Will spent the night after our Xmas party sleeping in his campervan in -2° temperatures. He’s our kinda guy…
Name Will Nicholson
Job title Senior Consultant
Lives near London
Qualifications MSc in Green Economy (Bournemouth University), MSc in Industrial Relations (Oxford University), BSc (Hons) in Psychology (University of Newcastle-Upon-Tyne)
Welcome to 3Keel! How has your day been so far?
My day has been great thanks. We’ve got some project work that is just starting as well as a few areas that we are looking at in terms of helping the food industry do more on sustainability. Plus everyone has been really welcoming and investing time to get to know one another, which is such a nice way to start a new role.
What have you started working on?
Right now I’m looking at the market opportunities and barriers for producers of new varieties of legumes. The area we want to research more is around the opportunities and challenges in the school catering environment where healthy, affordable and sustainable diets are so important. There are also some interesting questions about the role of legumes more broadly in terms of the shift to plant-based proteins, so it is a combination of interviewing stakeholders, looking at hard data around market growth, and understanding what pathways might exist for scaling up.
What are you looking forward to most about working for 3Keel?
It feels like such a privilege to have so many colleagues who really know their stuff and are passionate about creating a more sustainable world. If you don’t know the answer to something then you can be pretty sure someone here does, and that’s such a nice thing to have at work. Plus the work culture is really well balanced and people seem to genuinely enjoy each others’ company.
Who or what inspired you to work in sustainability?
I used to be in business in the food industry back when sustainability thinking was not really on the radar at all. I wouldn’t say I had a transformative moment, but I definitely became more aware of the responsibilities that the industry has to current and future generations. So it was back to school to learn about sustainability, hang up my chefs whites and start trying to help food systems be part of that change.
When you’re not working, what do you like to do?
I’ve lived most of my life in hilly or mountainous regions so I’m normally to be found on a mountain bike, in a forest or up a hill somewhere. I’m a keen “campervanner” (if that is the right phrase) and impatiently waiting for electric campervans to become more affordable too!
For those wanting to learn more about sustainability, what key resource (tv, film, book, podcast, etc.) can you recommend?
If you want to get a good grounding in food sustainability issues I’d recommend Table Debates (a collaboration between the University of Oxford, the Swedish University of Agricultural Sciences (SLU) and Wageningen University and Research (WUR)). It has a great section of “Explainers” that go into just enough detail to help get your head round some of the complexities of food systems and sustainability challenges.