Work in Progress

What’s it about?

The Oikos Winter School 2020 will reflect on the matter of how to make our world of work fairer and more sustainable. The starting point is the eighth of a total of 17 global goals for sustainable development, the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the United Nations. It calls not only for permanent, inclusive and sustainable economic growth, but also for productive full employment and dignified work. In the course of the conference we will focus on the last two points and get to the bottom of their significance, implementation and meaningfulness. We will focus in particular on the impact of the challenges already emerging today, such as climate changes, demographic changes and digitisation, on the world of work. At the same time, we will discuss to what extent these developments, which are often viewed with concern, but also represent an opportunity to make work just and more sustainable. We will trait also the question of the fair compensation and forms of insurance, meaning also the “delimitation between the work and the private life”. We will try to think and propose alternative concepts of work. In preparation for this “look into the future” we want to develop a concept of the issues of justice and sustainability in our market of work and of the concept of “work” and its various meanings in our society.

Structure and type of Conference

We would like to offer a discussion forum, where the participants will get a lot of new content input during lectures, activities and panel discussions and get to know different positions on the topic of work. At the same time, it is important to us that the participants also have the opportunity to reflect on their own perspective on the topic in various accompanied discussion rounds and to actively participate in the discussions. The registration for the conference is open to international students from a wide range of disciplines.


In order to give the topic more relevance to reality we will organize various workshops and keynotes. For bringing a practical example we want to make a joint excursion to the Zollverein colliery and visualize how structural changes in a workplace can look like and what problems and opportunities they create. Afterwards we will think together about what a working world of the future could look like and which alternative, sustainable concepts there are.
For us it’s really important that the participants can better know each other and make also new friendships. For this reason, they will be also some funny activities with the aim of creating a friendly atmosphere.


We would like to create a network for the participants, which offers them the possibility for intensive exchange as well as suggestions for future projects. The topic will have a personal relevance for all participants as future employees or employers. We want that students start to perceive themselves as responsible persons and to give them the opportunity to claim and to put in the practice what they have learned in the course in their careers.