At the end of 2021, ESCP Business School Berlin held the Oikos X ESCP ImpactFair, a forum consisting of various events focused on sustainability and potential career paths within the field. The fair was jointly organised by the ESCP Berlin Career Development office and oikos Berlin, a student association dedicated to raising awareness about sustainability within business, academia, and society. A total of 278 students participated in this day of engaging and interactive exchange with ESCP staff, alumni and corporate partners.
The Impact Fair took place on campus with strict health protocols over a day and half, kicking off with the panel “Code Red”, a discussion on the key role of collaboration between businesses and the scientific community, educational institutions, and civil society in the shift towards a true sustainability transition. Panelists from the UN Environment Programme, Greater Good Leadership, the Ecologic Institute, and ESCP discussed why stakeholders from all areas are needed in the challenge, and how to more precisely work together.
Enabling ESCP students to imagine what a career in sustainability could be like was a key objective of the Impact Fair. “Sustainability becomes more concrete in this sense, that it’s a real option to pursue,” said Dr. Michaela Wieandt, Head of Career Office at ESCP Berlin Campus. “An event specifically on impact and sustainability is able to connect students to not only people from that area, but to job opportunities and a new horizon as well.”
Student organisers of the event also felt motivated to highlight sustainability and empower fellow students to consider it as a compelling career path. “The time to act is now, and it's up to us to lead this systemic change in the face of the climate crisis. The Oikos Berlin team is proud to have co-organised an incredible event for the students, by the students — driven by the vision of bringing impactful careers in sustainability,” said Khushboo Mallik, President of oikos Berlin.
On the second day, students were able to attend five different workshops. Attendees heard from an alumna and a startup founder who discussed their professional trajectories and more in the “Building your Career in Sustainability” workshop, while students proposed solutions to real-life business issues and received feedback in the “Sustainable Entrepreneurship Challenge”. The other workshops explored topics such as the circular economy, the future of mobility, and the food value chain.
A career fair simultaneously took place across campus, giving students the chance to speak with representatives about their companies’ work in sustainability and related job openings. Organisations from start-ups to corporations and in various industries were in attendance.
Julius Friedländer, the COO and Germany managing director of Cooler Future, an app for values-based impact investing, shared the reason they were at the Impact Career Fair. “We’re an early-stage start-up, and growing, so we’re interested in presenting Cooler Future as a product but primarily looking for motivated interns and full-time employees to join us.”
In addition to it being a school-wide organisational priority, sustainability is a key academic area of ESCP’s Berlin Campus, meaning that the topic plays a significant role in research and teaching as well as daily operations and activities.