Inspirators & facilitators
Kristina Háfoss, Minister of Finance. In 2002 Kristina Háfoss was elected to parliament for the Independence (republican) Party. Kristina has held seat in parliament from 2002 to 2004, and again from 2011 to 2015. In 2008 she served as Minister of Education, Research and Culture. In 2015 she was appointed Minister of Finance.
Her civil career has mainly been in banking and insurance. Starting out in the Faroese central bank as an economist, later in Bank Nordik, before becoming director of development, IT and marketing at Tryggingarfelagið Føroyar (insurance company). Kristina has also been chair for the Faroese union for economists and lawyers. She has served on Independence Party’s steering committee for several years.
In addition, she has served as a board member of various Faroese companies. Kristina is 42 years of age, and married with four children.
Deputy Prime Minister, Minister of Fisheries and Leader of Tjóðveldi (the Faroese Republican Party). Høgni Hoydal was born in born in 1966 and lives in the village of Hoyvík outside Tórshavn. He is married to Hildur Hermansen and together they have three children.
Høgni Hoydal has worked as a public school teacher, as a deckhand on fishing vessels and as a worker in fish factories in the Faroe Islands.
He is educated in both the Faroe Islands and in Denmark, with a Master’s degree in History and Communications Science from the University of Roskilde, Denmark in 1994. From 1995 to 1998 he worked as a journalist at the National Faroese Television.
Høgni Hoydal was first elected to the Faroese Parliament in 1998. He has been leader of the Republican Party of the Faroe Islands since 2000.
Former cabinet positions in the Faroese Government include: Deputy Prime Minister from 1998-2003 and in 2008; Minister with special responsibility for the Faroese independence process 1998-2003; Minister of Judicial Affairs and Nordic Cooperation 1998-2003; Minister of Culture and Education 2000 and 2002; Minister of Foreign affairs and Nordic Cooperation 2008.
Høgni Hoydal was elected as one of the two Faroese Members of the Danish Parliament from 2001-2011and was re-elected in 2015. He has been a Member of the Nordic Council from 2011 to 2015 and a member of the Presidium of the Nordic Council from 2012 to 2015.
Høgni Hoydal is also the author of two books on Faroese political affairs and history.
Dr. Chris Horbel is Associate Professor for Marketing at the Department of Sociology, Environmental and Business Economics at the University of Southern Denmark, Campus Esbjerg. Her research interests include destination marketing, place branding, sustainable tourism, Arctic tourism as well as P2P accommodation sharing in tourism. She is further interested in the various stakeholder roles in tourism and their collaboration as part of destination marketing and creating tourist experiences.
She completed her PhD research at the Department of Marketing and Service at the University of Bayreuth, Germany, where she specialized in tourist engagement through word-o-mouth communication about tourism destinations. She further holds a PostDoc degree (Habilitation) from the University of Bayreuth, Germany, where she also worked as PostDoc and Assistant Professor after finishing her PhD. Recently, she has become a co-founding member of a Research Network on Sustainable Arctic (Marine) Tourism Development, including researchers from Denmark, Norway, Sweden, Iceland, Canada, the US and UK.
Beyond her research interests in tourism, she conducts research in sport and event marketing with similar focus areas such as event marketing, sponsorships and branding, visitor experience, sustainable events, and stakeholder collaboration.
Jón Tyril is a serial entrepreneur. His career started with the formation of the band Clickhaze. He then moved on to become the driving force behing musical performance cooperative Tónleikasamtakið Grót, world famous music festival G! Festival, micro-concert festival HOYMA, and HOYMAbit.
Tyril was the main driver behind the G! Festival between 2002-2014, and his main focus is now on developing HOYMA og HOYMAbit.
Dr. Bricker is a Professor of Sustainable Tourism at the University of Utah in Parks, Recreation, and Tourism. She completed her Ph.D. research with the Pennsylvania State University, where she specialized in sustainable tourism and natural resource management. She has special research and teaching interest in ecotourism, sense of place, natural resource management, and the environmental and social impacts of tourism. Kelly has conducted research on heritage tourism, social impacts of tourism, and natural resource-related tourism environments. She has presented papers on issues in ecotourism, sense of place, natural resource management, and incentive travel programs. She has published articles on sense of place, ecotourism certification and policy, and health and sustainable tourism relative to communities. With Rosemary Black and Stuart Cottrell, she authored and edited a book titled Sustainable Tourism & the Millennium Development Goals: Effecting Positive Change. With her husband Nathan, she developed an ecotourism operation called Rivers Fiji. She currently serves as the Vice Chair for the Global Sustainable Tourism Council.
Heðin is the Mayor of the Town council in Sunda Muncipality. He has been in politics since 1993. Heðin was a member of the Parliament for the People’s Party from 2002-2008 and was Minister of Internal Affairs in 2007-2008.
Heðin is member of the Committee of NORA (North Atlantic Cooperation).
Heðin lives in Streymnes with his wife. They have two children.
Annika Olsen has been the Mayor of Tórshavn since January 1st 2017. She turned her attention to politics at an early age and was elected in the City Council in Tórshavn for the People’s Party at the age of 28. Since first elected she has been Minister of the Interior and Minister of Social Affairs in the Faroe Islands. Annika Olsen was a Member of Parliament before becoming Mayor of Tórshavn. Between 2011 and 2015 she was the Deputy Prime Minister of the Faroe Islands. Annika Olsen holds a Master’s degree in Danish and Religion from the University of Southern Denmark and she has taken an academic seminar in Faroese literature and language at the University of the Faroe Islands. She has also been a university teacher as well as teaching at upper secondary schools. Annika Olsen lives in Tórshavn with her husband and their two sons.
Pól was born in 1957 and grew up at Nýggjavegur in the town of Klaksvík, Faroe Islands. As a youngster, Pól was already showing his skills in many different sports. Pól played football at top level for many years in his local club, KÍ. He also played with the Faroese national football team. In addition to football, Pól was an elite table tennis and badminton player in his younger years. His interest for extreme sport started relatively late in life. As with so many other people, Pól started to practice running for the marathon, which he very soon completed. Following, he and his Wife, Bjørg, established Hiking.fo, a company that takes you around the amazing mountains and nature of the Faroes. Bjørg and Pól work full time with tourism.
Guðrið Højgaard is the Director of Visit Faroe Islands, the official tourist board of the Faroe Islands. With an MBA in International Marketing and Communication from Copenhagen Business School, Guðrið Højgaard has vast experience in the tourism industry, having worked as marketing director for Visit Stockholm and marketing manager for Visit Denmark in Sweden.
In 2012 she moved back to her native islands after 20 years abroad and took up the position of Director of Visit Faroe Islands where her main task is, quite simply, to put the Faroe Islands on the world map as a must-see tourist destination. In recognition of her achievements so far in leading her small team to develop a successful new marketing strategy for Faroese tourism, Guðrið Højgaard received the 2016 Public Leader of the Year award. Also Visit Faroe Islands won the Faroese Prize Initiative of the Year (Ársins Átak) 2016 and several international marketing awards like Golden Lions in Cannes, Clio Awards, Epica Awards and World Media Awards.
From 2018 Guðrið will also be director for the internal tourism development on the islands.
Dr. Auður H Ingólfsdóttir is a researcher at the Icelandic Tourism Research Centre (ITRC). Her research interests are in the field of sustainable tourism and include topics such as climate change and tourism, nature based tourism and CSR within the tourist sector.
She holds a BA degree in international studies from University of Washington (Seattle), a post graduate diploma in professional journalism from University of Iceland, a Master degree in international relations from the Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy, Tufts University (Boston) and a joint PhD degree in international relations and gender studies from University of Lapland and University of Iceland. Before her position at the ITRC she was an Assistant Professor at Bifröst University, Iceland for 8 years (2010-2017), where she also served as the Head of the Social Science Department for two years (2011-2013). Courses she taught included: Sustainable Development and CSR, International Politics, Arctic Politics and Conflict and Peace Studies.
Stefán Gíslason is the founder and owner of Environice, an environmental consultancy located in Borgarnes on the west coast of Iceland. He is a biologist with an MSc-degree in Environmental Management and Policy from Lund University, Sweden. Stefán has a long and extensive experience from various projects for the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM), both as an expert on sustainability and as a coordinator of various working groups and programs related to sustainable tourism, the Nordic Swan, waste management etc. He was the project manager for the NCM-project Sustainability Certification of Tourist Destinations, concluded in 2012, where the main focus was on a potential Nordic scheme for this kind of certification. In Iceland he has mainly been working for the public sector, both on the local and national level, including the development of The Icelandic Tourist Board’s Environmental Grading System Vakinn, the latest national waste management plan for Iceland and The Icelandic Parliament’s report on green economy. During the period 2013-2017 he chaired a governmental steering group for The Master Plan for Nature Protection and Energy Utilization. Stefán has worked actively on increasing public awareness for sustainability, such as by writing weekly articles for The Icelandic National Broadcasting Service (RÚV).
She has contributed to the report on Responsible and Sustainable Tourism in the Faroes, published May 2017, by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and Trade as a member of the working group on behalf of the Faroese Environment Agency.
Maria is a member of the Faroese Ramsar Committees for Mykines, Nólsoy and Skúvoy and holds a central role in the governmental administration of the Faroese Ramsar.
Furthermore, Maria is a member of the Nordic Council of Ministers Working Group for Sustainable Production and Consumption, HKP, and of its Sub-Group for Small Societies “Småsamfundsgruppen” that addresses environmental challenges that especially relate to small societies.
Also, Maria will give an introduction to a project that investigates the relevance of a certification system within outdoor tourism in small Nordic countries.
Ketill Berg Magnússon is the Managing director of Festa – Icelandic Center for CSR. He is an adjunct at Reykjavík University School of Business, where he teaches Business Ethics and CSR. He is the Chairman of Almannaheill – Icelandic Association for Non-profit organizations. He is MA in Philosophy from Canada – specialized in Business Ethics and MBA from Spain.
Olga has a master's Degree in Social Science and Communication from Roskilde University Center 1991 - 1997.
From 2000-2009 she worked as teacher at the Technical School in Klaksvik and from 2001 to present, been the coordinator for the Outer Islands Association. In addition to that she directed several projects related to rural development, and has been publisher and author of the outer islands magazine Glóðin. From 2002 to 2018, she was employed at the The Research Center for Social and Rural Development. Since 2008 to present, she has been the project leader for the Économusée of Northern Europe and Craft Reach, and participated in several tourism related projects. She has since 1 January 2018 been employed as lecturer at the University of Faroe Islands.
Karl is the founder of BALDER and drives the vision for the company, he personally oversees product development and (many) other aspects of the business. Prior to founding BALDER, Karl worked as a Communications Director for the largest design award in the world, INDEX: Design to Improve Life and as an advisor at the Confederation of Danish Industry. As a student he worked as a tour guide to countries such as Mongolia, China, Mexico, USA and France. He holds a M.Sc. in political science from the University of Copenhagen and a Certificat d'Etudes Politiques from Sciences Po in Bordeaux.
Lisbeth Nebelong is writer of the Danish travel book 'Turen går til Færøerne' (The trip goes to the Faroe Islands), and her next edition will be published in March 2019.
She has a BA degree in Journalism from Danish School of Media and Journalism and a Master degree in Public Management from University of Southern Denmark.
Lisbeth Nebelong lived three years in Tórshavn as a child and young adult and frequently visits the Faroe Islands. Besides the travel book, marketed at Danish and Norwegian tourists, she is also the author of three novels, taking place in the Faroes, 'Færø Blues Trilogien' (The Faroe Blues Trilogy).
Birita Johansen holds a MA degree from Copenhagen Business School in international business communication with a special focus on French and European Studies and is currently finishing a Graduate Certificate in Business Administration at Aarhus University.
Birita works at the House of Industry in the Faroe Islands, where she is advisor for the tourism industry organization as well as the organization for trade. She also administers and coordinates the activities of the secretariat for the North Atlantic Tourism Association (NATA). Her first acquaintance with the tourism sector was working as a young student at the local tourism information center in Tórshavn.
Sølvi Simonarson holds the position as Director of Tourism for West Region - Vágar and Mykines in the Faroe Islands. With a Bachelor in Political Science and International Relations from University of the Faroe Islands and University of Iceland, Sølvi Simonarson has 20 years of work experience in all levels in the tourism industry, as well as an adviser and coordinator with the House of Innovation and Entrepreneurship. Sølvi has a vast international network and good relations in and with the tourism industry on the Faroe Islands as well as abroad.
Since 2015 Sølvi Simonarson has been director at Visit Vágar and in 2017 Sølvi received the FMA - Faroese Music Award for Initiative of the Year for the venue Listastovan, which has the aim to create and promote a music and art scene and to rise the cultural awareness in the west region of the Faroe Islands.
Ingibjørg Berg has a postgraduate degree in political science from 1993, and has previously worked as a civil servant in the Faroese oil administration, as an adviser at the prime minister’s office, as administrative director for the Faroese University and as director of the Organization of Municipalities. In the preceding 10 years before she decided to become self-employed she worked as Director of Social- and Cultural Affairs and Chief Executive at City Council of Tórshavn. In addition to this she has taught at the fisheries school, business school and the University of the Faroe Islands, participated in research projects and in publishing books related to democracy in the Nordic Countries and municipal politics in the Faroe Islands. She has been a member of several public committees and councils. Since 2016 she has worked in her business firm Metis on both the public and private sector projects, relating mainly to strategy, synergy, development of organizations, recruiting and leadership advice. Recetly she became partner in the business partnership commIT. The main areas of competence are within the tourism industry, leadership and strategy/organizational development.
Óluva Zachariasen is journalist at Kringvarp Føroya, the national broadcasting company of the Faroe Islands. In addition to being a journalist, she has a BA degree in Political Science from the University of Copenhagen.
She is often chairman of debates and conferences. She is also a regular guide in the Faroese mountains for both Faroese and foreign travelers.
Tordis is the director of VisitSandoy, an area consisting of the Faroese islands Sandoy, Skúvoy and St. Dímun. Tordis has a BA degree in International Business Communication and Spanish. She also holds a MA in Tourism from Aalborg University. Before returning to work with Faroese tourism, after 13 years abroad, Tordis was a regional development consultant for Region Zealand in Denmark. One of the focal points for Tordis in regards to tourism development, is how to develop tourism in a sustainable way, so tourism becomes a long-term industry in the Faroe Islands.
Nax is a Faroese company that arranges measures and succes thrills for companies, foundations and groups in the tourist industry. On the whole are we out in our beautiful and unspoiled nature. We compose schedules according to your proposals no matter whether you want experiences on the ground, at sea or in the air – or perhaps a bit of everything. In the Faroe Islands there are good chances to compare a teambuilding walk far away from normal everyday life. Like that will your appreciation become stronger, and the objective stucks in your mind. Our way of organizing arrangements is so popular that we are now booked abroad too. In Iceland we have started some different measures.
We operate countrywide and co-operate with local suppliers in order to create an experience as real as possible of the Faroese society. We want to support other suppliers. No matter what we do and where we are it is very important that not any negative influence threatens the nature. Do we doubt, for example of the wildlife or plants we certainly search for specialized knowledge – or we keep out. We have a clear safety plan that always is in focus. Our staff is trained for what they do. Therefore we are able to do what we do! We only use sub-suppliers with the authorization needed. When we arrange initiatives in nature we first expertise, local as special knowledge.
Elsa Poulsen is the Director of Tourism for the North region of the Faroe Islands, representing the islands Fugloy, Svínoy, Viðoy, Borðoy, Kunoy and Kalsoy. The main focus for the North region is on developing sustainable tourism, in close collaboration with the locals, the municipalities and Visit Faroe Islands.
She has a Bachelors degree in Marketing Management and a Masters degree in International Marketing Management from the Robert Gordon University, Aberdeen. She has 8 years of work experience in marketing, of which the past 5 years have been in the Tourism Industry.
She is a member of the committees Felagið Føroysk Marknaðarfólk, Klaksvíkar Handilsfelag and Spinnaríðið, a local museum in collaboration with Économusée, of which she will also be the operation manager, from august 2018.
Icelandic Mountain Guides is Iceland’s premier adventure tour operator. For over 20 years we have been offering adventures in the wilderness of Iceland and Greenland. The company was established in 1994 by four pioneering mountaineers and outdoor enthusiasts whose aim was to introduce the wonders of Icelandic nature to travelers from all over the world. We started by offering Glacier Walks in Skaftafell and later in Sólheimajökull. Hiking, backpacking, expeditions and other adventures in Iceland and Greenland soon followed. Today, we offer adventure tours ranging from short day tours to multi-day expeditions in the great outdoors in summer and winter. Whether you to explore glaciers, cross impressive highlands, trek in extraordinary rhyolite massifs or hike in fascinating valleys, our aim is to Make Every Moment an Experience.
Aimé has been the Mayor of Sørvágs Municipality, which also includes the smaller villages Mykines, Gásadalur and Bøur, since January 1, 2017.
Before entering politics she worked as a primary and lower secondary school teacher for many years. She holds a MA degree in Educational Psycology from Aarhus University.
Aimé lives in Sørvági with her husband and they have three grown-up children.
Heri á Rógvi is the cofounder of Lóður, an agency providing economic, statistical and analytical consulting for both public and private clients. Heri graduated cand.oceon from Aarhus University in 2009. Heri has vast experience with empirical work in many subjects.
In 2012, Heri published the Exit Føroyar. The book prompted much political debate on the subject of the demographic challenges facing the Faroes in the early 10s.