Areas of expertise:
Aki is an organizational and business consultant with a focus on team performance, project management, training, development, and coaching. Within Except, Aki applies his international experience working with limited resources and cross cultural contexts to the business development of sustainable innovations.
Aki combines his practical experience in Except's co-operative teams to realize resilient, self-sufficient, and flourishing organizations and island communities. Aki has an academic background in business economics and psychology, and has since collected experience working in a wide variety of countries and professional settings. His workfield includes start-ups, (e-)business development and organizational consultancy in the financial, energy, agri- & horticulture, tourism, hospitality, professionals services, and educational sector.
In Rakvere, Estonia, we developed the masterplan for the 671 Ha self-reliant Arkna Eco-Park. The park is built on a historical site tracing back to 1527, and becomes a primary tourist destination in the country, including a Polydome sustainable agriculture system.
We worked with Arkna Eco-Park to build a complete masterplan template for years to come, including its marketing strategy, identity, logos and brochures, closed loop metabolism, food system, event program, and design guidelines.
In cooperation with the Dutch Foreign Office we organized the trade mission to Detroit of May 2015 for over 25 organizations. The program established new permanent business partnerships of Dutch agri- and horticulture, and innovation companies with their American business, governmental and community development counterparts. Detroit, a former powerhouse of the automotive industry, has suffered from deindustrialization, a decline in population, an increase in crime, and general decay. Yet, Detroit is a city full of resources and opportunities.
The event launched Detroit Urban Regen which aims to revitalize the city using smart agricultural solutions and creating a new biobased industry. 22 written pledges of commitment where secured, adding to the existing 15 international partners for Detroit Urban Regen.
On 17th April 2015, IUCN organized the Leaders for Nature forum in Eindhoven. Except supported IUCN in a year long trajectory to prepare and guide the Forum in a new format. This included concept development, stakeholder involvement and preparation of the challenges.
The preparations resulted in 10 challenges brought in by the network of Leaders for Nature. Over 150 participants from business, NGOs and government joined the forum. Guided by Except, teams worked on the most pressing natural capital challenges.
Will Estonia be the first proud owner of a Polydome sustainable agriculture system in the world? During the second half of 2015 we researched the feasibility of a Polydome in the Arkna Eco Park. Our study and supporting business plan were funded by Horizon 2020.
Polydome is a revolutionary approach to greenhouse agriculture that offers the possibility of commercial scale, net-zero-impact food production. The Polydome system strategically interweaves a wide variety of crops and animals, taking advantage of every inch of the greenhouse while eliminating the need for synthetic fertilizers and pesticides.
With its high yields (60 – 90 kg per square meter), and diverse outputs (over 50 crops, two mushroom varieties, chickens, eggs, fish, and honey), even a small Polydome system can provide a richly varied food supply for a large population.
Download the full Polydome book for free below.
Self-driving vehicles will change the urban environment drastically. The Self-driving City Research uncovers insights into the major changes, and how to adopt to them. Who will use self driving vehicles, what are their effects on the urban fabric, business, and on us all, the people? We show patterns and lessons learnt as well as five local in-depth case studies. All freely available below. The project is funded by The Dutch Creative Industry Fund, supported with knowledge from local governments, universities and industries.
Together with partners Groningen province, the municipality of De Marne, Staatsbosbeheer and Seal Center Pieterburen, Except developed the concept for the World Heritage Center for the Wadden Sea in Lauwersoog. The concept has the ambition to bring 250.000 new visitors to the region, that will experience and become aware of the intrinsic value of the Wadden Sea and the Lauwersmeer. The center boosts the local economy by generating more visitors and income for the region. It is an international example of sustainability, and its achievements add to its global fame.