The new board of ISFiT: – Now we are eight, soon we will be five hundred

The planning of ISFiT21 has already begun. The ISFiT president hopes the volunteers will benefit more than what they contribute.

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It is roughly half a year since ISFiT last took place in Trondheim.. Even though it is well over a year until the next international festival due, the new ISFiT board is well underway with the planning.

Under Dusken has followed a board meeting and gotten the chance to speak to a few of the board members.

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Frøy Elisabeth Hamstad (22) studies literature at NTNU and is also a member of the photography gang at Samfundet. She is the head of communications at ISFiT, and has an ambition of making ISFiT more prominent in the lives of even the students who doesn’t normally follow ISFiT closely:

– I want even those who don’t follow the festival super closely to recognize what we do and who we are. Because I want people to be aware that this is a student run festival, regular students, and be astonished when they see what we all are able to produce!

Hamstad was a part of ISFiT19, this February, and was so pleased that she wanted more, and joined the board for ISFiT21. She wants the festival to be an engaging and delightful experience for all the participants and the volunteers.

– And in the end, I want people, when they are 92 years old and sitting in their nursing homes, to look back on this time with fond memories.

Students are privileged

The ISFiT president, Mathilde Breda Enkerud (23), is very motivated to make ISFiT21 as good as it can be, but also sees many challenges before the festival can take place.

– One challenge is the fact that ISFiT is going to grow from eight to five hundred volunteers, this is a lot of work. However, this is also one of the most exciting parts of ISFiT, seeing people come together creating ISFiT 2021. Another challenge is the host program, year after year we have seen challenges related to it, we have therefore allocated more resources to improve this aspect of the festival.

The theme of ISFiT21 is ‘creating knowledge’. Enkerud chose this theme to shed light on issues regarding challenges and opportunities related to knowledge. She elaborates:

– ISFiT is a student festival creating knowledge by making people from all over the world meet face to face for dialogue. As well we are students, and what do we students do every day? We create knowledge.

Enkerud believes they have to reflect on who they are, both as students and as a festival.

– In the world today, students are a privileged group, however that does not mean that we shouldn’t gather 500 students from all over the world, but we need to reflect and be aware of how this affects the festival, and the knowledge we create.

Quality over quantity

Next, we meet Kjell Petersen Synstad (21) from Kristiansand. He is the head of administration for ISFiT21. His main goal is to be as invisible as possible.

– Since I am the head of administration, I don’t want people to notice me being here. If I have achieved that, then I have done a good job.

Synstad says that he does not think that ISFiT21 will be the largest festival. The previous time ISFiT took place, the student peace prize had its 20 year anniversary which expanded the sheer size of the festival. For the upcoming ISFiT, Synstad wants to focus on other things than the extent of the festival:

– We want to focus on quality over quantity. This means that all of the volunteers shall enjoy themselves. If the work load and stress factor is too great, we will rather skip a project and make sure all the other projects we invest in will be as good as they can be.

The full ISFiT21 board consists of:

Mathilde Breda Enkerud - President

Signe Dahl - Vice President

Frøy Elisabeth Hamstad - Head of communications

Kjell Petersen Synstad - Head of administration

Marcus Henriksbø - Head of organizational resource

Thusan Arul - Head of culture

Astrid Sofie Festøy - Head of participant

Thomas Gjedebo - Leader of the student peace prize