About us


Learn about dialogue peace sustainability through the Ignitor Fellowship

The Ignitor Fellowship wants to secure qualified candidates for our leadership programme for master’s students worldwide. We believe that dialogue and engagement are key to creating skillful leaders. The goal of this programme is to empower young, visionary changemakers to use dialogue to effectively and proactively prevent conflicts, solve problems and ultimately build a better world. The Ignitor Fellowship believes that dialogue makes us better together.

(write about the story, vision and mission of the project)

Steps of an ignitor student

Meet our team

There are many different elements to creating a platform and a community, and each member of the Ignitor team is a vital part in creating the Ignitor Platform for you. The Ignitor team consists of professionals and university students who are all working to create the best possible experience for Ignitor students. The journey to becoming an Ignitor Fellow is filled with learning and evolving, and we are excited for you to get to know all of the people working with the platform and the programme better.   

Petter Sørum
Lead programme manager

Petter is the head of the Igntior Fellowship working with both the development of the platform and the programme.

The Ignitor platform

The Ignitor platform functions as an interactive application process for the Ignitor Fellowship. Through this platform we want to create a global network of changemakers and provide you with the tools to become better dialogue practitioners. Meet the team who built it! 

Racha Hanine

Racha Yacef Hanine
Platform manager

Racha is in charge of the Ignitor platform. She leads the work on content production and the overall development of the platform. 

Stine Førland

Stine Førland
Content producer

Stine is working to ensure that the Ignitor community is healthy and happy as well as producing content for that community.  

Finn Lippestad

Finn Lippestad
Technical assistant

Finn is developing the technical functions on the Ignitor platform. 

Gustav Marøy

Gustav Marøy
Partner contact

Gustav ensures that the Ignitor Fellowship has strong partnerships with universities and enterprises, while also creating content for the platform. 

Solvår Wium

Solvår Wium
Content producer

Solvår is producing content on the platform and is responsible for the Library the Ignitor platform offers.

Robyn Hardy

Robyn E. Hardy
Copy editor

Robyn is the copy editor of the Ignitor platform. As a native English speaker, she quality checks all content that is published across the platform.

The Ignitor Fellowship

Each year 30 students from universities globally are admitted to the Ignitor Fellowship. They get to deepen their understanding of dialogue, peace and sustainability through our 18-month leadership programme put together by dialogue experts and our advisory board. The programme kicks off with a bonfire week in Oslo. You can read more about the programme itself here.

Meet the people responsible below! We are proud of our advisory board consisting of professionals from various fields with different perspectives on dialogue. 

Peter Nixon
Fellowship curriculum lead

Programme curriculum development lead and chair of the Advisory Committee for the Ignitor Fellowship Programme.  Peter specializes in dialogue, negotiation, and the leadership of change and has trained and advised leaders from over 600 of the world’s leading organisations in 60 countries around the world.  He is a professor of dialogue and negotiation at the Asian Institute of Technology and founding course director for the Financial Controllership Programme at the Hong Kong Institute of CPAs.  Peter is an FCPA and spent his early career auditing MNC’s with PwC in Montreal, Geneva, and Hong Kong.  He is the author of five books including Negotiation: Mastering Business in Asia, Dialogue Gap, and The Business Developer’s Playbook.

Chro Borhan
Bonfire curriculum lead

Chro Borhan manages the programme for the bonfire week of the Ignitor Fellowship. She holds an MA in Administration and Organization Theory from the University of Bergen. She has previously worked with unaccompanied underage asylum seekers, the Norwegian Social Welfare, human rights projects in the Middle East, and as minority advisor at the Directorate of Integration and Diversity in Norway. Chro is a qualified conflict mediator with the Norwegian Mediation Service, team leader in Help increase the Peace Program (HIPP) and Alternatives to Violence (AVP), and works with dialogue facilitation. She is also the author of Those who listen, change the world  written for the Nobel Peace Center.

Rev Dr Canon Trond Bakkevig
Advisory board member

Retired pastor and Dean of the Lutheran Church of Norway.  He is an associate senior researcher at the Peace Research Institute of Oslo and has served as general secretary of the Church of Norway Council on Foreign Relations, personal advisor to the Norwegian Minister of Foreign Affairs, and member of the World Council of Churches’ Central Committee.  He has facilitated dialogue between Christian, Muslim, and Jewish religious leaders in Israel and the Palestinian Territories.  His doctoral thesis was on theology and nuclear arms.  His writing includes the struggle against apartheid, political ethics, the relationship between church, religion, and society, the role of religious dialogue and cooperation between religions in relation to peace negotiations and peace processes.

Dr Ada Elisabeth Nissen
Advisory board member

Ada Nissen is a Norwegian historian with expertise in diplomatic history and Nordic foreign policy. Her research focuses among other things on identifying and understanding key pathways involved in peacemaking. Ada’s PhD analyses Norway’s role as international mediator, facilitator, and peace builder in Guatemala, the Middle East, Sudan, and Sri Lanka. She currently works at the University of Oslo as a post-doctoral researcher ahead of becoming associate professor at the same university.

Dr Ide Katrine Birkeland
Advisory board member

Academic Program Director of Educational Leadership and Associate Professor in Communication and Leadership at BI Norwegian Business School. Her PhD is in Organizational Psychology and Leadership, and she specializes in challenging conversations and genuine inquiry. Most of Ide’s teaching and research revolves around how leaders can engage in conversations that maximize knowledge sharing, minimize misunderstandings, and elicit bilateral trust. Furthermore, she employs psychology and neuroscience to understand the challenges of vulnerability in leadership. Ide serves as an advisor to The Norwegian Directorate for Education and Training and The Danish Agency for Public Finance and Management.

Dr Mona Fixdal
Advisory board member

Senior Associate Director, Princeton University.  Mona provides leadership and strategic direction for Princeton’s online and blended learning program at the McGraw Center for Teaching and Learning.  

Mona was a Fulbright Fellow at Yale University and has a PhD in Political Science from the University of Oslo. She authored Just Peace: How Wars Should End, edited Ways Out of War: Peacemakers in the Middle East and Balkans and has written a number of chapters and articles on postwar justice and third-party mediation. 

Knut Vollebaek
Advisory board member

Retired Norwegian diplomat and politician.  He is currently Chairperson of the UN Advisory Board on Human Security and member of the International Commission on Missing Persons Board of Commissioners.  He is former High Commissioner on National Minorities for the Organization for Security and Co-operation in Europe (OSCE).  He has also been Ambassador to the United States, Ambassador to Costa Rica, Foreign Minister of Norway, and Chairman-in-Office of the OSCE, Assistant Secretary General at the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Deputy Co-Chairman of the International Conference on the Former Yugoslavia, Primus inter pares of the Panel of Eminent Persons on Strengthening the Effectiveness of the OSCE, Chairman of the Council of the Baltic Sea States, and Chairman of the Barents Euro-Arctic Council.

Student ambassadors

The student ambassadors are a valuable link connecting the Nobel Peace Center and students around the world. Our ambassadors promote the opportunities of the platform to their fellow students at their respective universities and provide the Ignitor project with valuable insight on their feedback.

Natalia Sobrino-Saeb
Leiden University College

Robert Tumasian III
Columbia University


Alexandra Lehman
Brown University

Mohammad Hammami
University of Oslo

Challenge committees

Some of the main events of the Ignitor year are challenges. Touching upon various topics, we challenge our students to reflect and express themselves. In relation to the 2021 Nobel Peace Prize, we arranged an essay challenge encouraging the students to reflect upon the topic of the Prize; freedom of speech. The video shows the challenge winner’s experience.

The challenges are meant to motivate students to immerse themselves in important topics related to the Nobel Peace Prize. Winner’s are offered unique opportunities, such as a covered travel to Oslo for a Nobel event. For each challenge, we partner up with prominent professionals to review the work of the students. This way we ensure that all submissions that the students have worked hard on are reviewed by professionals within their field. We are proud to present our committees below.

  • Rockford University
  • Leiden University
  • University of Oslo
  • King’s College London
  • Asian Institute of Technology
  • Western Oregon University
  • University of Edinburgh
  • Columbia University
  • University of Amsterdam
  • Erasmus University Rotterdam
  • The London School of Economics
  • Trinity College Dublin
  • VU Amsterdam
  • Cape Town University
  • TU Delft
  • The Hague University
  • University of Cambridge
  • OsloMet
  • BI Norwegian Business School
  • National Autonomus University of Mexico
  • Brown University
  • Lindenwood University
  • Boston University
  • University of Kent

You can read about our official university partners here.