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Discovery of an Enterprising Element: Lessons of Entrepreneurship

“The best way to predict the future is to create it”- long time ago the father of Management Peter F. Drucker had envisioned this truth about “future”- which I realized while crisscrossing the oikos FutureLab 2012 Impact Fair booths. From an array of futuristic ideas and projects, at the very outset of my exploration I had the pleasure to particularly focus on the entrepreneurial ones, beneficial to the world both in terms of social and economic impacts. With an entrepreneurial undertaking itself to catch up with such ideas of change, at long last all my endeavours positively ended in smoke when I discovered the fact that every single project in a way was related to some means of entrepreneurship, whether it be an enterprising drive in and of itself, or a measureable profit making venture with a lasting societal impact. Roaming around the Impact Fair cubicles with multifaceted ideas ready-to-make a difference, I vividly visualized what would await our forthcoming future inundated under such ground-breaking enterprising projects leading change, mobilizing opportunities and incorporating the hope for a sustainable future, for a better world!

Delving deeper into these assets for our future, let me shed some light on some of the noteworthy excerpts from oikos FutureLab 2012 Impact Fair, and my discovery of an enterprising element underlying each thought and every move. In order to expand the oikos international network in North America, Ilke Schaart from oikos Penn shared her ideas to enhance oikos activities across her zone and boost up networking and further possibilities with Ivy League for the first time ever in the 25 years of oikos history. Subconsciously deep down, I grabbed Ilke's entrepreneurial networking thoughts for further expansion of oikos family, and discovered an enterprising element in her endeavours. Moving on with the spirit of entrepreneurship, think of a gigantic umbrella under which all our 25 years of long-standing oikos expertise can gather together and collaborate at the cross-roads where the theory meets practice. Such a project was oikos Consulting led by Livia Walker and Rebecca Schmid from oikos St. Gallen, full to the brim of direct entrepreneurial outcome. Again I came across another entrepreneurial gem through accumulation of resources for social venture capital from Livia’s and Rebecca’s endeavours.


Finding out more direct linkages to entrepreneurship initiatives, the Hand Papermaking project of Pranav Gajjar from oikos Ahmedabad could not be ruled out. Especially designed by the distinctly enabled people of India, these papers showed us the pathway of a man who believes in the “Theory of Doing”- in his own words as a self-motivation to ensure the manifestation of change in the society- which must take place by all possible means. The transition of Pranav’s idea starting from the oikos Project Leadership Programme (PLP) sometime back, and ending up with oikos FutureLab in 2012 bears the testimony of a successful entrepreneurial story with the right evolution of his never ending drives. Apart from the displayed fair, another impact-driven change was the Hub Zurich co-founded by Niels Rot, ex-president of oikos St. Gallen. Hub Zurich is all about the power of innovations through collaboration and availing the indispensable second home where the enterprising ideas for the world can germinate, grow and galvanize. My encounter with entrepreneurship reached a thoughtful culmination when I finally marked the opportunity for entrepreneurial collaborations and connectedness from Niels’s endeavours.

‘oikos’ – being the root word of both “Economics” and “Ecology”, as reminded by Prof. Dr. Claude Siegenthaler (oikos Advisor) all throughout the oikos FutureLab 2012, was particularly realized through the eyes of these agents of change contributing immensely to the economy and ecology around us. Uplifting the foundation of an entrepreneurial spirit for whatever idea of change they embarked upon, in their every step and move, this sense of entrepreneurship was felt, this view of innovation was eyed, and this voice of change was heard, with all due significance.

This entry was posted in oikos FutureLab 2012, Thoughts on by .

About Iftekhar Karim

Iftekhar Ul Karim is currently pursuing his M.Sc. in Management, Economics and Consumer Studies (with a specialization in Marketing and Consumer Behavior) at Wageningen University in the Netherlands as a Huygens Scholar. He holds a Bachelor of Business Administration (majoring in Marketing) from BRAC Business School, BRAC University in Bangladesh and gained professional experience with German International Cooperation (GIZ) Bangladesh. During his undergrad tenure, he successfully attended the oikos Model WTO 2008 in St. Gallen and Geneva (Switzerland), oikos Winter School 2008 at University of Witten/Herdecke (Germany) and Harvard Project for Asian and International Relations (HPAIR) 2009 at Harvard University in Boston. Iftekhar has travelled extensively throughout the world with a view to gaining insights from across the globe.

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