Talents Portraits: Lucie Jeandrain
Utrecht University, Amped and Local2Local have been collaborating in the local food domain since the spring of 2014, through initiatives, pilots and projects, together with Green Office Utrecht, Stichting Groentetas, student communities, faculties and partner organizations.
Amped and Local2Local facilitated many internships, research projects and provided students the opportunity to work, gain experience and exchange knowledge in the local food chain in the Utrecht region. This was premised on the idea that the transition to a sustainable and regionally connected food system can’t be achieved without socio-cultural change and an active leading role by the next generation. In 2020 these activities converged into the formation of Local2Local Talents, to support and grow their roles in the food transition.
In the weekly Talents Portraits series we introduce young people who have been part of this journey and would like to share their experiences, learnings and views on the future of food.
This week we feature Lucie Jeandrain who partnered with Local2Local for her master thesis on collaborations in local food systems and recently obtained her Master’s degree in Sustainable Business and Innovation at Utrecht University. Watch the video interview and/or read the interview below.
Please introduce yourself
“Hi! I am Lucie. I am from Belgium and came to Utrecht two years ago to study for the Master’s in Sustainable Business and Innovation at the UU. Before that I did a bachelor’s in Business Engineering where I learned a lot about businesses, and a bit too much about how to make people with lots of money even more money, hence the reason why I moved away and orientated myself to a more meaningful education. I strongly believe in the power similar or different people can have when they come together around similar goals to create meaningful solutions. Today’s political and ecological climate proved how true it is and is urging us to collaborate and co-create together even more. I am still figuring out where exactly I want to (p)lay in these movements, but I definitely want to be part of it!”
How did you get in contact with Amped/Local2Local & what made you decide to join?
“As part of my master thesis, I decided to study more the way actors of the local food system in Utrecht were interacting together. Local2Local was presented by my supervisor as an eventual interesting partner to write the thesis with. After two meetings with them, the actual topic of my thesis (enhancing collaborations between actors of the short food supply chains in Utrecht) came out naturally. To me, working on this topic with Local2Local made a lot of sense as they are highly active in Utrecht and a way too interesting approach in ‘scaling up’ local food.”
What have you worked on, how did you experience this, what did you learn?
“Writing my thesis with Local2Local was very (very) simple and not the usual thesis internship you can have. I got all the freedom I could have asked for and not many ‘duties’ from L2L, apart from finishing my thesis and obviously sharing my results. I had the opportunity to join some stakeholders’ events where I met with a lot of different people and learned a lot about the inside political games happening around local food (yes, local food is very political). All in all, L2L has been a great facilitator in writing my thesis with.”
What are you doing at the moment?
“I am currently enjoying the summer and road-tripping in the middle of Sweden. We just stopped at a coffee place to recharge all our electronic devices and used this time to answer these questions :).”
Where are you heading? What are you aiming for?
“Once I’m back in the Netherlands, I will graduate and then look for a responsible-adult kind of job. I don’t have a specific idea in mind, as long as it involves motivated people, meaningful actions, lots of learning and some fun too.”
What is your (ultimate) dream?
“To live without the fear of an uncertain future. To live in a big house somewhere by the water with friends, a vegetable garden, and a dog. Right now I am also dreaming of a warm shower and a back massage.”