The Ferma president and Dutch risk management veteran explains what makes him happy and sad as well as life’s most important lessons

What makes you happy?

Having fun with my three lovely daughters (20, 23 and 24 yrs) and my beautiful wife. I also enjoy working in my garden, mowing the lawn, ice skating with good friends and riding a motorcycle makes me feel good.

What makes you unhappy?

I am a very optimistic and positive person. But if I watch the News or read the papers it is so difficult to find positive news that makes you feel better. The current situation in the Middle East makes me very unhappy. The people there are showing a lot of courage to demand a better life. And I cannot understand why the authorities choose to respond with violence. It makes me realise how lucky and fortunate we are in Europe.

What’s the biggest risk you’ve ever taken?

I thought that would be bungee jumping. My daughters gave me a ticket so I couldn’t refuse but it wasn’t that scary in the end.

In January 2009 one of my daughters challenged me to do the New Year’s Dive on a frozen beach in Scheveningen. All the people standing standing on the beach in winter clothes in temperatures of minus 6 degrees Celsius probably thought we were crazy (and they were right). I have never been in colder water (out of my own free will) in my life before. But it is a great memory.

What is your greatest achievement?

That would be completing the 80km Viking Run race from Uppsala to Stockholm in February 2011. My other greatest achievement is still in the making. And that is to have the best Ferma Risk Management Forum ever, with the biggest number of members showing up.

I hope to get a lot of support for the Ferma Forum in Stockholm. Failing would make me very unhappy. Although some people might think it, Ferma is not just me. There are many people that support what I do, I am just a messenger doing the best that I can in the interest of our members

What is the most important lesson you’ve learned?

Think and try to understand, before you judge other people. I have to be more patient and less dominant in group meetings. That is not easy, because I am a passionate person full of energy.

For the full Headspace interview see the next issue of StrategicRISK.