Linda Vermaat: A megaphone for positive change

Jul 11, 2024


In the bustling corridors of activism and social entrepreneurship, few voices resonate as powerfully and passionately as that of Linda, who sees herself as a "megaphone" for positive change. Her journey, characterised by relentless energy, creativity, and a deep-rooted commitment to social and environmental justice, has taken her from grassroots campaigning to the forefront of entrepreneurial innovation.

From a young age, she was drawn to the idea of making the world a better place. During her studies, she immersed herself in projects that aimed to create a greener, more equitable society. This early passion led her to work with Friends of the Earth, a global environmental organisation, where she campaigned vigorously to reform factory farming through a Citizen Initiative. Despite the effort resulting in parliamentary discussion but no immediate change, this experience ignited a fire within Linda to seek more direct and effective methods of creating impact.


Linda’s dual master's degrees in political science and communication science equipped her with the skills to navigate complex social issues and communicate effectively with diverse audiences. However, it was her hands-on experience with NGOs and lobbying that made her realise the limitations of traditional advocacy. The slow pace of political change left Linda disillusioned but also motivated to find more dynamic avenues for effecting change.

A pivotal moment in Linda’s journey came when a friend, inspired by the Slow Food movement (focusing on sustainable food practices, clean and fair food), sought her help to start the Slow Food Youth Movement. This initiative led to the creation of the Slow Food Youth Academy that brought together professionals from various sectors - fishermen, farmers, creatives, government workers, and corporate employees. This diverse group collaborated to explore and promote sustainable food practices, demonstrating the power of collective action.


During this time, Linda became fascinated by the agility and innovation of entrepreneurs. Unlike the slow-moving world of politics and NGOs, entrepreneurs could implement changes swiftly and creatively. This realisation inspired her to co-found "Professional Rebel", a blog that highlighted the work of impact entrepreneurs and organised startup tours to foster innovation and collaboration. This blog and tours evolved into a consultancy, connecting professionals from big organisations to become Rebels themselves, and start innovation from within.

Linda’s journey took another significant turn when she met her husband, a filmmaker, and realised the profound impact visual storytelling could have on people's perceptions and behaviours. Together, they embarked on a project to create a documentary titled "Fix the World and Make Money", showcasing how entrepreneurship can drive global change. This project aims to highlight successful initiatives worldwide, from California to India, and inspire others to take action.


Throughout her career, Linda has demonstrated an uncanny ability to connect with people and build networks that amplify her impact. Her enthusiasm and self-confidence are infectious, driving her to constantly seek new ways to inspire and mobilise others. Whether through keynote speaking, participating in podcasts, or being featured in news articles, she envisions herself as a megaphone - spreading hope, showcasing solutions, and empowering others to join the cause.

Her commitment to various social issues, from environmental sustainability to poverty alleviation, gender equality, and beyond, reflects Linda’s broad and inclusive approach to activism. She believes that true change requires the involvement of all sectors - government, corporations, NGOs, and entrepreneurs - and seeks to bridge these worlds through her work.


Looking ahead, Linda aims to focus on her strengths as a storyteller and connector, leveraging her network and communication skills to drive action and awareness. She envisions herself working with progressive organisations, startups, or even funds dedicated to supporting impactful initiatives. Her ultimate goal is to inspire a million people, help hundreds of entrepreneurs, and contribute to meaningful change on a global scale.

In a world often overshadowed by cynicism and negativity, Linda’s story is a beacon of hope. Her unwavering optimism, coupled with her practical approach to problem-solving, serves as a reminder that change is not only possible but already happening. As she continues to amplify the voices of those making a difference, her vision of being a megaphone for change becomes more than a dream - it becomes a powerful reality, driving us all towards a brighter future.


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