1. Who are you and where do you work?
Hello, I am Stephan Schaller, 35, married and father of two sons. After spending about 6 years as sustainability consultant and researcher I have joined GS1 Germany as Senior Projectmanager Sustainability in 2011.
2. How and why were you involved with oikos as a student?
I was never a formal oikos member as there was no chapter during my study. Being inspired by the Cologne chapter the founding of oikos Witten/Herdecke finally took place in 2004 – the year I graduated – and I instantly became its first alumnus.
3. What do you care about in sustainability?
[just about everthing?!]
4. How do you make a difference for sustainability in your job?
In my current job I coordinate a sustainability board consisting of consumer goods industry and retail company representatives as well as stakeholders. We aim to drive sustainability as common goal and put emphasis on product transparency and sustainable consumption. A sound indication of more sustainable products is a huge lever to pull.
5. Which hurdles did you overcome in your job?
An important hurlde can be our self-recognition as „sustainability experts“. The moving target of sustainabity is too broad and complex to gain full expertise. Instead of being frustrated, it has been helpful for me to redefine my role: I am the generalist trying to unterstand and interlink multiple disciplines, create awareness and make sure solutions are unlikely to cause unintended adverse affects.
6. What would you like to make happen in the oikos network this year?
Striving for sustainability sometimes feels like fighting a losing battle. Meeting like-minded people is key for recharging the spirit, gain inspiration an combine efforts. I am happy to continue facilitating regional alumni-oikee-meetings.
7. Can you give one hint for the current oikos students that aim to make a difference?
Think of sustainability as the road to smart resource use and wellbeing rather than the synonym of social and environmental catastrophies. It is all about the way how to approach people and inspire them. Sustainability changemakers need to be sensemakers!