Aveen is co-founder & director of the Green Living Lab. She is an advocate for more restorative natural spaces in the city for a healthy population. She loves to design interactive experiences in nature for all generations, and creates the GLL’s programmes, including the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge and Paradise Earth, to encourage connection with nature in the city.
"Harmony between human activity and nature is the focus of all Green Living Lab activities, as we explore how our experience of nature can be integrated into urban lives and urban spaces. We feel inspired to be part of the growing international movement to realise healthier cities, where feelings of well-being can be experienced in the spaces people work, learn and play. "
Kristina is a creative copywriter and amateur artist. Inspired by the Green Living Lab and its spirit of positivity and connection, she contributes blog content and leads “Art in Nature” workshops for children by age or at heart.
"Harmony between human activity and the natural world is the focus of all Green Living Lab activities, as we explore how nature and our experience of nature can be integrated into urban lives and urban spaces. We feel inspired to be part of the growing international movement to realise healthier cities, where feelings of wellbeing can be experienced in the spaces people work, learn and play. "
Sameena is a nature educator, artist and permaculture designer with a deep love and reverence for the beauty and intelligence of nature. She creates and leads workshops for the Green Living Lab on diverse themes including nature-based crafts, music, urban gardening, foraging and wild cooking.
"I love being involved in the Green Living Lab, with a vision of co-creating, sharing knowledge, experimenting and exploring how to live in the city in harmony with nature."
Maggie first visited us when she came to study at the Green Living Library, and she then took part in the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge 2017. She now organises diverse events including community crafting afternoons, and she designs and leads sensory nature connection workshops.
“My first experience at the Green Living Lab was at a Study in Nature day – I found that working in the dome went extremely well, it was just so peaceful and welcoming. Coming back for the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge gave me the opportunity to learn so much about sustainable living, social entrepreneurship, and of course the beautiful garden! There are always learning opportunities at the Green Living Lab; I am constantly inspired by the positivity and can-do attitude of the community here. It is so exciting to be involved in organising events at the Green Living Lab, as it is such a unique and special place to introduce people to.”
Gabi loved to study in the dome on Green Living Library days and then ended up organising and planning diverse GLL events. She is a proud graduate of the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge 2018 and now co-ordinates our team of volunteers...
"I actually believe we have to be the change we want to see in the world. Everyday it becomes clearer that we need to reconnect with nature and the Earth and reevaluate our social and cultural practices to preserve our planet - and ourselves! I love to learn from everyone involved in The Green Living Lab, and I volunteer in any way I can to help promote the project and to experience everything the GLL has to offer."
Nina recently graduated from Amsterdam University College in biomedical sciences. Her passion to work in sustainability led her to volunteer with the GLL, where she helps us with everything from concept development for events to co-writing stories about dragonflies and kingfishers! "I joined the Green Living Lab to strengthen my own connection with nature and to help others (re)discover theirs."
This new knowledge encouraged her to move towards her passion to learn with The Green Living Lab how designing healthy urban living systems can bring city residents together and reconnect them with nature for increased well-being.
“I was deeply inspired by The Green Living Lab’s work and mission - finding ways to hold space for nature in the city. Learning about the role of nature in cities is, I believe, one of the most exciting creative challenges for improving urban environments and urban well-being. I am very excited to help The Green Living Lab continue their work to inspire a different approach to urban living, by exploring how we can create healthier and happier cities.”
Gabriela is Czech and has been living in Rotterdam since 2017, where she is a PhD candidate of molecular biology at the Erasmus Medical Centre. She grew up in the east of the Czech Republic, in a small village on the edge of a forest. Regular walks through the forest from an early age created her strong bond with nature. She had been missing connection with nature while living in the city and joined the GLL in her quest to find ways to reconnect and to help others to do the same. "I believe that being surrounded by nature helps people to relax and feel better. It definitely helps me handle the stresses of city living."
Svea grew up in a small town where she spent most afternoons outside, and she feels this has influenced her connection with and deep appreciation of nature. "Today, living in a city where nature is not as present as in my childhood, little green oases like parks help to reduce the stress of daily hassles. I believe that with more than half of the world’s population living in urban settings it is crucial for our mental and physical health to find ways of connecting with nature. We can learn a lot from nature and making people value this more will benefit us and future generations."
Hannah is an integrative urban planner who researches planning solutions for a healthy city. She led Arup’s ‘Cities Alive: Designing for Urban Childhoods’ project, and is an international advisor to the Urban95 initiative which invites designers to reimagine the city from a child’s perspective...
"For me, The Green Living Lab is about connecting with nature, feeling healthier and being part of a community that shares that enjoyment and learning. All of this supports our mental, emotional and physical well-being. Initiatives like The Green Living Lab - which really contribute vitally inclusive, resilient and healthy places to live, work and grow, and don't just talk about it - are so important for our daily urban lives."
Arthur de Smidt
Arthur is a co-founder of the Green Living Lab. He loves to bring people together to "leave a green trace" and his work with the Green Co-creations foundation includes mass tree plantings at festivals, an interactive sunflower maze and experiments in growing quinoa across the city of Amsterdam...
"The Green Living Lab facilitates opportunities for people to learn, work and play in nature, and in the process we hope to inspire people to take more care of our natural world and of each other."
Hanna is a 2018 graduate of our Green Student Bootcamp Challenge programme, and now assists with the programme’s co-ordination. She is a student of Criminology at the VU University Amsterdam, where she specialises in environmental and international crime...
"The Green Living Lab brings people together to learn about healthy and sustainable urban living. I want to help the GLL show others that healthy urban living is not only possible, it is awesome!"
Sheila de Leeuw
Sheila came to the Green Living Lab to take part in the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge in 2017. Since then she has led crafting workshops and organised study days and events including the Green Fashion Fair.
"The first time I got in touch with the Green Living Lab was when I participated in the Green Student Bootcamp Challenge. I enjoyed the programme and the people so much that I decided to become a volunteer! I hope the GLL and all its volunteers will keep on inspiring and bringing people together to create positive change!"
Roos van der Deijl
Roos took part in our first Green Student Bootcamp Challenge in 2016 while she was studying Neuroscience at the VU, and this inspired her to refocus her career. She is now studying a MSc in Future Planet Ecosystem Sciences at the University of Amsterdam and works for Commonland, an organisation focused on building a restoration economy...
"It still warms my heart to think back to the sunny afternoons learning, playing, and connecting in the GLL gardens. It gave me the insight that to actually connect to the big issues like sustainability, diversity, and regeneration, it is essential to get your hands in the soil. Since most people are living in cities where there are less and less opportunities for this, it is of crucial importance to bring back nature to urban spaces, where people can connect and learn together."
Daniel is a PhD researcher at the VU University Amsterdam, investigating innovation and entrepreneurship in outer space. He grew up close to nature in Slovakia where he learned the art of weaving willow and building structures with organic materials.
"I first heard about The Green Living Lab from a professor at the VU University and I was immediately inspired to help as a volunteer. Since the first volunteer workshop in March 2015 The Green Living Lab became an important place for me. There I discovered my passion for creating and maintaining living green structures, as well as the therapeutic benefits of willow weaving and working in nature with our hands."
Lea took part in the first Green Student Bootcamp Challenge in 2016 while studying Psychology at the VU. She became a core member of our team, leading workshops on diverse topics including composting and laughter yoga. Now studying a Masters in Environmental Psychology at the University of Groningen, Lea will co-host this year’s GSBC session in Groningen...