Talent portraits

Amped (parent company of Local2Local) has been working in the local food domain since spring 2014 through initiatives, pilots and projects, in partnership with Green Office Utrecht, Stichting Groentetas, student communities, university faculties and partner organisations, offering meaningful work for young people to have real impact in the food transition.

Amped and Local2Local facilitated many internships, research projects and offered students the opportunity to work, gain experience and exchange knowledge in the local food chain in the Utrecht region. Other universities and colleges also joined in, including HKU, Hogeschool Utrecht, Hogeschool van Amsterdam, University of Amsterdam, TUe, Hogeschool van Rotterdam, HAS and Aeres Hogeschool. This is based on the idea that the transition to a sustainable and regionally connected food system is not possible without socio-cultural change and an active leadership role for the next generation. In 2020, these activities came together in the formation of Local2Local Talents, to support and grow their role in the food transition. In May 2022, Amped & Utrecht University signed a Memorandum of Understanding to work closely together on the food transition to a regional food system, by way of research on heritage and landscape, biodiversity, stimulating the local economy and the connection between city and countryside.

In this series of portraits, we introduce young people who have been and/or are still part of this journey and are keen to share their experiences, learnings and vision for the future of food.

Sofie Arkink

Sofie Arkink is a dairy farmer’s daughter and a Master student Food System Innovation at Aeres University of Applied Sciences who interned at Local2Local from Nov 2022 until early Feb 2023. Watch our interview with Sofie, or go to our post.

It truly was a joy getting to know Sofie, experience her enthusiasm and to see the real impact that food has on her future and that she wishes to have on agriculture.

Lucie Jeandrain

In 2022 Lucie Jeandrain partnered with Local2Local Talents for her master thesis on collaborations in local food systems and obtained her Master’s degree in Sustainable Business and Innovation at Utrecht University. Watch our interview with Lucie and/or read the full transcript here.

After her summer vacation and graduation Lucie happily accepted our offer to become our junior project manager. We couldn’t have been happier. A year and a half later Lucie moved back to her native Brussels and continue her career at FOOD2030.

Sarah Nolan

Sarah Nolan from Ireland finished her Master’s degree in Sustainable Development at Utrecht University in 2022. Sarah always had great ambitions in sustainability studies since completing her Erasmus year in 2019. In that time and through Stichting Groentetas and Grounded she heard of Local2Local/Amped and subsequently wrote a paper about Local2Local on the topic of governance before getting really involved in the Groentetas-, Grounded- and Local2Local-community. Sarah describes this journey and what followed as a butterfly effect.

Watch our interview with Sarah and/or read the full transcript here.

After finishing her paper, Local2Local Talents connected Sarah with University College Dublin, one of our consortium partners in the EU4Advice-project, and she successfully applied for a position as research assistant. This means that we still consider Sarah as our beloved colleague. Combined with her ambitions to duplicate Local2Local in her home country, we are proud to call Sarah one of our Local2Local Ambassadors.

Maria Fritz

Maria Fritz has a very adventurous academic background, but 5 years ago she got her Masters in Sustainable Development at Utrecht University, met the team of Local2Local at Sustainable Pathways 2018. This first contact intrigued her and she started working on projects, joined the L2L-team, gained a lot of experience in the food transition and helped setting up L2L Talents, and in 2021 she circled back to her hometown Karlsruhe to apply her knowledge and sow the seeds of change there.

Watch our interview with Maria and/or read the full transcript here.

Upon returning to Karlsruhe, Maria started building a regional network of change makers. With the help of Amped/L2L, this lead her to co-founding Impact Hub Karlsruhe and Maria acts as Local2Local Ambassador to seek collaborations in order to eventually (help) build a robust, regenerative food system in the region.

Maarten Klop

Maarten Klop studied Global Sustainability Science at Utrecht University and first got in touch with Local2Local and Amped at the launch of Operation Food Freedom back in 2018.

Watch our interview with Maarten and/or read the full transcript here.

Maarten initiated the first Grounded Festival in 2019 (at L2L’s headquarters at Fort bij ’t Hemeltje) and started building the Grounded Community, he worked on different projects with our partner Compazz Foundation, became part of the L2L-team in 2020, which included co-coordinating L2L Talents with Maria and in 2022 he transitioned to the role of project manager for Amped/L2L. Maarten’s purpose in life is to bring people together to work on regenerative agriculture to restore nature, our health and happiness.