What do you like most about the L&D field? I love being creative and looking for new ways to help a colleague learn or to understand their role more. Learning and Development allows us to look at the bigger picture and think about ways to engage people with learning. What do you like most about the L&D field? The community, so many fab people walking their talk, and lifting each other up, in the genuine spirit to use our craft to make things better. What made you decide to stand for the eLN board? Help more with point 1. And pay it forward. I got so much help and support when I started, and I still do. Everyone deserves that. I also love connecting people and ideas, so supporting a network is something I love doing. What would your dream job be? Having a well-balanced diverse portfolio of things to do with more opportunity to write, be creative and to travel. If you could change 1 thing about the world of L&D, what would it be? Play outside the fence a bit more. Spend less time with ourselves and more time with others, to get inspired and to shuttle ideas back and forth. What book are you reading right now? Or what podcast are you listening to? For fun to resuscitate my French: The biography of Marguerite Duras (in French). I always want to find out how people became who they are, so there are always biographies on my reading pile. More work-related: Interviewing for Solutions about solution-focused working. Currently finishing up an academic paper with a solution-focused angle so going back over the basics again. Which is an approach I recommend. Like a spiral. You keep coming back to the same place but at a higher level (at least that’s what I am telling myself). If you could give yourself advice when you were first starting out, what would it be? Find an employer that genuinely supports your journey and that helps you grow. I had to spend most of my holidays and thousands of my own money to attend training courses the first years in LnD, and I got berated instead of supported. That is a very painful way to start with a long recovery time, and it is very lonely. Back then I didn’t know how well lots of companies encourage and support their staff, particularly in the UK. That is worth gold and makes everything else so much easier. And a supportive network helps, too. What has been your proudest moment? Career: Seeing something I wrote published. It’s not new (I used to be a journalist), but I admit I still get all the feels. Every time. Personal: As a teenager I kept joking I wanted to be the old lady with the coolest stories. So while there might not always be proud moments, the rough patches make stories indeed… If you could go back in time, what year would you travel to? And why. 1600~ish London, to have a beer with Shakespeare and talk about life, the human soul and writing. Then see one of his plays and then go for more beers with him and the crew and make up more English words. If you were a super-hero, what powers would you have? Pattern recognition. Connecting ALL THE DOTS. If you could share a meal with any 4 individuals, living or dead, who would they be? Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Hildegard von Bingen, King David and my grandfather. 1 – Mozart because genius and music, party and weird toilet humor (read the letters to his cousin). I’d love to see his mind at work. 2 – Hildegard von Bingen as an example of female leadership and curiosity and healing and intellectualism and music when women barely had any chances at all in any of these in ~1100 and she did it all. 3 – King David from the bible. I want to see how much is true that is written. And hear him sing and write. Meet the human behind the towering legend. 4 – My grandfather when he was younger. He was born in 1896 (not a typo) and lived well into his 90s, but by the time I was old enough to have conversations about history, politics, life etc, his mind was no longer able to. Would love a second chance. Also he loved music and literature but lived in the total countryside so he’d love a chance for a dinner with Wolferl, Hildegard and David and then hear them attempt a jam session over post-dinner-drinks (grandfather had a distillery so he would have sorted out the drinks). What’s the most daring thing you’ve ever done? Tell somebody I fell in love with them. What’s the most unusual thing you’ve ever eaten? Some sort of sea snake, in a soup. A bit chewy. The spices helped… Would you rather win the lottery or work at the perfect job? And why? Win the lottery (assuming it’s a big enough win). I would still continue to work, but I’d love to have more safety, stability and comfort. While money can’t buy you happiness it does go a way to stabilize the basics and help you stay in good health for a longer happier life. That frees up a lot of energy. Aside from necessities, what one thing could you not go a day without? Reading. I once had a paper cut in my eye (would not recommend… it is as painful as it sounds) and was in the dark for a week with patched-up eyes. I missed reading so much (and no, audio books are not a replacement for me). That was the only time since age ~4 when I didn’t read.