Co-founder – CEO
Guus Paardekooper had as a child already a broad interest in subjects like gardening, farming, socio-economic issues, and ‘getting to know the world’. Back then, he dreamt about working abroad in remote settings. Later on, he realized this dream: he did his practical period, and MSc thesis in Andhra Pradesh, India.
Guus graduated in the early nineties at Wageningen University in biotechnology, agronomics, and agricultural business economics. Later on, he moved to Honduras where he lived for 4 years. During this period, he worked with farmer cooperatives on sustainable, and organic agriculture. At the same time, he traveled extensively in Central and South America. Back in The Netherlands he practised organic farming himself, worked at the Dutch Ministry of Agriculture, and then joined a large NGO in The Netherlands, where he worked on developing sustainable approaches worldwide.
He started working on programmes in Latin America. The he moved to management, by leading a team of sustainable economic development specialists working in Asia, and later in Africa. After doing some interim management during the set-up of a global programme on climate change, Guus became the managing director of a NGO working on integrated water management worldwide. Till early 2019, he was the managing director of an international network organisation working on health, nutrition, sustainable production and climate change. Guus is co-founder of SkillEd, specialized in developing and scaling sustainable, social approaches and networks, business development, MSME and agricultural value chain development, local food systems, blended learning journeys, and organizational development in international settings.
He is still a ‘nature adept’ and likes doing sports, socializing, dancing, gardening, reading, and travelling.