Five Questions With – Dr. Kilian Spandler
… who is an International Relations researcher at the School of Global Studies at the University of Gothenburg and the first guest of our ‘Five Questions With’–interview series with IFAIR alumni.
Please describe your activities at IFAIR:
I first got involved in IFAIR as an occasional contributor for the Think Tank blog shortly after it came into being. I was friends with two IFAIR members back then, so I learned quite a lot about the initiative and thought it was a great idea. In 2013, I co-founded the Impact Group EU-ASEAN Perspectives, which brought together students and young professionals from Europe and Southeast Asia to discuss current interregional affairs. Around that time, I also started managing IFAIR’s regional section for South and East Asia. From 2016 to 2019, I was part of the Executive Board, which is in charge of general strategic decisions and important administrative tasks for the organization.
In your opinion, what makes IFAIR special? Please describe in three words:
Youth – Drive – Creativity
What have you taken along from your time with IFAIR?
First, it is amazing what young people can achieve if they put their minds to it. Second, ‘doing’ is sometimes a better way of learning than reading and listening. And finally, running an organization like IFAIR is hard but also extremely exciting and fun.
What was your most rewarding experience with IFAIR?
The delegation visits we organized between 2013 and 2016 for the EU-ASEAN Perspectives program were amazing. Having young people from around a dozen European and Southeast Asian countries come to Brussels to discuss issues they were passionate about with experts, policy-makers and civil society organizations was a unique experience. I am still in touch with many of the people I got to know back then, and I know that many friendships have developed thanks to our project.
What do you wish for IFAIR‘s next 10 years?
It is great to see that IFAIR continues to inspire people. I wish for the new generation to make IFAIR their own so the organization can continue to evolve. The most important thing is to keep it fun. Oh, and may all your funding applications be successful!