In his current role, Ivar counsels clients on strategic thinking and the development of brand and business through creative communications, working with companies across a broad range of sectors, including B2B and B2C.
A problem well defined is a problem half solved.
How long have you worked at Weber Shandwick?
I started at Weber Shandwick about 6 years ago. Before joining the agency I founded and managed a digital communications agency in Gothenburg.
What’s the coolest (or weirdest) place a project has taken you?
I’ve been to the world’s largest cleaning trade show, Interclean in Amsterdam. Over the cause of three days, several airport hangars are filled with the latest cleaning tech and 30,000 cleaning professionals. It’s by far the weirdest place the job has ever taken me. I’ve also played soccer on the Swedish National Arena in Stockholm, before it opened to the public. Even though I’m not a huge soccer fan, that was kind of cool.
If you weren’t working in this industry, what would you want to do?
If I wasn’t in this industry I would most likely work as a psychologist. I’m fascinated by people, how the mind works and the social stigma still associated with mental illness. Working as a planner is probably as close as you’ll get to psychology, without going back to school. That’s why I love it.
What’s your favorite metaphor or phrase to use at work or in a pitch?
“It starts with what they care about, not what we as a brand care about.” Or another great one is "creativity is our best weapon to change people’s minds, and ultimately their behavior.”
What’s something surprising people might not know about you?
My girlfriend is originally from China so I’m trying to learn Mandarin Chinese (strong emphasis on trying.) I recently got a Chinese name based on phonetic similarities to my original name, Su Yi Wang.
Tacos or Pizza?
Coffee or Tea?
Paperbook or eBook?
What’s your favorite restaurant in Stockholm?
I’m really into food so this is a hard one, but I have to say it’s a place called Lilla Ego. They’ve run the joint for about 7 years now and it still takes about 3 months to get a table. Quite impressive in a city known for it’s ever-improving food scene. The food is spectacular with great attention to taste and texture, the vibe is familiar and relaxed and they offer the best value for money in all of Stockholm.
(If you’re 2-3 people, go for the open seats by the kitchen. If you don’t mind waiting 30-40 minutes you’ll get a seat every time.)
What’s your favorite way to unwind in your free time?
I spend a lot of time in the kitchen. Cooking is meditative to me, and it also keeps my girlfriend happy.
In addition, I try to go running at least three times a week. For me, it’s the most effective stress release, it keeps me sane when things get hectic.
Where would you love to travel in the world to gain inspiration?
I’ve lived in Asia before, and it always pulls me back. However, last year I was in Rwanda and Uganda and I’ve been head over heels about Eastern Africa since that trip. I would love to explore more of Africa and hear great things about Namibia, Botswana, Zimbabwe and Zambia.
What’s the best piece of career advice you’ve ever gotten?
Focus on doing the things you like to do and do them well. People will notice, and you’ll get to do more of the things you love. Simple, but it works.
In five words or less, how would you describe your Weber Shandwick colleagues?
Smart, curious and kind.