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Festival for the Future Celebrates Youthled Kiwi Innovation

Festival for the Future Celebrates Youthled Kiwi Innovation and Social Good

“Festival for the Future was honestly the best weekend of my life,” Mark Behkit, 2013 Scholarship recipient

The fourth annual Festival for the Future comes to Auckland for the first time. A vibrant event that celebrates Kiwi innovation, the festival showcases dynamic young people who will share their visions, experiences and initiatives. From ending extreme poverty, families growing their own food, to reimagining Christchurch, #FFTF14 demonstrates what's possible and aims to inspire others to create change in their own communities.

The programme includes talks by 4 Keynotes and 15 Young Innovators, a series of workshops led by organisations such as Curative and Leadership New Zealand, as well as time for networking. This format is geared to support and inspire the next generation to spark and grow ideas for a better world. It brings together 16–30 year olds from business and entrepreneurship, arts and education, to science, technology and community sectors in one highly charged, creative and collaborative space.

This year, 400 festival goers from across the country, will converge on AUT’s Business School’s beautiful Sir Paul Reeves Building in central Auckland for an action packed weekend of new ideas and connections. Previously held in Wellington, 2014 represents a year of evolution and growth for the national event.

Amongst the 400 attendees, there will be 50 rangatahi (young people) from a diverse range of backgrounds who have received scholarship assistance. This year, Inspiring Stories Trust has partnered with the Ākina Foundation to grow the next generation of social entrepreneurs and provide scholarships to those who might otherwise be unable to attend. Naima Ali, a Community Youth Leader for the Refugee Youth Action Network sees the wider benefits of this lifechanging opportunity: ‘I won’t be just representing myself, but my whole community’. Recipients are asked to share their experiences with their networks when they return home. Hundreds of applications were received by passionate young people from around New Zealand. The Festival’s scholarship fund will help 50 of these young people gain confidence, make connections and learn new skills. Another key benefit is that areas away from the main centres will be represented.

Festival website:

Why is social enterprise important right now?
Social enterprise is a fast rising sector in New Zealand. Young people today are often forging their own paths, attracted to alternative enterprise models which are grounded in social, environmental, economic and cultural outcomes. Government is also interested in developing this sector. Keynote speaker Dr Jan Owen, CEO of the Foundation for Young Australians, will share an Australian perspective and her knowledge about investment in this sector.

What does Festival for the Future have to do with this? Festival for the Future is created and run by Inspiring Stories Trust, a charity operating nationwide with a vision to see every young New Zealander unleash their potential to change the world. The Festival is a critical part of the ecosystem that Inspiring Stories Trust is building to support young New Zealanders.

Who are some of the people involved? Please contact us to arrange any interviews.

Guy Ryan
Twenty eight year old Guy Ryan founded Inspiring Stories Trust when he was just 24 years old. Guy's passion and motivation comes from the simple question: Imagine if every young New Zealander unleashed their potential to change the world? Festival for the Future sits alongside two other dynamic programmes that Guy devised Making a Difference, a filmmaking competition, and Live the Dream, an intensive accelerator programme for the next generation of social entrepreneurs.

Keynote Speakers:

Emeline AfeakiMafile’o
A serial social entrepreneur, Emeline won a prestigious ‘Women of Influence’ Award in 2013 for her initiative and contribution to the Pasifika community. Emeline has developed a string of enterprises that span South Auckland to the Pacific – including Affirming Works, Tupu’anga Coffee, and the Otahuhu Community Café.

Andy Hamilton
As CEO of The Icehouse, Andy Hamilton has led the development of an entrepreneurial ecosystem that has seen many startups grow from idea to proof of concept, to scale. He is also a councillor on the JapanNew Zealand Business Council, and a previous Chair of Incubators New Zealand and Angel Association New Zealand. Both Andy and Emeline are Blake leaders with the Sir Peter Blake Trust.

Young Innovators:

Jade Temepara
Mother of five Jade established ‘Hand Over a Hundy’, a notforprofit organisation that mentors and teaches families to grow and produce their own vegetable gardens with a sponsorship of one hundred dollars. The challenge lies not in learning the art of gardening, but in producing more than they need in order to sell a hundred dollars worth and pass it on to the next family. Jade was a finalist in Yealand’s ‘Raise a glass to success’ campaign, recognising outstanding New Zealanders making a difference in their communities.

Te Rawhitiroa Bosch
Te Rawhitiroa is part of the Enviroschools’ Foundation national team, working as a project manager for Kōtuia!, a nationwide youth development programme. Kōtuia! supports rangatahi Māori around Aotearoa to connect people to people and people to place through performance. Te Rawhitiroa received Vodafone World of Difference (WOD) funding in 2010 which helped launch the pilot year of the programme.

Yoseph Ayele
Originally from Ethopia, Yospeh is the Cocreator of KiwiConnect which builds global bridges to connect worldclass talent, responsible capital, and hightech innovation to the fastgrowing New Zealand startup ecosystem. Yoseph has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Studies from Harvard, was an Independent researcher for the University of Cambridge’s programme for sustainable leadership and a Summer Associate at the Ashoka foundation.


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