Festival for the Future 2019

Be part of New Zealand's most inspiring event.

Festival for the Future is an action-packed weekend of inspiring speakers, future-focused panels, workshops and a marketplace for great ideas. People come from every region nationwide, and increasingly the Asia–Pacific region.

Where did the Festival come from?

The Festival is a New Zealand innovation that started way back in 2011, and has grown every year since. More than 5,000 people have now attended. The Festival is run by Inspiring Stories, and was founded by Guy Ryan, who went on to be awarded Young New Zealander of the Year in 2015.

Who's behind it?

Festival for the Future is run by Inspiring Stories, the Kiwi charity backing young New Zealanders to change the world.

Inspiring Stories has built an impressive track record of programmes and partnerships, that have now supported thousands young New Zealanders to build their entrepreneurship and leadership capability, and their ideas to make a difference. Learn about Inspiring Stories >>

Get Tickets. Join the future!

There’s a handful of tickets available at the SUPER Early Bird rate, which are on sale now til the end of March, or until sold out. Get in quick!

Bigger ticket deals, marketplace or sponsorship?

Whether it’s a prestigious development opportunity for your staff, or increasing the visibility of your organisation – there’s some great ways to get involved in the Festival. Contact our sales team to learn more.

Contact – JJ@inspiringstories.org.nz // 021 222 7810


The Rise of Social Enterprise in New Zealand

Purpose, inspiration, sustainability, passion… this is what social enterprise thrives on.

The social enterprise concept is not like hoverboards, which are here today, gone tomorrow. Social enterprise has proven to implement so much good into our community that it is only going to continue to grow.

Defining Social Enterprise 

Since the beginning of the 1990s the social economy has gradually come to be recognised as the ‘third sector’ outside of the private and public. Made up of cooperatives, charities, and associations, the social sector has continued to grow through this century. As technology and social needs have diversified, so too has the social economy, breeding subsets like social enterprise. Though the social economy is relatively well understood, its offspring - social enterprise - is less so.

Social enterprise is an up and coming industry and is rapidly becoming more popular. Broadly defined, social enterprise is a commercial operation with a social purpose, formulating strategies and applying tactics with the underlying intention of making improvements to human and environmental well being.

Social Enterprise in Aotearoa

The Misprint Co. is an example of a social enterprise that has been making a substantial impact since 2014. They take hardly used paper from around Wellington’s CBD offices and repurpose it into multi-purpose notebooks. One full Misprint box saves 55% of a 10-15 year old tree.

“Sustainability is the core of what we are trying to achieve. We are using the humble notebook to encourage people and businesses to look at their sustainable practices and see what more they can do. It takes 10 litres of water to make an A4 sheet of paper, and to date we have offset 176,620 litres of water from the paper production process. We’ve also re-purposed over 2 trees worth of paper and… we’re only just getting started”, say the ladies of Misprint Co.

Sir Ray Avery has also been busy implementing his ideas into a social enterprise with the hope of improving access to quality healthcare on a global scale. He is the founder and CEO of Medicine Mondiale and is a key speaker at the Social Enterprise World Forum in September. Among the technology created by Medicine Mondiale, there’s LifePod, an infant incubator which is designed to be indestructible, purifies its own air and water, costs a fraction of a traditional $35,000 incubator and will run continuously for 10 years without the need for replacement parts or maintenance by trained technicians.

Social Enterprise Aligns with kaupapa Māori

While social enterprise is a relatively new term, it's existed for hundreds of years within Māori culture. The Māori word, kaitiakitanga means guardianship and protection where people have deep connection and relationship to the land and sea. People are becoming keen to learn more and to start their own 'modern' ventures and the reason for the rapid growth is because of our genuine care for people and the place we live. Māori businesses and Iwi incorporations are often structured on this principal. Where every commercial goal is driven by a social agenda.

Government Support

New Zealand is a progressive nation where we have the freedom to think through new and ingenious ways to solve problems. We seek out opportunities to use our creativity for good. As people in the community are starting to become more educated on social enterprise, the government is following suit.

A working group has been assembled to build the government’s knowledge of the sector, promote its growth and encourage the growth of social finance. Minister Alfred Ngaro, Minister for the Community and Voluntary sector, describes the group as a big focus for his work. He plans to meet with social entrepreneurs around the country, raise awareness of the sector and ask other government departments ‘to look for ways they can join up to make it easier for social enterprises.’

"We’re really lucky that New Zealand is full of smart and caring people who want to use their business acumen to do good,’ notes the Minister. ‘I’m hugely supportive of this."


Social Enterprise World Forum 2017

The largest social enterprise conference in the world is being held this year in Christchurch. Shining a light on innovative recovery initiatives after the devastating Canterbury earthquake in 2011, the city has seen a large number of social enterprises emerge and is quickly becoming a hub for entrepreneurial ventures.

This conference, hosted by social enterprise intermediary The Ākina Foundation, will provide New Zealand with the opportunity to showcase our national social enterprise sector to a global audience. A key goal of the conference is to strengthen the sector and cement the story of what it means to be a social enterprise in New Zealand.

“New Zealand has made significant progress in the last couple of years; however, our sector remains young, fragmented and underserved – we still have a way to go in terms of optimising the social and economic benefits on offer. The momentum amongst Kiwi social entrepreneurs and enterprising communities, plus their knowledge and effectiveness, will grow through this conference”, says Chief Executive of Ākina, Alex Hannant.

If you’re interested in immersing yourself in the world of social enterprise, register for Social Enterprise World Forum 2017 to join the movement and create change in your community.

This post originally appeared in the New Zealand Story website and is republished here with permission.


SEWF in New Zealand: Creating Our Tomorrow

Christchurch in New Zealand was hit by a series of cripping earthquakes in 2011. Today, the city is reconstructing itself, taking into account how to best serve its citizens, not only architecturally, but also environmentally, economically and socially.

Derived from this, the theme of the Social Enterprise World Forum 2017, which will be held in September in Christchurch, is “Ka koroki te manu” in Maori, or “Creating our tomorrow”.

The forum will bring together hundreds of delegates from all over the world to explore common themes that affect social enterprises, wherever they are based and whatever stage of development they are at.

Bringing the forum to Christchurch is going to be catalytic

In New Zealand, social enterprises are growing. Alex Hannant of the Ākina Foundation, which is managing this year's event, says: “Bringing the forum to Christchurch is going to be catalytic...Not only can we have the conversations we need to have as a country, but we can connect those conversations to the best policies and practices in the world – It's going to be awesome!”

Pioneers Post is media partner to this year’s Social Enterprise World Forum. Over the coming months we will bring you a range of features and interviews exploring some of the themes that will be explored at the event and highlighting the unique perspectives of social enterprise leaders in New Zealand.

The SEWF project director, Helene Malandain, says: “At the Ākina Foundation, we're thrilled to partner with Pioneers Post on this year’s Social Enterprise World Forum. The Forum is a great opportunity to accelerate the growth of the sector here in New Zealand, but also most importantly to continue growing the global movement and raising awareness of social enterprise as a vehicle and a solution to create a better, more sustainable and more equal tomorrow.”

She added: “The Pioneers Post team is already deeply engaged in these conversations and it will be wonderful to work with them, benefit from their expertise and their networks, to deliver a Forum that will have long lasting impact.”

This post originally appeared in Pioneer Post and is republished here with permission. Find out more about the Social Enterprise World Forum here. Note that the early bird booking discount ends on 17 April.