oikos International and swissnex Brazil partnership

Humanity faces unprecedented changes: from the implementation of technologies such as Artificial Intelligence and Genetic Engineering, to the impacts of climate change, nobody knows what the world will look like in 2050. Change is almost always stressful, especially when it can be disruptive, having systemic impacts revolutionizing our daily lives and deeply questioning our role in the world. Continuous change becomes the only certainty.

How can we prepare ourselves for a world where uncertainties and complexity, as radical transformations are impregnated in our daily lives?

What forms of leadership and decision parameters will be the most appropriate?

How should we act when faced with enormous amounts of new information, incapable of absorbing and analyzing it?

This questioning leads to the new partnership between swissnex Brazil and oikos International, funded by Movetia, the Swiss National Agency which promotes and supports activities and projects related to exchanges and mobility for training and lifelong learning.

oikos International is a student-led non-profit organization for sustainability in economics and management education. Founded in 1987 in Switzerland, it empowers students worldwide to embed sustainability in academia and from there into day-to-day personal and work life. Nowadays, it encompasses 43 local associations in 20 countries, which share their different local perspectives on today’s world and the future in terms of education and sustainability.

This organization focuses its work on the empowerment of young leaders, prepared for the challenges of the 21st century. To achieve this, it organizes leadership and personal development programs, establishes collaborations with universities and student movements, and fosters dialogue and debate within its community.

In a similar way, swissnex Brazil  (an initiative of the Swiss State Secretariat for Education, Research and Innovation) aims to facilitate international collaborations with Switzerland in the areas of academic relations, science, entrepreneurship, and innovation. It is a public-private enterprise, part of a network with outposts in Bangalore, Boston, Shanghai and San Francisco.

Its activities include programs and events that aim to connect experts to reflect on the most important swiss and Brazilian innovations while disseminating this knowledge to the general public. It also offers support to ignite new partnerships and spread the best technological ideas of both countries.

With both organizations having global and diverse communities, and the goal of creating cross-cultural dialogues, it became evident that they could complement each other; while swissnex helps to understand the latest innovations and promotes new collaborations, oikos empowers students to deal with the effects of innovations and of social, environmental & economic changes. With this synergy, outside knowledge connects to inside development.

Marcelo Veloso, oikos Fellow

Marcelo Veloso, Leadership & Sustainability Fellow, works with the swissnex Brazil and oikos teams, in St. Gallen and Rio de Janeiro.

This partnership translates into different projects, which are being carried out by Marcelo Veloso, as a “Leadership & Sustainability Fellow”, working with the two teams, in St. Gallen and Rio de Janeiro, during the year 2020.

Our first major project is the organization of a worldwide virtual conference on Leadership & Sustainability, for 3 weeks, in November 2020. This conference aims to provide students worldwide a platform for sharing and debating about the challenges of the 21st century and to offer tools to address them. We are looking for partners to integrate this program into the academic curriculum or to use it partially within the academic community. If you are interested to be part of the organizing team or to partner with us, please send an email. 

Simultaneously, other projects are being pursued to bring together academics from Switzerland and Brazil. Through webinars and discussion groups, the fellow will collect different perspectives and practices in education for sustainability in both countries, especially in curricula related to economics, management and administration. The results will be presented to the community as well as to partner universities. The ultimate goal is to encourage students and faculties to take these learnings to their universities so that they can integrate diverse perspectives on sustainability and empower students with leadership skills, enabling them to respond to global challenges.

With this partnership, swissnex Brazil and oikos International hope not only to promote Innovation, but also to be a source of innovation. By hosting a student project, we will participate in the development of unusual learning and working methods, in addition to best practices in education and virtual mobility, which can both contribute to social and environmental sustainability.

If you recognize yourself in one of these objectives or see any opportunity for collaboration, please contact us at GVCpartners@nulloikos-international.org.