"Everyone is looking forward to meeting again"

Olav Toornend, President IVO (Photo: Nimco)

 Olav Toornend has been president of the International Association of Orthopaedic Footwear Technicians (IVO) since October 2021. We asked him about his expectations regarding the IVO Congress in Cologne on October 14-15, 2022.

Dear Mr. Toornend, with which expectations do you look forward to the IVO Congress in Cologne?
I cannot predict what the pandemic situation will be in the fall. But I am very confident that we will all meet in Cologne. The travel restrictions have largely been lifted. All our members and friends can travel again, whether from Canada, Australia or Japan. And people are also willing to travel again. They have a great need to inform themselves and to meet their colleagues. This is shown by events such as the FFPO meeting in France last year. There, it was noticeable how important personal contact is to people from our profession and how great the need was to exchange ideas. I also hear this from other IVO member countries. Everyone is looking forward to be able to meet again. I therefore think that the congress in October will be a great success.

What would you like to see as an outcome of the IVO Congress?
I think it is important for IVO to get even more members from other countries. We know that most countries do not have the tradition and recognition of the profession that we have in Europe. They all have their own requirements on how to develop. We want to find solutions together, being open to different approaches. Our common ground is the care of lower extremity problems, especially foot and ankle. This can be done with insoles, special ready-made shoes, orthoses or custom-made orthopedic shoes. The focus always depends on conditions in the respective country. As an international association, we also want to provide assistance with training. To discuss all these points in a personal exchange, the fair and the congress are the ideal place. That's why I'm looking forward to meeting as many people as possible from different nations in Cologne, so that we can continue to develop our community.

(This ist an excerpt from an interview with Olav Toornend. You can read the complete interview in the upcoming issue of foot&shoe in March 2022).