PhD defence

Plan-and-play in the polder: exploring the lived futures of sustainable food entrepreneurship in Flevoland

PhD candidate KH (Koen) van der Gaast
Promotor ES (Eveline) van Leeuwen
Co-promotor dr. SCO (Sigrid) Wertheim-Heck
Organisation Wageningen University, Urban Economics

Tue 10 January 2023 16:00 to 17:30

Venue Omnia
Room Groot Auditorium


The current food system causes many problems. Yet, at the same time, a wide range of actors and organisations are already working towards more sustainable food futures. A case in point is food entrepreneurship. So far, the scientific understanding of food entrepreneurship is mostly restricted to the that of heroic individuals that exploit the new opportunities the food system transformation afford. In this thesis I argue the need for a new perspective: that of sustainable food entrepreneurship. In this perspective, entrepreneurship is considered a social process itself that is driven by imagined futures. Imagined futures drive the daily life of entrepreneurs, which connects them to a wide range of human and non-human actors. This process of change in turn shapes the future of food continually over time. This thesis shows the sustainable future of food is not static, it is a lived entity that is constantly evolving and changing.