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Interview with Professor Jens Weidner

by Carol Stocks and Angelika Petrich-Hornetz

A brief interview on the sweet side of life: Professor Jens Weidner is an educationalist and criminologist. His work with violent offenders and young people involves his specially developed anti-aggression programme for persistent offenders of violent crime. A lecturer and researcher at Hamburg's University of Applied Sciences, Professor Weidner has also written a number of books. His latest, die Peperoni-Strategie, was published in August 2005 and focuses on aggression and self-assertion in the workplace.

Wirtschaftswetter: Professor Weidner, what does the expression 'La Dolce Vita' mean to you?

Jens Weidner: As a professor of criminology who sees his work not as a job but as a vocation, I run a great risk of becoming a workaholic."La Dolce Vita" is my safety net: relaxing, a fire in the hearth, a selection of good wines, getting caught up in the grand emotions of Italian opera – Tosca's tyrannicide, for example (which brings us very nicely back to criminology).

Wirtschaftswetter: What role does happiness play in your life?

Jens Weidner : God blessed me with a zest for life and a happy disposition. I think I was born on the sunny side of life. I find happiness not so much in my work, but in the arms of my wife and the affection I receive from my two children. Happiness doesn't come free, though. You have to work for it, fight for it. Achieving happiness involves a lot of sweat and toil.

Wirtschaftswetter: How you do balance the sweet with the serious in life?

Jens Weidner : It took me years to find the right balance. I was too serious. Only in my forties have I learned to see the lighter side of life. I don't take myself quite so seriously any more. I now enjoy a really good laugh about some of the nonsense I come up with. This attitude helps me switch to the "sweet, soft and lazy" approach that I enjoy so much today.

Wirtschaftswetter: What do you perceive to be the most pressing problem in the world today?

Jens Weidner: Childhood poverty.
Children are our future and poverty destroys the creative, social and entrepreneurial talent that lurks in so many young people. It concerns me that childhood poverty should exist in a rich country like Germany. It's simply shameful.

Wirtschaftswetter: Would you like to pass on your personal tip on getting the most out of life? Say on what to eat or drink, where to go or what to see?

Jens Weidner: My motto is eat, drink and be merry. I love visiting the restaurants near the River Elbe in Hamburg and also in Zurich, my favourite city. And since I wrote my best seller Die Peperoni-Strategie, I've been exploring the world of hot and spicy food. Its fiery and I like that kind of power.
I love the rawness of the North Sea (even after my wonderful honeymoon in the Maldives), its solitude and ruggedness. I also enjoy the diversity of Europe's major cities. I'm a European through and through.

Book - Information: Die Peperoni-Strategie, Jens Weidner, erschien im August 2005 bei Campus

2005-11-13 by Angelika Petrich + Carol Stocks
Text: © Angelika Petrich-Hornetz

Lektorat Carol Stocks

Gesprächspartner: Prof. Dr. Jens Weidner

Banner: © Angelika Petrich-Hornetz
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