FutureLab 2019 Report

Page 1

Geneva, Switzerland November 2019


FutureLab 2019

Acting Together for Sustainability

futurelab@oikos-international.org www.oikos-international.com

FutureLab 2019 Report


Introduction Commitments to halt climate change abound in politics, academia, business, and civil society. To bring forth genuine change and yield impactful results, however, lasting multi-stakeholder dialogues and new synergies across these different spheres are instrumental. So, in 2019, we decided to dedicate the oikos FutureLab, our annual international conference, to the topic of partnerships and focus on the key message of #ActingTogetherforSustainability.

The FutureLab conference brought together over 90 students, professors, business representatives, and sustainability thought leaders in Geneva, Switzerland, on 1 and 2 November 2019. The first day of the FutureLab 2019 revolved around the topic of ‘partnerships for a sustainable world’, while the second day shifted attention towards ‘partnerships for changing economics and management education’.

FutureLab 2019 Report


Program Through a mix of keynote talks, workshops, and panel discussions, the participants representing over 20 nationalities, examined sustainability challenges and opportunities, shared their innovative solutions, and drew blueprints for collective action.

Keynote Katherine Milligan Head of Gender and Diversity, Bamboo Capital Partners

Katherine spoke about the importance of self-inquiry and its role in responsible leadership. “Self-inquiry”, Katherine explained, “is a process of self-examination and reflection undertaken with an explicit goal of increasing selfawareness, reconnecting with purpose and joy, healing from past trauma, and shifting towards healthier patterns of behavior, especially in regard to your innerpersonal relationship.” She emphasized how anger and jealousy undermine modern partnerships and how overcoming these flaws through selfinquiry can create stronger bonds and networks for change. “Useful skills that leaders cultivate through the self-inquiry practice include deep listening, patience, compassion, clarity, and a systems view of how various issues, people, and partners affect each other.” – Katherine said.

FutureLab 2019 Report


Speakers' Impressions What I like about the FutureLab is that it is a lab. A laboratory where you can experiment and explore. What I observed is that the conversations here are not about judging what is wrong, but rather about appreciating what could be new.

Ivo Matser, ABIS, the Academy of Business in Society

We are eager to work together with oikos not only to put pressure on stakeholders responsible for curriculum change, but also to give them more opportunities and provide tools for the reform. To do this and to create new content and methodologies, we need more insights and ideas from young people.

Valerian Stalder, WWF Switzerland

FutureLab 2019 Report


Highlights Total Participants


oikos Members &Â Alumni


Speakers & Presenters




Organizing team

8 Members and alumni (63.33%)


Speakers and workshop leaders (20%) Organizers (8.89%)

Take a look at the FutureLab highlights in our photo album





Countries represented at the FutureLab

Partners (7.78%)

FutureLab 2019 Report


Workshops Climate Dialogue Elise Buckle, SDGs Lab Geneva elise.buckle@un.org ebuckle@climate-sustainability.org www.sdglab.ch The workshop helped the participants to understand what the Paris climate agreement is about and gave them a platform to share ideas about how countries, cities, and citizens can implement the agreement. The workshop simulated a climate negotiation between the USA, Europe and China to define each countries' nationally determined contributions (NDC). While the negotiators failed to keep global warming at 1,5°C, they discovered that using diverse solutions - educating people about the problem, circular economy, and social empowerment - is key to halting climate change.

Climathon Fabienne Lang, Climate-KIC fabienne.lang@climate-kic.org www.climate-kic.org/


Climathon is a year-round program, with a powerful solutions-hackathon at its core, translating climate action solutions into tangible projects. It brings together local governments and citizens to address urban sustainability challenges and to ensure the implementation of developed solutions. The biggest hackathon usually takes place in October, so approaching cities at the beginning of the year to prepare everything for the event is encouraged.

FutureLab 2019 Report


Applying economics and management knowledge to support sustainability Giuseppe Ugazio & Thomas Maillart - University of Geneva giuseppe.Ugazio@unige.ch Presentation In this workshop, the participants defined a syllabus of a course with the goal to create a hackathon. The course can be run in other universities and even online to leverage the impact. If you want to cooperate with Giuseppe & Thomas and run the course in your university, know a professor who might be interested, or want to give feedback on the syllabus, please contact Giuseppe.

Banking for a better future Kaspar Wehrhahn, Tomorrow kaspar.wehrhahn@tomorrow.one www.tomorrow.one


In the workshop, the participants talked about the future of banking in terms of technology and innovation and the tendency of banks to do greenwashing. Afterwards, they discussed in groups: How can we create a partnership between oikos chapters & Tomorrow? #partnership How should a sustainable & modern bank account for students look like? #bankingfortomorrow How do we get young people to start investing sustainably? #impactinvesting How can we introduce “offsetting” into our sustainable business model? #offsetting

FutureLab 2019 Report


Workshops Sustainable Development Leadership Suzanne Feinmann - WBCSD feinmann@wbcsd.org http://bit.ly/2YXzuvf Presentation During the workshop, the participants discussed sustainability leadership and transformative leadership styles. They concluded that the business sector needs to promote sustainability actively instead of just reacting to regulations and that there have to be better methods to measure sustainable development in the financial sector. Moreover, they agreed that everyone could become a leader and support and influence others.

Creating strong and sustainable partnerships Michel de Kemmeter - Wise Holding michel@wiseholding.net



Alliance Map

The workshop presented a framework on how to improve existing partnerships and find new allies. It suggested that in the future values would focus more on humanity, therefore partnerships would need to become more meaningful as well. “Keep your contacts agile. Be open. Let some stakeholders leave and allow others to join. Talk about your project with everybody to find supporters and find out what your stakeholders need.” – Michel advised.

FutureLab 2019 Report


Start a successful business no one believes in Christian Bärtsch - Essento christian@essento.ch www.essento.ch


Christian took the participants back on the journey of how he founded his company Essento, a start-up that provides a sustainable source of animal protein in the form of insects. He covered all key issues from setting the framework, through creating a viable business opportunity and product development, to convincing consumers to purchase it. The latter was the hardest part, according to him, but attractive packaging and extensive marketing helped overcome the challenge. In the second part of the workshop, the participants developed and presented their own 'crazy' business ideas. They defined their vision, unique selling proposition and tried to embed personal values in their enterprise.

FutureLab 2019 Report


Workshops Positive Impact Rating for Business Schools Ellen Quigley, University of Cambridge Thomas Dyllick, Positive Impact Rating www.positiveimpactrating.org Presentation The workshop on Positive Impact Rating for Business Schools explored the importance of creating a new ranking model to influence university culture and shift their focus from being the best in the world to being the best for the world. The participants learned about the new PIR ranking system and gained knowledge on how to evaluate their own universities or business schools with the PIR criteria.

Sustainability in Economic Sciences in Switzerland - How do we create the double curriculum change? Simon Zyseset & Valerian Stalder - WWF Switzerland simon.zysset@wwf.ch




The participants in this workshop got introduced to the WWF double strategy to change teaching: top-down - putting pressure or negotiate with government officials or universities, and bottom-up - providing advice and help to universities and lecturers. Currently, they are working on a survey to get an overview of sustainable development in degree courses at Swiss universities. Through this survey, faculty could be made aware that they are running behind in methods and then specific training could be applied. It can also be a starting point for collaborations with students, other organizations or universities and could be transferred to other countries.

FutureLab 2019 Report


How to introduce a new module of Pluralist Economics in your university studies? Baptiste Crozat, Nicole Walther & Anna Prad Rethinking Economics Geneva geneve@rethinkeconomics.org @rethinkecongeneve


The members of Rethinking Economics Geneva introduced their workshop participants to economic pluralism and Rethinking Economics in general. Afterwards, they presented the Pluralist Economics Module designed to find a concrete way to improve economics studies. The module includes: Introduction to Pluralistic Economics Economics and History Feminist Economics Ecological Economics Institutional Economics They encountered several difficulties when they tried to implement the module. There was no preexisting path they could take and university structures proved to be difficult. They lacked funds and teachers had mixed responses to their proposal. The solutions they found include diplomacy and trial and error for each case to clear the path. In the second part participants defined their own goals of curriculum change, thought about how institutions could support them, why they should do it and what steps they need to take to implement the reform.

FutureLab 2019 Report


Workshops Curriculum Reform NOW! Lenka Kepkova & J.Christopher Proctor, oikos International Joris Tieleman, Rethinking Economics j.christopher.proctor@oikosinternational.org lenka.kepkova@oikosinternational.org joris.tieleman@gmail.com www.rethinkeconomics.org Presentation

“Curriculum Reform NOW�, the workshop, designed by Lenka Kepkova, oikos Curriculum Strategy Manager and J.Christopher Proctor, our Curriculum Research Manager, focused on understanding the main building blocks on which economics and management education for the 21st century could be built on. At the beginning of the workshop, Joris Tieleman of Rethinking Economics talked about how economics curriculum shapes societies and discussed the importance of a curriculum review. Afterwards, the participants reflected on the key principles for a new economy and applied them to concrete sustainability challenges. They also developed strategies for shaping the curriculum at their universities. Many workshop participants decided to continue their quest and joined our thematic squad on curriculum change, that supports oikos members' efforts in the domain.

FutureLab 2019 Report

Our Team From early March 2019, this team of seven worked hard to ensure that everything went right at the FutureLab.

From left to right: Alexandra Horvath, Mariam Patsatsia, Paula Heeß, Magdalena Rusch, Mike Brodersen, Jessica Berneiser, Vusal Abasov.


FutureLab 2019 Report


Who are we?

We are an international student-led organization advocating for the integration of sustainability into economics and management. We shape our local environments and come together as a powerful global community. oikos is a vibrant platform for learning, creating and sharing solutions. Together we are building and empowering a network that holds keys to solve the challenges of the 21st century.

Our Milestones 1987 - Students at the University of St.Gallen start oikos St. Gallen 1998 - Students at 4 other universities in Europe: Cologne, Prague, Stockholm and Vienna join their colleagues in St. Gallen to launch oikos international. 2000 – PhD students for the first time join oikos PhD Summer Academy 2003 - oikos Cases Program runs for the first time 2004 – oikos Winter School is introduced to the oikos community 2006 – oikos launches the PhD Fellowship Program 2011 - oikos welcomes our international community to the first FutureLab 2015 - oikos leadership program - LEAP opens its doors to young change-makers 2016 - oikos and UN PRME join forces to launch the oikos-PRME Research Hub 2016 first oikos Associate joins our international team 2019 - oikos Curriculum Change Initiative launched to support chapters' curriculum work

Our Vision Economics and management purposed for a sustainable world


Our Mission To transform economics and management education by empowering student change agents, raising awareness for sustainability opportunities and challenges, and building institutional support for curriculum reform.

Our FutureLab Financial Partners and Donors

FutureLab 2019 Report

Contact us

info@oikos-international.org futurelab@oikos-international.org

www www.oikos-international.com