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”.

Daniel Flynn

Co-Founder & Managing Director at Thankyou


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.

David Mayeda

Senior Lecturer, University of

Kera Sherwood-O’Regan

Broad Trustee, The Moko Foundation and Community Engagement Advisor at Hapai Te Hauora

Josie Butcher

Member of the Equal
Justice Project | Volunteer at Youthlaw

Ollin  Raynaud

Policitcal Arm Coordinator,
Feminists of Colour

Jason Boberg

Founder and Creative
Director, Activate. Film

Adriana Christie

Co-owner at Pallet
Kingdom | Waitematā Local Board, Auckland Council


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.

Colart Miles

Innovation Coach | Founder of iTribe
Consulting | Co-founder of Velox Innovation |
Global Facilitator for Startup Weekend

Shailan Patel

Education Manager NZ, MYOB

Jane Luo

Risk Assurance Associate at PwC


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.

Tui Williams

Co-founder The Social Experiment, Director of Unity House

Jenessa Jeram

Researcher, The New Zealand Initiative

Jamie Newth

Lecturer, University of Auckland

Shaun Hendy

Director of Te Pūnaha Matatini - the Centre for Complex Systems and Networks


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.

Eco Matters

Changing Minds

Move Space



The Happiness Experiment 


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.

Janette Searle

Founder & Managing Trustee at Take My Hands |
Managing Director at The Playground Creative
Project Management

James Khoo

CEO Niesh

Kitty Lim

Founder, Green Time


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.

Antonia Maan

Cultural Insight, TRA

Stephen Lines

Surface Technical Solutions Specialist at Microsoft

Hanna Eastvold-Edwins

Co-Founder, Popcorn Collective | Former CEO, oDocs Eye Care

Calvin Li

Blockchain Association NZ


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?

Kate Thompson

Community Relations Manager, Auckland Airport

Julia Jackson

Corporate Social Responsibility Lead, Kiwibank

Martin Enright

COO Ngāti Paoa Iwi Trust & Ngāti Paoa Group Investments

Nadya Fauzia

Co-President, Social Innovation New Zealand


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.

Kiran Patel

Founder/Director, Young Innovators Collective


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 OooobyAlmightyZambreroFRANK StationeryForty ThievesUoA Fair Trade ClubEcoware Food PackagingGreen TimeThe 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 LaithSashaJisooOjas 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!


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Inspiring, educating and connecting people with social innovation in order to create positive social impact.

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