Speicher Denisa and I were very excited about attending the program, as neither of us ever participated in this course before. The LEAP Meeting took place in Speicher, a very charming small town 15 minutes from St. Gallen, in a historical eco-hotel where representatives from 34 (!) out of 45 oikos chapters worldwide gathered for the oikos LEAP meeting, also known as the former presidents meeting.
We kicked-off Friday afternoon with some ice breaking games to get to know each other better: from what cities we are coming, from what countries and what continent. The kick-off was followed by an introduction to the structure of oikos International. In long discussions we, the representatives of the chapters, together had a very open discussion on what we wish to improve referring to the structure and what the challenges for the collaboration between the local chapters, regions and oikos International are.
The first day ended with watching the local chapter promotion videos, and I can tell you – it is amazing to see where all the chapters are located globally, who are the faces of the chapters and what their projects are! How inspiring! Thanks to every chapter for sharing your ideas, values, and projects. Check out all videos at the oikos International YouTube Channel – check out the oikos Vienna Video –> here.
For Saturday, oikos International invited Euforia to organize a whole day workshop for us. Euforia is an independent, youth-driven social innovation enterprise that aims to empower people to develop their ideas and skills, take action, have an impact and so finally walk the talk instead of (just) talk the walk!
Euforia does that by giving participants the save space and introduce them to tools that can be used for not only developing an idea but realizing them. Well, and that’s what we did: Step by step we worked out ideas and solutions that address challenges we came up with in a session. In the end, we built five groups with five ideas that we pitched in front of the other participants. Not only that we pitched them, but also discussed them and gave each other feedback. Now it’s up to us to realize them and take action! To give you a brief spoiler: Ideas range from very creative fun and social media actions to solutions to improve our chapter communication on our online platform and one group even came up with an idea for a sustainable business game app to challenge especially business students. Euforia gave us space and the tools to create and realize these ideas, in the end, it’s us people to #WalkTheTalk!
The last day of the LEAP Intermediate meeting has been separated into two parts: First we spend the morning with Chris Taylor from the GRLI and Anna Beyer from COMMIT talking about how educational systems could be transformed to build responsible leaders. For the second part, we moved to the HSG St. Gallen to attend the annual legislative meeting where every president had the chance to represent his chapter. During the meeting, we voted two new annual reporters and four EB members.
After the legislative meeting had ended some of the participants left, some stayed to attend the Future Lab 2016.
All in all, the LEAP Intermediate was a great chance to meet presidents from other chapters to get to know each other personally, address local concerns, global challenges, and exchange ideas. Together we worked out visions for oikos, created projects to take action, strengthened our community and built friendships.
Can’t wait to see all of you again at the Spring Meeting in Hamburg!
written by Julia