Kaja Juul Skarbø is talking on the phone in the ISFiT office when I arrive. She has been there for a while now, working, even on the days between her university exams. She smiles with her hair up and a casual shirt on. At first glance she looks like any normal person, but this is the President of ISFiT 2013. The girl with brown hair and brown eyes is from Bergen on the west-coast of Norway, and is studying Energy and Environmental Engineering at NTNU.
– What are you looking forward to the most during ISFiT 2013?
– During the festival, I look forward to the opening ceremony and the atmosphere I expect to find there; the feeling of "wow, we are really here". She continues and says that what she is looking forward to the most is seeing ISFiT finally complete, and the final meeting with all the new and old volunteers present, and adds: – For me it is equally important to be involved in making the festival as the festival itself.
An important festival
Kaja believes ISFiT is going to be visible; something the city of Trondheim cannot tune out. – I think and hope that people will see that ISFiT is an ambitious festival, and an important festival, both for participants and for the world. Kaja has been working on the festival since April last year, and has put many hours and thoughts into the process. It was Kaja who formulated the festival theme, and she is the only one who has been making decisions for the festival from the very beginning of ISFiT 2013. –The theme of the festival is something I have contributed with, and that is, in a way, mine. It's incredibly fun to see what has sprung from the subject and that so much diversity can come out of trade. The workshops have exceeded all expectations.
– Why did you run for presidency last year?
– I wanted an everyday-routine that challenged me and gave meaning. At the same time I really wanted the theme of the next ISFiT to be about trade. The theme was ready from the very first day, she says. All that remained was to see if she had the capacity for such a big commitment. – I figured I’ll do school next year, she adds jokingly.
Many great ideas
Kaja talks about the best things of being President with twinkle in her eyes. She claims there is three things that stand out: to meet all the people in the organization and having so many tasks that I get to be everywhere; the Board, and being able to work with them and be with them every day; and the fact that no two days are alike. – There is always a challenge waiting around the next corner, and generally fun challenges. I get to do things I never thought I was able to do, and in all the different parts of ISFiT.
Time is valuable when you are working in a big organization such as ISFiT, and after some small-talk the interview comes to an end. Before we go, Kaja adds that the very best thing about ISFiT and being President is all the great people. –Being President is a very thankful job. There are so many extremely talented and resourceful people and they are coming up with the best ideas. The worst part of the job is to kill ideas just because we cannot do everything.
There can be no doubt about it: Kaja is a girl with many good qualities, and ISFiT 2013 is in capable hands.