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About us


Systems approach to sustainability research

We are an independent international knowledge institute to advance truly sustainable agriculture, nutrition and health, and consider nature as the source of knowledge about life. With practice-oriented research and advice we have contributed to the healthy humans, animals, plants and soils and their interrelationships, for more than 35 years. Our observations, analyses and actions are based on the idea that processes and entities can only be understood in the context of interrelationships. This systems approach means that, rather than fixing seemingly isolated problems with partial solutions, we look at research questions in their proper context. This enables us to find comprehensive solutions that work in practice.

Firmly rooted in practice

Our principal clients include the Dutch ministry of Economic Affairs, the European Commission, the Netherlands Organisation for Health Research and Development, provincial governments, water boards, nature conservation organisations, foundations, knowledge centres for e.g. Integrative Medicine and businesses, such as Heineken. They value our comprehensive vision of sustainable agriculture, nutrition and health, and our ability to come up with system-level solutions.


The Louis Bolk Institute stands for:

  • Pioneering research: We do inventive, innovative and sometimes ground-breaking research.
  • Evidence based results: We use scientific methods and deliver tangible results.
  • Coherent methodology: We follow a systems approach.
  • Applicable knowledge and solutions: We offer practical solutions that can be directly implemented by our target groups

Our company profile

We are a mid-sized organisation for research and advice, founded in 1976 and based in Driebergen, the Netherlands. We work closely with the African partner organisation Agro Eco-Louis Bolk Institute in Accra (Ghana). Our systems approach, respect for the integrity of life, and participatory methodology are central pillars of our work.

Louis Bolk (1866-1930) was a Professor of Human Anatomy at the University of Amsterdam. "How much broader would be our view of life, if we could study it through reducing glasses?"