What memory do you associate with your favourite ice cream?
A very romantic one. Shortly after I met my present wife, she led me into her favourite ice cream parlour in the Belgian Quarter in Cologne. I tried tartufo there for the first time – an unexpectedly fantastic experience. But perhaps I was also seeing it a bit through rose-coloured glasses. That reminds me: I really need to go for ice cream with my wife again…
What do you like about Duisburg, where you live? Why don’t you live in Düsseldorf? It would be closer to the office…
Proper, saturated cities bore me. For the most part, Düsseldorf is such a city, it’s got something perfumed about it – even if it’s not just all about the Kö, of course. Duisburg, on the other hand, is among the poorest cities in Germany and you still notice the strong industrial character of the city, just as you notice it in the entire Ruhr area. Of course, as a citizen of Duisburg, I sometimes suffer from the inability to take advantage of administrative and political opportunities when they arise. But let’s be honest: anyone can live in Düsseldorf, you really have to want to live in Duisburg. And I want to be there when this city sheds it’s skin once again.
What do you like about your job?
Even if it sounds banal: I like working with people. Although you’re constantly being disappointed, but all in all, that fascinates me. Also, and most of all, because everyone tries to be so rational – and despite this, the emotional plain often decides what we do. I like the social and communicative aspects of my job, and the challenge of working professionally with very different types of people. And I like the variety of issues to which I’m permitted to dedicate myself. Mornings, maybe it’s work safety in the mines, and a bit later on a phone conference about an urgent crisis in the meat industry. All issues demand complete presence. I like the change of perspective and the intellectual challenge of constantly needing to get my head around new subject areas from a professional angle.
I also have just as much fun with successful results as I did on the first day. When something comes into being that didn’t exist until now. Surely I’ve written more than 60 sustainability and environmental reports already, but the feeling of holding one in my hands that’s fresh from the printing house is indescribable.