Who are you and where do you work?
My name is Thomas and I currently work with the sustainability department of the Volkswagen Group where I am involved in various communication and reporting projects. In addition I realize my PhD in the area of environmental risk communication at the Technical University of Berlin.
How and why were you involved with oikos as a student?
oikos electrified me right after I started to study economics at the University of Bayreuth in Germany. To get involved with a student group that deals with sustainability, enabled me to put my energy, passion and creativity towards the issue that matters most, for our society and planet. In addition, oikos Bayreuth gave me the opportunity to work with students from different academic backgrounds. I feel that was a great preparation for my future working life.
What do you care about in sustainability?
I think sustainability can enrich my life in so many aspects. It connects me to a community of people that is mostly young at heart, caring and intrinsically motivated. Not the worst crowd to hang out with, right? Furthermore I feel that sustainability can give me a sense of direction - or in other words some answers to the big question. What should I do?
How do you make a difference for sustainability in your job?
In my current position I work as a sort of translator. On the one hand, it is my job to collect latest developments from the sustainability community, like findings from research or best practices from other companies, and share these insights with decision makers in the company. Vice versa it is my job to explain progress and challenges of VW’s sustainability agenda to relevant stakeholders
Which hurdles did you overcome in your job?
To work with a large industrial enterprise is a unique experience, every day. It takes a while to understand the corporate culture and operational practices in your department and beyond. However, both issues are of key importance in order to get things done!
What would you like to make happen in the oikos network this year?
My main objective is to set up an advisory board for oikos Berlin and to organize an oikos Berlin networking event, which brings interested students from Berlin universities in touch with our cool organization.
Can you give one hint for the current oikos students that aim to make a difference?
Never give up but reflect on your approach from time to time ;-)