Festival for the Future Inspires Students

In July this year, Malindi Reihana-Ruka, one of our student ambassadors from Springbank School, attended an inspiring four-day social innovation summit called the ‘Festival for the Future’ with the Far North Youth Council.


Malindi talks about her highlights from the festival below…

The festival was held in Wellington, and it show cased, “what is possible” – especially with regards to leadership and innovation for impact. The festival was a careful tailored fusion of inspiring speakers, workshops, entertainment, and a marketplace for ideas and opportunities. 

Inspiring Leaders

Thursday evening, we were also fortunate to be able to attend an event that was hosted by the Honourable Grant Robertson at Parliament House.  Where we got to listen to inspiring leaders that have driven for change in their areas, and we moved into the weekend with a buzz of hope and excitement.  We listened to more impactful speeches about climate, gender equality, culture inequality and so much more. We also attended breakout sessions and workshops of our choice that informed us about investing, building a growth mindset, ocean science and Sustainable Development Goals.

Festival Workshops

My favourite workshop was: The UN Decade of Ocean Science for Sustainable Development. I loved this workshop because the approach to the UN Decade of Ocean Science in Aotearoa is centred around indigenous knowledge particularly mātauranga Maori. Which was so awesome to learn more about, whilst exploring themes addressing ocean health decline; youth and climate justice and the impact of climate change on the oceans. This workshop was especially interesting for me considering the lead facilitator Shahin Najak, had very similar experiences and opportunities to me. More on workshops…

Festival Speakers

It’s really hard to just pick one speaker as all the speakers were so inspirational!! However some of my favourites were Taaniko Nordstrom, Mary Moeono-Kolio, Jazz Thornton and Sir Ian Taylor. All these speakers, spoke on topics that they were passionate about but also really resonated with me and my values.

Youth Coucillors

“We also got to meet other youth councillors from all over New Zealand, and it was great chatting about what they are all doing in their regions. Personally, I found the Festival for the Future an amazing experience and one I believe every student should experience, if at all possible.” – Malindi

Education New Zealand

Education New Zealand Manapou ki te Ao partnered with Inspiring Stories and the Festival for the Future 2021 to support future leaders and gain valuable insights on what others had to say about global citizenship. 

ENZ Global Citizens Manager Carla Rey Vasquez says the festival was a great opportunity to advance continued work on Global Citizenship, the third pillar of the International Education Strategy (NZIES).

“We partnered with Inspiring Stories because we firmly believe in the kaupapa of Festival for the Future, we want to show the world that New Zealand is a place where people care, where they take action on the things they care about and where new thinking is encouraged.”

ENZ also supported the Global Impact Award during the event’s awards night. The award was presented to Francesca Goodman-Smith – a young New Zealander taking action to stop food waste globally, and presented by ENZ Chief Executive Grant McPherson.

More on global citizenship at the festival…

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