Jesse Blom is a passionate and highly skilled urban agriculture advocate and practitioner and more recently, freshwater specialist. He is currently holds the position of Program Manager at the Johns Hopkins Center for a Livable Future in Baltimore, MD, USA. He is developing an educational program on food systems, using an urban agriculture / aquaponics greenhouse called the Food System Lab. He recently completed a Masters degree in Freshwater Sciences at the University of Wisconsin – Milwaukee and a 2-year contract expanding aquaponics projects with Milwaukee Public Schools. During this period Jesse undertook an internship with the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme (2015-2016) focusing on increasing local participation in Milwaukee’s effort to become a “Water Centric City”, which is the basis of the city’s participation in the programme as an Innovating City. Jesse helped to coordinate a multi-sectoral group, including representatives from academia (UWM Center for Water Policy), the private sector (The Water Council), and local government (City of Milwaukee) towards this effort.
The main question that drove Jesse’s internship was: How can voluntary international initiatives, such as the UN Global Compact – Cities Programme, in connection with local voluntary initiatives, contribute to sustainable local development, such as Milwaukee’s establishment as a “Water Centric City”?
Jesse received a Bachelor’s degree in Cultural Anthropology from Dartmouth College in 2006. He has eight years of work experience in the fields of cultural and environmental education, urban agriculture and community development. He is the Milwaukee Director of the Sweet Water Foundation and President of the Milwaukee Food Council.
Jesse’s internship was supervised by Elizabeth Ryan from the Cities Programme and Jenny Kehl from the UWM Center for Water Policy.