EAT THIS! explores 'tribes and cultures' with corporate anthropologist Jitske Kramer

After a two-week break, World Horti Center, in close collaboration with NethWork, resumed the EAT THIS! webinar series on June 24. Corporate anthropologist Jitske Kramer started out with a powerful statement: you need to know where you come from, in order to know where you are going to. If you don’t know your past, how will you ever know what your future will be like?

She then invited the audience to travel with her around the world looking for what it is that people connects to each other. Central to her vision are ‘tribes’, groups of people with a shared culture. Knowledge about tribes and cultures is essential, especially within the (international) corporate sector. Tangible results can only be achieved when bridges can be built between cultures. Working and living as part of a tribe also forces people to look at themselves from another perspective. Two important (and sometimes seemingly opposing) forces are key: power (results, achievements) and love (relationships, trust, connections).

The challenge is, also for companies, to find the right balance between these two.

Strong cultures are characterized by the ability to welcome others, including the so-called ‘rebel minds’ and acknowledge different opinions and voices. She also mentioned that the culture’s story should be told in a language others can understand; ‘Tell me your story in a language I understand and I want to be part of it.’
To be successful in an ever-changing world, especially in these unprecedented time, Jitske’s presentation offered a lot of food for thought for the horticultural sector.
If you missed this session, watch the recording here.

Next week we will explore the horticultural ‘story’ further with Hidde Boersma, molecular biologist, writer and film maker and Erin Fitzgerald, CEO of USFRA (United Farmers & Ranchers Association). What can greenhouse producers learn from American farmers and vice versa, what are their stories and how to they connect? Curious? Join us on Wednesday July 1 for the next EAT THIS! session via this link:



EAT THIS! dives into sustainable investments in controlled environment production

Following last week's session with Henry Gordon Smith. Dave Chen, CEO of private equity firm Equilibrium, will explain in more detail his firm's vision on purposeful, sustainable investment in controlled environment production and why this way of investing is so important for the future of the horticultural sector. In the past few years, his private equity firm Equilibrium invested more than 100 million USD in horticultural projects and there’s much more to come. Purpose driven investment and sustainability are key to his business.

He strongly agreed with Henry Gordon Smith and also with Meiny Prins that food production in and near the cities is becoming more important. The current crisis will only accelerate the developments towards food systems based on short(er) chains, resilience and with a regional focus. These developments will have a great impact on the future (geographical location and role) of horticulture.

He also argues that the current advances in technology that take place at break-neck speed, call for open minds and out-of-the-box thinking. To this end, attracting outside talents with different backgrounds and competences to work in horticulture is crucial for further development of the sector. 

Dave Chen will explain his vision on ‘the future of food’ in more detail during the upcoming EAT THIS! session, taking place on June 3 from 16.00 hrs CET onwards.
In Curious to know more? Join us for this session via this link:


EAT THIS! explores the future of food in cities with Henry Gordon Smith & Dave Chen

Following the engaging sessions of Clemens Driessen and Meiny Prins, taking us back to the start of professional horticulture in the 17th century as well as the future, the Sustainable Urban Delta, during the next 2 sessions EAT THIS! will explore the world of innovative, smart agriculture and private equity investment in sustainable horticulture. 
Cities everywhere are turning to smart technology to solve their most pressing issues of transport, education and housing. What will the impact of these technologies be on social cohesion and the environment? One emerging technology for cities is Smart Agriculture which includes vertical farming, smart greenhouses and IOT-empowered open field agriculture. These technologies, along with a growing movement of young farmers across the globe, have the potential to transform the food system that cities and people depend upon. The session with Henry Gordon Smith will take place on May 27 and you can join the webinar via this link:


Eat This! online series continues with Clemens Driessen & Meiny Prins

After the first successful first Eat This! webinar with Dutch writer and architect Rem Koolhaas, we continue on Wednesday May 13 with Clemens Driessen, philosopher at Wageningen UR and Meiny Prins, CEO of Priva. Clemens, from being the 'sidekick' to Mr. Rem Koolhaas last week, will now put the spotlight on the history of professional horticulture. He will take the audience on a tour of Westland in the early 17th century. Clemens will argue how the Westland we know now, and its approach of total mastery and control of both plants and space was invented on this very spot 400 years ago. He will take us on a tour through the garden of Amalia van Solms behind the Palace of Honselersdijk: at the time ‘the Versailles of the North’ but today almost completely erased. We will meet illustrious figures such as Rene Descartes, Constantijn Huijgens and others who set out to revolutionize our relations to the natural world and invent our modern view of space. What would they think of Westland today? And what can we learn from this history for the future of horticulture?

In conversation with Meiny Prins, he will explore how we can collectively imagine a food system that makes good on the promises of early modern thinkers and horticulturalists, while avoiding the pitfalls of their approach. After reaching technical perfection, do we need to rethink the culture of horticulture? What motivates a modern vegetable grower? Where is the politics and poetry in climate control? 
If you want to get involved in the discussion, do register to join the session via this link:




Online series Eat This! features thought leaders on the future of food! 

Rem Koolhaas first guest in online webinar series ‘Eat This’

World Horti Center and NethWork collaborate in giving follow up to the exhibition ‘Countryside – The Future’ initiated by the Dutch architect Rem Koolhaas, that was opened on February 20 in the Guggenheim Museum in New York. The exhibition among others features the current and future developments in food production, especially what is happening in greenhouses.

Webinar sessions

The exhibition is currently closed, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but the production of cherry tomatoes in a closed, high tech production unit, situated in front of the museum on Fifth Avenue, continues. Right in the center of the world and the epicenter of the pandemic. The unit therefore, is a great metaphor and catalyst in the discussion on the consumption of healthy food, produced in a sustainable and affordable way. Therefore, World Horti Center (WHC) took the initiative to facilitate, in cooperation with foundation NethWork, a new series of online events.

Thought leaders
During weekly webinar sessions, thought leaders in the field of food will share his/her vision on (the future of) healthy food. The kick off takes place on Wednesday 6 May, 16.00 hrs CEST and features architect Rem Koolhaas, initiator of the exhibition ‘Countryside – The Future’. He will be assisted by Clemens Driessen, philosopher at Wageningen UR. Both gentlemen will share their vision on current developments and the future of horticulture in the Netherlands and beyond.

Eat This
This webinar series, named ‘Eat This’ is a close collaboration between NethWork and World Horti Center. Both organizations want to connect the horticultural sector with the world beyond horticulture. Renee Snijders and Ed Smit of NethWork will present these weekly webinar sessions.  

After the inaugural session with Rem Koolhaas, 9 webinars will follow. Additional details on guests and themes will follow soon. You can already register for this first session via this link.

World Horti Center
World Horti Center is the knowledge and innovation center for international greenhouse horticulture. A leading platform where business, education, research and government jointly innovate, connect, inspire and share knowledge. Every year, World Horti Center, located in the epicenter of Dutch greenhouse horticulture, is visited by 25,000 international professionals.