Lodewijk Hoekstra

Nationality:   Dutch   Living in:   Naarden, The Netherlands   Programmes:   ILP-2002, ALP-2003

Nationality: Dutch
Living in: Naarden, The Netherlands
Programmes: ILP-2002, ALP-2003

My name is Lodewijk Hoekstra. I live in Naarden together with my wife Kristel, son Mels (3) and daughter Diese (4). I am a TV gardener and presenter in the well-known Dutch TV show "Eigen Huis en Tuin" (Own House and Garden) which draws about a million viewers each week.

When I was a bit younger I was seeking my identity and did not know very well what I wanted in life. For this reason, my parents suggested for me to go to a WYSE programme. I attended the International Leadership Programme (ILP) in Havelte, the Netherlands in 2002. Having gotten the taste of it, I participated in the Advanced Leadership Programme in Lucca, Italy in 2003. I have experienced the programmes as being very special and intense -- they have benefitted me very much. "What makes your heart sing", that's what's it all about!

What makes my heart sing is to be able to connect people with nature in a responsible and sustainable manner.

I always used to work as a gardener. A few years after the ILP, I reacted on the off-chance to an advertisement for a TV gardener for "Eigen Huis en Tuin". They invited me over for an interview, and the rest is history. 

Through WYSE I have realised that everything starts with children. I have initiated Green-Kids, which is a TV show that aims to make children aware of nature. Sometimes we have as many as 30,000 kids watching each day; how great is that?

Aside from Green-Kids I have set up a gardening label which aims to encourage producers in the gardening branch to make their products more sustainable - you could say I am a man with a mission :-).

I hope WYSE will continue to make people aware of their purpose, thereby creating leaders no matter the discipline! In any case, for me the programmes were a life changing event.

John Cummings