Costa Rica tree frog on a tyre

Conversation about curiosity, learning and exploration

with Judith Schueler, driving force behind ACCEZ.

In our series ‘Inside Out’ we usually put the spotlight on our contributors, but this time we engage in a dialogue with Judith Schueler. She will be the process facilitator during the upcoming System Change Leaders Week 2023, initiated by EatThis. and taking place in Costa Rica from 22-30 September. Judith is also a driving force behind ACCEZ. Collaborating closely with entrepreneurs, policymakers and academics, ACCEZ accelerates sustainable transitions within Controlled Environment Agriculture.

Judith, could you elaborate on ACCEZ’s history?

Judith Schueler ACCEZ

“Zuid-Holland, a province located in the Netherlands, thrives as an entrepreneurial hub with numerous universities and applied science institutions. This sets the stage for addressing today’s and tomorrow’s challenges. These encompass urban livability in cities like Rotterdam and The Hague, plus broader sustainability concerns.

Controlled Environment Agriculture, a cornerstone of the region’s economy, holds promise in contributing within these shifts.

My role involves clearing the path, fostering connections, and consolidating knowledge to unlock this potential. ACCEZ’s essence lies in this endeavor. By channeling finances and a curious outlook, we lay the groundwork for transformative change.”

ACCEZ accelerates transformations within Controlled Environment Agriculture. What is your outlook for the future of this sector?

“It is evident that the cluster must initiate a well-structured, candid dialogue on the future of Controlled Environment Agriculture. Inclusive of diverse stakeholders – internationally, cross-sectorally, and with fresh perspectives. This discourse should openly address uncertainties and apprehensions about businesses, the sector, and the global landscape. Embracing doubt, in my view, adds depth, novel insights, and invigorating dynamics. With curiosity driving me, I aim to foster these indispensable dialogues.”

– Interview continues after the image – 

Coati Costa Rica
A curious Coati in the forests of Costa Rica - mascot of the System Change Leaders Week 2023
You are the process facilitator during our System Change Leaders Week in Costa Rica. What do you want to achieve?

“During the System Change Leaders Week, international current and future leaders in this sector convene to draw inspiration from Costa Rica – an endeavor that deeply excites me. The EatThis Foundation has drawn up an invigorating program to swiftly amass knowledge, ideas, and experiences – an ‘outer experience’.

Additionally, by using the ACCEZ Fundamentals, we embark on an ‘internal journey’. The ultimate objective? To ensure participants assimilate these impressions and this equips them to catalyze changes in their own environment upon their return. These individual transitions pave the way for the institutional transformations.”

What will this trip to Costa Rica bring? 

“Expectations run high among participants, the EatThis Foundation, and myself. My invitation is to let go of all preconceptions and embrace Costa Rica’s surprises, fueling an unforeseen transformation.

Personally, I eagerly look forward to the insights into intensive agriculture’s interplay with biodiversity development. To what extent can Costa Rican nature teach us valuable lessons about creating a healthy system, with both healthy people and healthy products? I am thoroughly excited to find out.”