Why the Festival?


As the search for meaningful and purpose-driven work increases, technology transforms our lives, and our social and environmental challenges become ever more visible – there has never been a better time to back young New Zealanders to re-imagine, and create the future.

Festival for the Future is about celebrating what’s possible.

The Festival is run by Inspiring Stories, a social enterprise operating nationwide with the vision to see every young New Zealander unleash their potential to change the world. The first Festival ran in 2011 with a 100 attendees, and has grown every year since. The Founder & CEO of Inspiring Stories and the Festival, Guy Ryan, was awarded the Young New Zealander of the Year Award in 2015.

Fast-forward to 2016 – the Festival doubled in size with more than 900 people attending from across the nation, as well as delegates from Australia, India and the US. The buzz was incredible. It’s been called New Zealand’s most inspiring event, and received ‘world class’ reviews by seasoned conference-goers.

The action-packed weekend features a diverse range of inspiring speakers, hands-on workshops, performance, and entertainment. You’ll come away feeling inspired and optimistic about the future, having connected with all kinds of amazing people, and developed your ideas and skills for a better world.

The #FFTF Promo Vids



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Who’s behind the Festival?

The Festival is run by Inspiring Stories, a social enterprise operating nationwide with the vision to see every young New Zealander unleash their potential to change the world.

Since launching in 2011, we’ve helped to increase the capability and confidence of more than 6,000 young New Zealanders to make a difference. We’ve also built an impressive track record and partnerships with leading organisations to help young people stand on the shoulders of giants.

Our core programmes include Festival for the Future; the accelerator programme, Live the Dream; a new programme for young people in provincial New Zealand, Future Leaders; and the Making a Difference film competition. The Trust operates with a team of staff across Auckland and Wellington. In 2015, our CEO and Founder, Guy Ryan, received the Young New Zealander of the Year Award.


Our programmes are listed below.

Live the Dream is New Zealand’s programme to develop young social entrepreneurs. This accelerator programme is for young people who want to create social and/or environmental impact through entrepreneurship. It runs every summer for 9-weeks, connecting you with amazing mentors and workshops who challenge and support you as you develop and prototype your venture. If accepted, you can choose from one of three cities to take part in the programme – Auckland, Wellington or Christchurch.


Making a Difference is New Zealand’s short film competition around the theme ‘young Kiwis making a difference’. Every year we receive entries about all kinds of remarkable youth-led initiatives – from plastic bottle kayak adventures to young people overcoming adversity; running for Council to advocating for gender equality. The major prize – $2,000 and an industry internship at Images & Sound post-production house, goes to the overall winner – the most inspiring story!


Future Leaders is a youth leadership programme designed to build social entrepreneurship and leadership capability amongst young New Zealanders, with a particular focus on supporting young people in rural and provincial areas to empower others in their own backyard. This year Future Leaders will work closely with 17–25 year olds, with diverse groups of 2–4 young people from different communities across the nation – about 18 young people in total, from the Far North, Whangarei, Kawerau, Opotiki, Whakatane, and Palmerston North.


We’re building the Future Fund to provide seed funding and tailored support for New Zealand’s most promising young social entrepreneurs. The goal is to build it to a $10m endowment by 2020. Help us back young New Zealanders by making a donation.



Inspiring Speakers is a boutique speaker bureau that gives you access to New Zealand’s top young talent to inspire your audience – perfect for conferences, events and graduation ceremonies. Our network includes Forbes 30 Under 30, previous Young New Zealander of the Year recipients, entrepreneurs, innovators and emerging leaders. Even better – the booking fee goes to Inspiring Stories to support our programmes.

Learn more >> www.inspiringspeakers.co


Millennials is a specialist recruitment agency that helps purpose-driven businesses discover and place top young professionals in New Zealand. We work with you to understand your business needs, leverage our extensive network of innovators and influencers in our targeted recruitment process, and present you the best candidates for the role. Once successful, 100% of the placement fee goes to Inspiring Stories to support our programmes.

Learn more >> www.millennialtalent.co


Inner Creative is New Zealand’s creative agency working with purpose-driven organisations to help you better engage your target audience and drive business performance. Over the past five years we’ve provided strategy and creative services for a diverse range of clients with contracts ranging from $10,000–$200,000, we’ve just never chased work. Our team of digital natives leverage creativity and entrepreneurship to help you unleash your potential.

Learn more >> www.innercreative.co