“One thing is for sure: you never get bored at ifok.”
What made you decide to work at ifok?
Because of the people. No doubt about that. Great team, intelligent people with a good sense of humour and no vanity. Our Christmas parties are like a family gathering. I like the fact that every day is new. In the morning, I don’t always know how the day is going to develop. Our projects are very dynamic. New clients call us, or a meeting takes a completely different form than we anticipated. Suddenly everything is turned on its head. That can get on one’s nerves, but I never get bored.
How long have you been part of the ifok team and where were you before?
I’ve been on board since 2013. Before that I worked in politics – as office manager of a member of the Bundestag. That was politically extremely exciting and instructive. At ifok, I can act out completely differently and push my own issues more strongly.
What sets you apart at the office?
I find projects particularly exciting when our participation processes are closely linked to the world of politics. Then you negotiate with mayors, members of parliament and citizens at the same time. That’s challenging, but incredibly instructive and interesting. I often moderate emotionally charged events. I learn a lot about good communication and even more about myself.
What do you do in your spare time that is special?
I’m a passionate skier who sometimes goes from the Ruhr area to the Alps for a weekend. I am also a fan of turtles (in the wild). Unfortunately these two things don’t really go together. I still have to find a solution for that.
In what ways do you act sustainably?
I (almost) never fly. That is a start. Unfortunately, I like skiing. And ski tourism is certainly not particularly sustainable. At the end of the day, I work at ifok: that’s where I’m heading.
What three things can you not do without on your next long train journey?
I love podcasts. There’s almost nothing that doesn’t interest me in some way. And there are podcasts on really every topic. They are perfect for long train rides.
Simon Oerding is currently on parental leave.