If there was one thing you could do to change the world – and you knew you couldn’t fail, what would it be? A good friend once asked me this. Now it’s a question I ask myself almost every day.
This time last year we proposed the Inspiring Stories project to the Vodafone NZ Foundation: imagine if we connected up young filmmakers around New Zealand with young Kiwis making a difference. Imagine if we gave those young filmmakers hands on training and support, and connected them up with creative industry mentors. Imagine the stories they could tell. Imagine the people and projects we could discover.
Vodafone gave us the green light, and from March to July we did just that. We ran storytelling & filmmaking workshops in almost every region of New Zealand. Collectively, they brought together more than 150 young filmmakers and kick-started over 100 short film projects. Many of those young filmmakers submitted them to the world’s first Inspiring Stories Film Competition. But this was just the beginning.
How do we create a framework that truly supports the next generation to explore the big issues of our time? What do those 21st century challenges look like in our local communities? And what would it take for emerging creative industry to partner with community and entrepreneurship to tackle these issues? And how do we make it fun?!
We came up with the idea of Festival for the Future: a national event for emerging creatives, entrepreneurs and young Kiwis making a difference in their community.
We dreamed up an exciting program of speakers, workshops, film screenings, entertainment and strategy sessions to kick-start new projects for a better world. It grew. And grew. And 10-weeks later it happened. The event sold-out, and 120 people came from all around New Zealand to take part. The experience was amazing – life changing for some.
Imagine a generation of New Zealanders stepping up to tackle the big issues of our time – to create more vibrant, sustainable places to live, work and play. If I could do one thing to change the world, it’d be to create experiences for people to discover their potential to change the world, and then support them to make it happen.
In a short space of time we connected with over 50 organizations who contributed in all kinds of ways to make this first-time event possible. The website had hits from 49 countries. A team of volunteers devoted their time to ensure the event ran pretty much flawlessly. All of this started with an idea. A tiny team organized the entire Festival from the Enspiral office in Wellington.
From Laura, Guy and Tania – the tiny organizing team, thank you. None of this would have been possible without the support of so many people. It wouldn’t have been half the event if we hadn’t worked with Jamie on the website, had Alanna support our team of volunteers, nor cranked HQ from the most amazing shared office space I’ve ever had the pleasure of working in.
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