“I like to constantly switch from stability to experimenting and back.”

Foto/s: wwwMarcFippel.de

Frank Zimmermann

Why do you work at ifok?

What can we do today to ensure that we live in a world that no longer functions at the expense of future generations?  How can economy, ecology and social justice be reconciled in the process? What does a mobility of the future, that is not only climate-friendly but also convenient and equally accessible to all, look like, and what do we have to do today to achieve it? And how can we do all this together with the people? What must honestly intended citizen participation look like and what contribution can it make to the development of our democracy?

Finding answers to these questions on both a small and a large scale – not in theory, but in practice in appropriate programs and projects – that is ifok’s everyday business. Reason enough to be part of it, right?

Since when have you been working here and where were you previously?

I joined the ifok team at the beginning of 2021. Before that, I worked for the city of Heidelberg for the longest time, sometimes on the topic of child- and youth-friendly urban and traffic planning, sometimes with a focus on what contribution the city can make to global, sustainable development, sometimes on municipal mobility management, and most recently as head of the Citizen Participation Coordination Office. I have also been involved in nationwide networks that want to develop citizen participation as the third pillar of our democracy.

What drives you in your working life?

Maybe it’s the constant change between stability and experimenting. Trying out new things, understanding previously unfamiliar perspectives and taking them on yourself, leaving the comfort zone playfully from time to time. Then giving support and orientation again, understanding structures and helping to build them up, finding common points of view and not losing sight of the big picture.

What three things can’t you do without on vacation?

A look at the little digital helpers, a look outside at beautiful landscapes, and some quiet time to look inward.

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