A new generation of practitioners are challenging our definitions of experts and expertise and calling for more diverse voices to be heard. Citizen talks to some of the innovators and entrepreneurs who are working across and beyond professional boundaries to improve city life.

Andrew Gregson: Green Lab

Andrew Gregson

Andrew Gregson founded Green Lab in a bid to change the way we consume the Earth’s resources, particularly when it comes to food

What do you do?
I run Green Lab, which changes the way our food systems work by supporting individuals, organisations and communities to design more sustainable solutions to complex food, water and waste challenges. Green Lab is a creative community and affordable workspace with a biolab, organic materials lab, grow lab and makerspace – we sit at the intersection of sustainable design, technology, science and agriculture.

Why do you do it?
We only have a generation, maybe less, to make significant changes to the way we farm our food and reduce waste and to rethink how our planet’s resources are used not just for the next 30 years but for future generations.

What is the ultimate goal?
To make a one per cent impact on the food system. Over 30 years that could be a huge shift. I’d also like to see a Green Lab in every major city, sharing knowledge through a distributed network of passionate change makers.

How did you come to be doing what you’re doing?
I graduated as a designer and then went into the corporate world combined with working for some start-ups, science communication, digital fabrication, media and TV. A love of the natural world, and the likes of Jacques Cousteau, Gerald Durrell and David Attenborough, led me to my work at Green Lab.

What barriers have you had to overcome to get where you are today?
Self-belief. It took me a long time to realise that you really can do anything you like with your life.