On the 5th of May 2018, we held our first Social Innovation Conference. This conference was a one-day event uniting all, to start a discussion on how to tackle today's most pressing challenges in creative and innovative ways. Our aim was to bring our attendees knowledge, inspiration, and skills to take action and build change.
At 9:30, all the conference participants moved into OGGB4 for a truly inspiring Keynote speech by Daniel Flynn, co-founder and managing director of Thankyou. He held everyone's undivided attention as he told the influential story of his social innovation that started as just a small group of university students with a passion. Despite his success, he always kept himself grounded with his humble purpose to help end global poverty. Daniel taught us many lessons and left us with many simple yet profound quotes to drive us through the day - an especially popular one was “What got us here won’t get us there”.
We moved into group discussions on inequality issues on a range of topics including socioeconomic status, gender, public health, accessibility, youth justice and ethnicity. Inequality has continued to grow and the goal of social
innovation is to ensure no one is left behind while society progresses forward. There are different organisations who work to tackle these inequality issues. We invited them to share their stories, and our attendees had the opportunity to discuss their thoughts and brainstorm on innovative ideas together.
We enjoyed a delicious and wholesome morning tea kindly provided by our sponsors; Ooooby, Bread & Butter, Forty Thieves, Green Time and Ecoware. After prying the attendees from the delicious food on offer and their passionate conversations between each other, we split into two different sessions.
A social enterprise is a business that exists with a social purpose. Our hackathon was where participants formed teams based on interests, design solutions together for the problems given. We gave our teams tools to collaborate and develop a social enterprise that tackles numerous social issues we provided. Our teams then worked through the stages of identifying key problems and brainstorming ideas, to presenting their solution at the end. This was an opportunity to learn how to tackle social issues and to gain knowledge of social enterprise.
PUBLIC POLICY PANEL
How do different government policies affect the development of our society? What role does the public sector play in social innovation and how can we achieve the best outcome for our people? This panel invited representatives from the government as well as different agencies who work with the public sector. They shared their thoughts on our policy settings and discussed how to best encourage and support innovative social change together.
LUNCH & SHOWCASE
There are many different ways to empower social innovation and create social impact. A wide range of businesses, organisations and individuals showcased their work during lunchtime. We saw their stalls set up across the foyer to showcase their unique and socially innovative products and services. Lunch was provided by Almighty and Zambrero.
JOURNEY OF A SOCIAL INNOVATOR
Being a changemaker does not require you to be equipped with all the skills possible or to be a revolutionary. The important thing is to utilise your existing resources or knowledge, and start taking action. To help our attendees get started, some social innovators shared their journey - where they started, what they have learned along the way, the difficulties they have faced and how they adapted to translate their ideas into actual social impact.
TECHNOLOGY AND INNOVATION
There has been a phenomenal surge of interest in social innovation as a way to tackle social and environmental challenges and achieve economic growth. New Zealand is getting recognition for its creativity and ingenuity in this area, and we heard from these leading projects which are transforming our society using innovative technology.
MISSION VERSUS PROFITS
We invited businesses from the private sector - both from industries as well as corporates, to discuss the social responsibilities that the private sector has. What are, and what should be the role that they play in the development of our society? How do they choose between generating profits and executing their social responsibility?
PITCHING AND DISCUSSION
This was a place for people to share their ideas/ventures for any feedback, recruit team members, seek advice or collaboration where the audience helped to make these ideas happen. After presentations from our invited dreamers, the floor was opened to all participants to share ideas. There was then a short
discussion session at the end for attendees to build further connections to support each other.
A very special thank you to our speakers, facilitators and panellists. Your diverse and inter-disciplinary experience motivated all of us to follow in your steps and create change.
Thank you to our sponsors for making it all possible Ooooby, Almighty, Zambrero, FRANK Stationery, Forty Thieves, UoA Fair Trade Club, Ecoware Food Packaging, Green Time, The Collective and Bread & Butter Bakery and Cafe. Make sure to check them all out, they all do some awesome work.
And finally to all the people behind the scene working to bring this to you; our photographers Simon, Martin, Ji Ji, Jessy and Angela. And of course our conference team Laith, Sasha, Jisoo, Ojas and the incomparable Hannah and Lei.
Thank you all for coming - we hope you enjoyed the event and we’ll see you at our other events this year!