BOTTOMs UP, TOPs DOWN? Sustainabilite Development Cooperation

BOTTOMs UP, TOPs DOWN? Sustainabilite Development Cooperation


Sustainable Development Cooperation

It is heartbreaking that global society has evolved a highly efficient way to get entertainment to rich adults and children, while it can't get twelve-cent medicine to dying poor children.

William Easterly

We have to re-configurate global capitalism in order to help the poor.

Jim Yong Kim

Deep in every liberal sensibility is a profound sense that in a world of moral uncertainty one idea is sacred, one belief cannot be compromised: the rich should help the poor, and the form of this help should be aid.

Dambisa Moyo

True solutions will also require deeper debt relief, greater development assistance, more open trade with the rich countries, and the like.

Jeffrey Sachs

Whom should we believe? Those who tell us that aid can solve the problem? Or those who say that it makes things worse? […] We simply do not know; we are just speculating on a grand scale.

Esther Duflo and Abhijit V. Banerjee

1st–7th March 2018

oikos Winter School

1st–7th March 2018 | Witten, Germany
Witten | Germany

The image of dysfunctional development cooperation is widespread. The allegations are manifold: Corrupt elites are enriched by the cash flows of development cooperation. Western concepts are naively exported without satisfying the needs of the local population. Projects often benefit the so-called donor countries most, and development cooperation reinforces existing dependencies. In short: “Development aid is often a blind flight,” says American economist and development aid critic William Easterly, co-director of the Institute for Development Research at New York University. Is this applicable? Which approaches of development cooperation are more successful than others? What are the different motivations behind cooperations, and how do they affect the implementation of the projects?

Sustainable Development Cooperation?

Are there specific strategies that can be chosen to make development cooperation more efficient and sustainable? We would like to discuss these issues with you at our conference.

The Roadmap

Designing and constructing an international conference is a highly thrilling and immersive endeavor. Since we enjoy watching thoughts converging their realization, we thought it would be great to share not just our excitement with you but also let you glimpse at the things that are causing it.

Here is a sketch of what the seven schooldays will look like. Dig deeper by heading over to a more detailed program draft on Google Drive—and feel free to leave a comment.


You can connect with us even more closely via Facebook.

Be Part of the Conference

Join us!

Did you know that you can apply to the next oikos Winter School right away? It is as easy as winking. Just open up the following page and introduce yourself. We are looking forward to becoming acquainted with you…

What you might want to know

In which language will the Winter School be held?

The Winter School will be held in English.

What about the costs?

The fee to take part at the Winter School is 150€. If you are among the first ten applicants, you will get a special early bird discount—and just pay 120€.
Included in the fee are food and accommodation. Travel and visa costs cannot be covered.

Where will I stay?

All participants will stay in local student flats to ensure the most welcoming and personal experience in Witten.

How does the overall application process work?

Applying for the oikos Winter School 2018 is fairly easy and straightforward. All you need is to provide us with some basic information so we can get a first impression of you as a future participant of our conference. We are particularly interested in what connects you with the topic we are about to collectively think about. You thus get the opportunity to tell us a bit about your background, your ideas, visions and wishes in a short essay of maximally 750 words. And if you have got something specific you might want to contribute to the conference (like presenting a project or leading a workshop), please let us know.
In short, we need the following bits of data from you:

  • some general information (name, address and the like)
  • your curriculum vitae (PDF)
  • the essay (max. 750 words, PDF)
  • a more or less representative photo (optional)

After you formally sent us you application using our application form we will carefully read it and get in touch with you as soon as possible with further details about the next actions to take.

When is the application deadline?

Application closes on January 15, 2018.

When are arrival and departure scheduled?

On Thursday, 1st March you have got plenty of time to arrive at Witten, meet your hosts and make first contact with the other conference attendees. We recommend you to arrive between 8:00 and 16:00 o'clock.
Departure is scheduled for day seven (Wednesday, 7th March). After a brunch, you are free to say goodbye around midday.

I am allergic/vegetarian/vegan/…—does this pose a problem?

Of course not! During the application and registration process you can notify us about special needs.

What about visa?

If you do not live in the EU, please make sure to apply for your visa in time. We recommend to apply as early as possible but at the latest one month before the conference starts. For questions concerning your participation contact Timo:

I still have questions. Who wants to hear them?

We are glad you have more questions. Timo Niehoff is the right guy to put them to, as he is responsible for the applicant's and participant's – hence: yours – wellbeing. Just inbox him:

 start the application 

registration closes on January 15, 2018


Alternatively, if you want to follow our conference but do not intend – for whatever reason – to register as a regular attendee, you can still sign up to our e-mail newsletter. We will then keep you up to date about the lineup, public events and give you the opportunity to take a first-hand glance at the topics discussed during the conference.

We don't pass your precious information to other, potentially malicious providers nor do we intend to spam your mailbox ourselves. Pinky promise.

oikos Winter School

Since 2007, about 30 students from all over the world come to Witten once a year for working on issues of sustainability in economics. Here, respecting the triple bottom line of social, ecological, and economic sustainability receives special attention. For one week, the participants analyse theories, methods, and case studies and reflect different perspectives and ideas.

The follow up report of last year's Winter School on sustainability in the fashion industry can be read here.

organizing the 2018 oikos Winter School on Sustainable Development Cooperation

photo by Dana Schmidt

The 2018 Team

We are a team of twelve students from various faculties at the University Witten/Herdecke, Germany, convinced of our shared responsibility in promoting the necessity to act with future generations in mind.

  • Felix Bouché
    B.A. Philosophy, Cultural Reflexion & Cultural Practice
  • Flora Dicke
    B.A. Philosophy, Politics & Economics
  • Georg Weithauer
    B.Sc. Management
  • Julian Ronnefeldt
    B.A. Philosophy, Politics & Economics
  • Lasse Paetz
    M.A. Philosophy, Politics & Economics
  • Lea-Rika Ross
    M.A. Doing Culture
  • Ruben Philipp
    B.A. Philosophy, Politics & Economics
  • Severin Rommeler
    B.A. Philosophy, Politics & Economics
  • Sophie Gröning
    B.Sc. Psychology & Psychotherapy
  • Timo Niehoff
    B.A. Philosophy, Cultural Reflexion & Cultural Practice
  • Wanja Firnkes
    B.A. Philosophy, Politics & Economics
  • Yanika Meyer-Oldenburg
    B.A. Philosophy, Politics & Economics

oikos is an international student-driven organization for sustainability in economics and management. Founded in 1987 in Switzerland, oikos today empowers young leaders to drive change towards sustainability worldwide.

For more information check out their website.