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Five potential ISFiT presidents

On Wednesday the 22nd of March, the new president of ISFiT will be elected. We’ve had a chat with the current pre-registered candidates.

As ISFiT 2017 has become history, it’s once again time to start the process of creating a new and unique festival. As always, this process starts off with electing a new president. Since the president is the one who decides the theme of the festival, this election is also about electing theme for the upcoming festival.

The article is continously updated if new candidates announces their candidacy.

Erik Wangensten Berg

Theme: Sustainable Development

What’s so good about ISFiT?

The people. Locals, volunteers and international students come together and find common ground. Hosts and volunteers are given the opportunity to form lasting bonds with people from all over the world. ISFiT also has a unique potential to make an international impact. And let's not forget it's a festival, everyone loves festivals.

Why would you like to be the next president of ISFiT?

I see it as my responsibility to help create a better future for you and me. The past two years I've been engaged with Kulturutvalget at the Student Society in Trondheim and now I believe I’m ready to take on a bigger challenge as the ISFiT-president. As ISFiT-president I can continue to contribute to Trondheims political and cultural scene.

Why did you chose your theme?

I chose Sustainable Development because I strongly believe sustainability is our generation’s biggest challenge. The world is currently headed in a dangerous direction, our environmental and social model is not up to date. We need to create awareness and fully embrace our global responsibility. We owe it to ourself and our future generations to provide equal, if not better, opportunities. Sustainable development is a broad theme that encompasses climate change, overconsumption, economic growth and so much more. It’s essential to look at the big picture, to make an impactful change.

What do you want to achieve with this theme?

I want to make ISFiT more engaged on the international arena. I want to emphasize that ISFiT is the world’s largest international student festival and we should have influence accordingly. With this influence I want to make the whole spectrum of sustainable development crucial for a business to thrive. I will create dialog and a platform for learning and exchanging ideas. As we live in a global and interconnected society, I want to see real progress towards a sustainable future.

Hanna J. Ervik

Theme: Climate change

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Foto: Odin Kvistad
Hanna J. Ervik
What’s so good about ISFiT?

It’s a really cool and rewarding initiative. For many of the participants it is the first time that they travel outside of their home country, and therefore the first time that they meet people from other countries and continents. This enable people to understand the diversity of perspectives in the world, and it also gives people new perspectives on things.

Why would you like to be next president of ISFiT?

First and foremost it is because I’m highly passionate about my theme. It’s the biggest challenge of our time, and we’re the last generation that can do something about it. In addition to that I’ve also enjoyed being a part of the festival two times. First as peace prize coordinator in 2015, and then as workshop leader in 2017. This have given me good knowledge about the organization, and taught me how it is on the ground. I’ve also talked a lot with different participants about what they like and dislike, which has given me valuable insight.

Why did you chose your theme?

That’s because it’s the defining challenge of our generation. It’s going to influence all the other conditions for battling issues related to creating a more fair world, without hunger and poverty. There’s also a lot of disagreement and potential controversies regarding how to deal with this challenge. Do we need to use GMO products or not? Is it possible to combat global warming with modern capitalism?

What do you want to achieve with this theme?

To start with, I want this theme to be visible in every part of the festival.This is going to be a green festival as far as possible. The second thing I will focus on is practical solutions. What can we do? There are many unused solutions and initiatives out there, so this festival will spread informations about them. It is easy to be pessimistic about the prospects of the future when one consider the potential effects of climate change, therefore it is important to focus on the opportunities we have to solve this.

Abdirahman Hassan

Theme: Poverty

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Foto: Odin Kvistad
Abdirahman Hassan
What’s so good about ISFiT?

What’s so good about ISFiT is that it simply brings the entire world to Trondheim to discuss important societal issues. This is so incredible important considering that many of these participants are so engaged. They bring the tools they get from ISFiT back to their home countries.

Why would you like to be the next president of ISFiT?

I was a volunteer in ISFiT 2017, and had a fairly big role where I got a huge motivation to continue. I felt that I wasn’t done with ISFiT, and therefore I would very much like to become the next president. I’m also a goal-oriented and a very kindhearted person that everybody goes along with. I’ve great ideas, and I’m very politically engaged. I have both the experience and the knowledge that’s needed to be the president of ISFiT 2019.

Why did you chose your theme?

The theme I have chosen is poverty. I believe poverty is a serious global problem that should be taken more serious. Poverty is also a broad theme. It deprives people from access to get basic health care, education, and so on. So poverty is a kind of restriction on people, it’s limiting human opportunities. That’s the reason for why I’ve chosen this theme.

What do you want to achieve with this theme?

The goal with this theme is to gain insight into how poverty can affect people. The world is so complex so it’s not possible to make all poverty vanish, but it’s possible to discuss and start various projects where the purpose is to reduce child mortality, children’s right to education, and so on.

Tyler Stewart

Theme: Migration - The Global Puzzle

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Foto: Odin Kvistad
Tyler Stewart
What’s so good about ISFiT?

It’s the diversity of it! It gives youth from different backgrounds the opportunity to meet on mutual ground to discuss and understand issues that are truly relevant to them. Building a better future is a collaborative process. You can have people sitting around and chatting with friends at school, but to really achieve lasting change on a global scale, ISFiT is the missing piece to that puzzle.

Why would you like to be the next president of ISFiT?

During my entire time in Trondheim I have been engaged in the student community here, either through Samfundet or ISFiT. The opportunity to work with these organizations has allowed me to do so much various work, and to really contribute to the community. For me, ISFiT is the perfect platform to use my values, my international experience and my passion to contribute to the festival and to Trondheim.

Why did you chose your theme?

The topic of migration is critical for youth to discuss now. The public and politicians have painted this black and white picture of migration, but that’s dangerously misleading! Migration occurs for so many different reasons and in numerous ways. You have internal, international, forced, voluntary, legal and illegal migration, and the list goes on. I think the issue of migration really touches upon so many of the challenges we face today and that we will need to tackle in the future.

What do you want to achieve with this theme?

I don't want to decide what the participants should do about migration. There is not one solution,and I don’t want ISFiT to push a single political agenda. But I want the participants to go home with the knowledge and experience to make informed, ethical and sustainable decisions about migration that aren’t clouded by xenophobia or racism. When they make friends from all around the world, I hope they’ll better understand who the “other” is, and bring a humane and sensible voice to the incendiary debate that surrounds migration.

Mathias Kristiansen

Theme: Polarization

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Foto: Odin Kvistad
Mathias Kristiansen
What’s so good about ISFiT?

It’s a lot, but if I’m to boil it down to one word, it would be opportunities. Opportunities to meet loads of different people from the entire world. Opportunities to do so many thing one normally wouldn’t have done. One simply gets the opportunity to do so much insanely cool stuff.

Why would you like to be the next president of ISFiT?

I had such a good experience during the recent festival, and therefore I would like to contribute to the next one. I’m just digging what ISFiT stands for. I would also like to be a part of creating the new ISFiT from scratch. As head of dialogue during ISFiT 2017 I’ve been working on a project from idea to reality, which has given me a lot of experience with this comprehensive process. As president of ISFiT I will also cultivate what ISFiT stands for, which is dialogue.

Why did you chose your theme?

With polarization I’m referring to the social phenomena, not the orientation of waves. What I want us to do in ISFiT is to challenge people’s prejudice, and through that we can hopefully see less polarization and more understanding of how we often have highly generalized ideas about people. As a festival, I believe we’re in a good position to do this.

What do you want to achieve with this theme? I want us to become a challenger. I want us to provide a platform where people can exchange their ideas, and it should be room for a great diversity of ideas. I want debates where people disagree, and the debates to last long enough so that they evolve properly. So I want us to be an arena that engage through opinions. The goal would therefore be to challenge prejudice through dialogue.

Under Dusken is going to cover the presidental election both on Facebook, Instagram, Snapchat (dusken_no) and dusken.no.

Mathias Kristiansen is Under Dusken’s former cultural editor, and Abdirahman Hassan is currently an active news journalist for Under Dusken.