Lea Bjørgul was elected in august 2015, and here is an interview with our
What are you most proud of in YATA Norway after you became president?
First of all I am proud of the fact that YATA consists of so many knowledgeable young adults who are very committed to our work. For instance, when YATA Oslo recently elected a new board several board members chose to continue. This speaks of an organization where people want show up over time to help building our organization.
Earlier this year we also established a new chapter in Norway, YATA Tromsø. I am happy to see that they have passed the establishment face and are already arranging popular and also very time-demanding events like Model Artic Council.
What ambitions do you have for YATA in the upcoming months?
I am of course looking to continue the good work that the previous board did, but I will also focus a lot of my time on creating a closer relationship between all the local chapters. We are spread geographically so by next year I hope to arrange a conference gathering all the different boards so we can learn from each other’s strengths. Our local chapters define YATA Norway, and I think they can learn a lot from each other’s great work. Bergen is a massive student city, as well as Trondheim. Oslo consists of a great variety of students and young professionals, and has gained a lot of useful experience when it comes to event planning due to the high number of events they arranged during last year. Tromsø is a chapter that really stands out because of its location in the north, and even though it is still a small chapter I think it has great potential.
What can YATA offer young and hopeful adults?
Because we are the only youth organization in Norway working specifically on foreign policy, security and defense politics, I think one of the most important things YATA Norway can offer to young adults with an interest in these topics is a platform where younger people can increase their level of knowledge through meaningful debate. Furthermore we can offer the public debate a young perspective on these topics creating a bridge between the military and civil society. In addition, YATA creates opportunities for members with different perspectives to meet in both formal and informal events to discuss foreign policy related topics.
Some of YATAs members and members of our national board have published articles and other texts throughout this winter and spring. What do you think of the diversity of opinions in YATA Norway today?
I think we have a great diversity. Even though we are politically neutral we have members who are also active in different political parties. Furthermore, we have members of all different ages, ranging from 19 to 30, with different backgrounds from both military and civil education, even though the majority is educated within political science.