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Lou Chaussebourg

PhD Student — Doctorante

Prof. Kevin Maréchal (ULiège) & Prof. Marjolein Visser (ULB), Belgium.

Tel: +33 (0) 6 48 11 91 20


Profile & curriculum

Bsc in Sociology (France, Ireland) - (2014-2017)

Msc in Agroecology ULB, ULiège (2017-2019)

PhD student (2021-present)

Research interests

  • Agroecological innovations and the evolution of alternative agricultural production systems

  • Transformative power of collective organization in agroecological transition, narratives in alternative food supply chains

  • Socio-technical and agroecological innovations and the evolution of alternative agricultural production systems, short food supply chains

  • Transformative relationship between humans and nonhumans beings

  • Participatory action research


Research project

PhD student in the project « ÉPICÈNE » : VIABILITE DU PAIN EN CIRCUITS-COURTS (2021 – 2024) : An analysis of the organizational and socio-technical mechanisms structuring local bread chains looking for better quality and viability in Wallonia. (PDR-FNRS)

Épicène is a transdiciplinary project that adopts an holistic approach through different lenses such as agronomy and sociology but also in dynamic collaboration with the field actors. This agroecological stance aims to better understand the complexity of the different realities intertwined in such a composite food chain.

Nowadays, a diversity of initiatives along the bread chain have emerged in Wallonia, with consumers showcasing a growing interest. These local projects offer an alternative to the prevailing industrial bread chain decried for its miasmas, from the pollution produced by the monocultures to the toxic additives used in the bread manufactures. The prevailing part of cereals needed in the daily human consumption and the highly cultural importance of bread makes the reinvention of grain-to-bread chain crucial and fully in line with a dynamic of transition towards more sustainable food systems.

Épicène research aims to facilitate the implementation of local grain-to-bread food chains and to consolidate the viability of existing chains. In order to better understand the challenges of structuring such chains, this research focuses on the study of the organisational and socio-technical mechanisms set up by the actors in these sectors. Épicène thus aims to examine the existing bottlenecks and the levers to be used to promote this viability.

The project is both practical and theoretical in orientation. Practical considerations revolve around actors and how they experiment with various ways of organizing on the field. In conjunction, the PhD thesis will also allow a theoretical point of view to add the knowledge of alternative bread-to-grain chains, especially in Wallonia. In my thesis, I will particularly focus on the way actors come together, how they organise collectively and how they hold together through shared values and narratives. I will explore how aiding an alternative way of producing food against the conventional system also promote an alternative way of being to the world, leading to the reinvention of ways to relate to other beings, in a neoteric cosmology. In other words, I will study how these people build up a food systems transition towards sustainability, through agroecological and artisanal practices supported by a greater sensitivity to nonhuman beings. I will study the transformative potential of these alternative grain-to-bread chains, from individual to collective scales leading towards a paradigm shift at the societal scale.

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