“What will you do with the time that is given to you?” // Week#10 AKL Final Showcase

Time has gone by so fast! We have come to the end of the programme; the teams have worked their hearts out, pitched their passions and have gone on their way to create change in New Zealand and beyond. For many this is only the beginning and we recognise the strange transition from working in a collaborative space to working individually is not an easy feat.

For once we were all together for a group photo. Say cheese!

For once we were all together for a group photo. Say cheese!

It’s been a crazy ride filled with smiles, kindness and laughter of those determined enough to take on this journey. We’ve shed both tears of joy and frustration as we struggled with the challenge of wrapping our minds around the amount of content squashed into a tiny ten weeks. We’ve shaken hands with new business contacts across Auckland who’ve gone on to become our ambassadors and champions. We’ve had tea and cake with those who’ve continued to support us through our journey and it’s a privilege to say that they’ll remain life-long friends, mentors and partners.

Ta-da! We present to you the amazing Live the Dream 2014/15 AKL Dream Team! All ramped and ready to deliver their pitches.

Ta-da! We present to you the amazing Live the Dream 2014/15 AKL Dream Team! All ramped and ready to deliver their pitches.

We’ve built a family over the last ten weeks; one of doers, of change makers, of those that really do want to see a difference and those who strive towards that everyday. This isn’t an opportunity that you get everyday. But it sure is one that you should take if you ever get the chance.

On the night of Wednesday 18th February over 150 people took their seats in the beautiful KPMG building right on the Auckland waterfront and nestled in for a night of enlightenment. Enlightenment in the sense that all of the teams spoke with an enthusiasm and a passion that they brought with them the first time they retold their story and their venture. Each participant spoke with the pride and conviction of an idea bigger than just ten weeks in the making. What an incredible night it was, so thank you to our amazing audience members and the team at KPMG because without you the night wouldn’t have been the raving success it was! Once again a huge congratulations to our ventures who took on the challenge and welcomed it with open arms, fears were conquered and nerves put aside, you guys did an awesome job! For more photos visit our Facebook page and to catch all of the live action visit Twitter!

Group photo of all of the participants pre-pitches... This photo says it all! Pitches are about to start and there were a lot of nerves in the room. They had no need to worry, they all did swimmingly!

This photo says it all! Pitches are about to start and there were a lot of nerves in the room. They had no need to worry, they all did swimmingly!

Wishing all of our Live the Dream 14/15 teams the best of luck for their ventures, future projects and for the challenges they will face along the way. You’re an incredible bunch, go show the world just that!

To all of the teams, the AKL core crew are wishing you best wishes for your bright futures!

All the best with love from the AKL core crew! 

I (Nelzy) would also like to take this time to reflect on the Live the Dream experience and to thank those who have taken the time out of their busy schedules to read my posts and re-live each person’s story. I truly believe that this summer has changed me for the better; I will treasure the friendships that I have made with such a diverse and inspirational pool of people, of whom I would never have gotten the chance to meet otherwise. It has been an absolute pleasure to do an interview each week and to hear such a true story, one from the heart and to hear the passion, conviction and belief in each and every idea. These people are change makers, I know it. They each possess the ability to build and to grow, to be resilient yet open, and to remain true to themselves and their ideas. It has been a pleasure to be a part of Live the Dream and to share these stories, thank you for reading!

I would like to leave you with something to ponder, words of wisdom shared with us on our last day from the lovely Rupert Ross, he said…

“What will you do with the time that is given to you?”

 

You Can Do Anything, But You Can’t Do Everything / / Week#9 AKL

There is less than one week to go until Final Showcase and it is definitely crunch time! Teams have been rushing around, there is no time to stop and reflect and it is no wonder we look forward to getting some shut eye over the weekend. It is starting to set in that in less than a week this will all be over. Of course this is only the beginning for the ventures and their projects, but to leave a space where we have all gotten to be so close is going to be a sad thing. Farewells are never easy, but we are already brainstorming coffee dates, weekends away and venture related events.

The countdown to final showcase, it has since been replaced by a giant 4 DAYS TO GO!

The countdown to final showcase, it has since been replaced by a giant 4 DAYS TO GO! What a jam packed last few days, look out world!

We have built a family here. A family of crazily innovative and inspiring people, some of the most energetic and passionate people I know. They are daring and resilient and there is no way that they will back down. We don’t have a lot of time to sit and reflect on the journey that we have had, hopefully there is time to do that next week; but until then we will troop on and make the most of the programme.

The team getting taught presentation skills during Robin and Lizzie's session. Great work guys!

The team brushing up on their presentation skills during Robin and Lizzie’s session. Great work guys!

This week to save time we tried to keep the interview short and sweet, but still just as great. Melody Guo from Future E treated us to some words about the importance of intercultural relationships and making the most of your experiences with other cultures…

Melody Guo from Future E.

Melody Guo from Future E.

Tell me about your venture…

Future E is an e-learning platform for New Zealand school students learning Mandarin. It pairs them with a pen-pal in China and will increase engagement, creating an interesting way of learning. The purpose is to enable cultural connections and to make friends while learning Mandarin.

I want to utilise basic technologies and e-learning platforms to maximise usage. It is going to be very interactive in the form of video, audio, free writing and scribbling. I really want the students to take control of their learning so they get to decide what they want to teach within the structure of each lesson.

What sparked this idea within you? Was their any one moment that you knew that this is what you wanted to do?

I was catching up with a friend over the weekend and she’s known me for more than 10 years. The first thing she said to me after she heard what I was doing was “well you haven’t changed much at all, you’ve been trying to do this ever since I’ve known you!”

I’ve always been torn apart and have had that identity crisis. Am I a New Zealander or am I Chinese? I thought that the easiest way to decide that was through the Olympic Games. When the two countries are competing with each other, who did I want to win? But even that’s hard because I have no idea, one minute you want China to win and then New Zealand the next. You feel really torn.

I grew up here, I’ve been through the school system and I also have a bit of understanding about what Chinese kids are going through. I feel like after all they are just kids, and they are our kids, so it would be great if they knew a bit more about their culture. That will have a prolonged effect in their lives and with that cultural knowledge comes great advantage.

My vision is that both parties will value their friendships within New Zealand and China, so if they need help they will be able to reach out. That kind of partnership, that strong foundation; no other countries can ever compete. That means we’re doing things for the sake of trust and understanding of each other, rather than trying to make a profit.

I guess my experiences growing up in both countries you realise that if you really want to become that global citizen, you need that kind of advantage. This will give Kiwi kids that extra option. If they don’t want to choose it that’s fine, but I don’t want them to give up just because it is too hard or because no one is teaching it so they don’t have that resource to learn. I want it to be an option and a choice to go down that path.

Who has been your favourite speaker during Live the Dream?

A lot of the speakers are really great! Courtney Jarrett’s (Kea) session on social media was great because I really felt like I learnt some practical skills. I was always afraid to be in the social media space because I see that it is a lot of work, but she made it seem simpler.

I also enjoyed one of the Akina sessions on storyline and storytelling. We had to draw, and I never draw, so it forced me to think about using pictures. I normally use words to learn. So to shift that around and to see it from the angle of someone who likes pictures, it gives you a different perspective.

Elliot Costello’s (YGAP) story was inspirational and there was a point that I clicked when he said that you really need to make that personal connection. He retold such a great story, a story that will forever stick with me and now I understand why he chose to share that with others.

There have just been so many good ones… I knew that we were going to have all of these speakers coming in but I didn’t expect them to be this great, or that I would learn so much. It has been beyond my expectations.

What has been the most challenging aspect of the programme and your venture?

I’ve had a few challenges! The timing was difficult because I wasn’t there for the beginning of the programme so I was feeling really nervous because I had so much to catch up on. But at the same time it is good to have these two months of my life to just do what I want to do and to have all of these people supporting me and encouraging me. It’s definitely a dream.

You always have excuses for not beginning your startup. For me; I grew up in an environment that wasn’t as supportive. Teachers and parents were supportive of academic and sporting achievements, but not the kind of innovative ideas that someone would resign for! I guess thinking that way is challenging because I want to prove myself and prove that this is the right thing to do. I almost believe that I cannot fail and for that you have to constantly push yourself. That push is great because you’d be amazed about how much you can get done in a day once you seize the opportunity.

What is your vision for this world?

Definitely peace. I’ve always liked to look ahead and search for trends based on knowledge and resources in that field. When I was at uni, I noticed that all of my Chinese friends had Kiwi boyfriends. They’re all really smart and very driven young women, they’re either doctors or lawyers. At that time we would joke that one day it is going to be a global phenomenon, that everybody is going to have inheritance from this place or that. I see that happening and continuing to happen.

But at the same time we all have that inherent fight or flight response. When you see someone of a different race or colour you automatically want to get away from it out of survival. But this same trait leads to stereotypes, racism and so on.

It’s through cultural understanding and cultural interaction that you overcome that and that is why it is so important. I’ve been an exchange student in Italy, worked in Hong Kong and Shanghai, and before that I went to primary school in Australia. My friends are quite global citizens as well and we all hold the understanding that once you leave your own culture and go to the other, everyone understands the difficulties of being in a foreign culture or country. I think that is the trait that people have adopted; that adaptivity, the flexibility to fit yourself into this foreign culture.

This is all linked to the idea of peace that I mentioned at the beginning. The solution is to understand cultures and once you do that you can then have a peaceful place. Peace is just as important as other issues because if you are not at peace with yourself, there is impossible to think for yourself let alone others. I really feel like peace is the most important thing, then comes empathy for others, standing up for other cultures and so on. It’s all interrelated, you can’t have one without the other. It’s when you get yourself immersed in that other culture that you really understand it and it’s that depth that I’m looking for.

Shout out to all of our participants for their amazing work over the last few weeks, ya’ll are legends!

Life’s Great When You’re Connected / / Week#8 AKL

As we continue to countdown the days until Final Showcase, the hours are getting longer and the work tougher. Teams are knuckling down into the nitty-gritty in preparation for their final pitch with Live the Dream, and the room is alive with the sound of hard yakka! We’ve be enforcing chill out time through picnic lunches and reflective sessions so that we can escape the stress and find some inspiration during this challenging time.

2 Weeks Until Final Showcase!

2 Weeks Until Final Showcase! There’s some food for thought…

This week we have had the honour of welcoming Elliot Costello into the space to meet the teams and to run workshops. Inspiring Stories also hosted an evening event with a presentation from Elliot as well as drinks and nibbles, thank you for a great evening all!

Elliot Costello speaks to the crowd during the event hosted by Inspiring Stories Trust.

Elliot Costello speaks to the crowd during last nights event

We’re nearing the end of the programme so time is getting tight. Luckily our lovely participants are still welcome to me interviewing them. This week I managed to sit down with Richie Lovelock from Day of Deeds to talk about his Live the Dream journey so far. He provided the answers and even helped with the questions too!

Richie Lovelock from Day of Deeds

Richie Lovelock from Day of Deeds.

There’s a bit of a story behind what brought you to Live the Dream with this venture, do you mind recapping that…?

Well I run a web company, but I also run my life. On the business side of things I decided a while ago that I wanted to start working with more businesses that aligned with my values and not just those that sell widgets for no good reason.

I was also starting to investigate and become more aware of big world issues. We hear about them and may read a little into it, but so many of us feel powerless. I became frustrated with myself because I wasn’t doing anything about it. I began to wonder about the people who dedicate their lives to this stuff; who are these people and why are they like that? There are people who dedicate parts of their lives to various issues, even though they work full time like I do. So I wondered why I wasn’t like that.  If I was to be honest with myself it’s because it’s in the too hard basket.

I wanted to do something, but I still didn’t know what to do. If I donated money who would I give it to and why? What does that money mean to them and how would it get used? I lacked the understanding to take action.

Then I had a trigger moment whilst trying to plan something to do for my 30th birthday. There was no way that I was going to have a party, I wanted to do something about this gap that I had noticed between people like me and the struggling organisations that are doing awesome stuff.

I decided to invite my friends to a day out thing based on the concept of The Amazing Race, something fun and challenging. An event that would be competitive and challenging for my friends, and that would also benefit charities in an interactive way. I wanted them to get understanding of what it is these charities do, why they do it, what their struggles are, where they get their money from, where they don’t, where they get their volunteers, simple but important information that people don’t know.

So I created an event that would visit three charities and undergo a challenge that would raise funds for that charity. I got 25 of my friends together, put them into teams and off we went. We visited Mercy Hospice, Home and Family Counselling and the Auckland Deaf Society. I set fun challenges and activities that ranged from an opshop dress up competition, a mural, and a pub quiz (conducted in sign langage). The charities also got the opportunity to tell us about their work. My friends absolutely loved it and said it was something that they wanted to make happen every year.

The charities benefited the most because it was like nothing they had ever experienced. They got to communicate directly with 25 young adults who aren’t actively involved with charities, who were all engaged and having fun. That never happens. It gave them a chance to get their story across and to tell them what they’re all about. They were blown away by how crazy cool and effective it was and some of them even made some money. Overall it has created all of these cool stories for each charity that they have told everybody about. So I left thinking cool, I’m going to do that again, I can’t not.

You joined us in the 3rd week, how did you go from that idea to entering the Live the Dream programme?

I had this business mentor coach in the pipeline because I knew there was a new direction I wanted to take my business. But when I met with my mentor Bridget, after my 30th, everything had changed. I said to her: “….You’re not going to help me with Spiff Media you’re going to help me with what I just did on Saturday.”

She was the catalyst and got me talking to so many different people. I ended up getting in touch with Jenna and Alex from Live the Dream who were interested in my story and took me on board at the start of Week Three. I thought that everything about the course sounded amazing and exactly what I needed. I just had to take a risk and jump. You leap and don’t know how you’re going to make it work but you know it’s the right thing to do. I haven’t looked back, it has been even better than what I had imagined.

What have you personally got out of Live the Dream?

This is such a new area for me because I am a web guy, I don’t run events! For me it has opened up this massive door to a world that I don’t know. Live the Dream has allowed me to meet them, many of whom are experts in their field. It has connected me with so many cool people.  It has inspired me to keep pushing so I haven’t lost momentum at all.

What has stuck out for you so far?

It’s so hard because there is so much and that’s what makes this so tiring but in a good way. You’re constantly learning little nuggets and different perspectives, so it is always challenging your entire concept and the way that you think.

Dan from Akina has been really amazing because the one on one time works well with me.  He’s been amazing because he can grasp your concept within seconds and then just cut through everything and ask this real penetrative question. It’s great because he asks questions that you’ve been wanting to answer for two weeks and then tells you how to go about it, he’s just been awesome.

And what has been the most challenging thing?

For me two things; feeling overloaded and unfocused. With a programme like this the challenge it creates is the deluge of different ideas, perspectives and opinions all thrown at you every day. You have to consider everything because you’re forming your idea. It’s tricky to stay focused while exploring different perspectives and keeping up with the programme. So there has been a constant battle of trying to explore and focus simultaneously.

The strange thing is that I’m working harder than I ever have. Realising who you are and what motivates you, I guess that is the reason I have been able to sustain this for 6 weeks. The motivation is coming from a deep desire to do this and it has been forming in me for years. Now the thing is to go out and do it so I will need to keep pushing to make it happen. It’s unshakeable.

What is your vision for this world?

I’ve never put this into words… There are two words that are massively important to me; connection and creativity.

In terms of connection it’s so easy to disconnect and I don’t know if that’s just me or my situation but the message is everywhere… Life sucks when you’re disconnected. Yet people disconnect themselves. I want to connect people back with themselves, with the people they love and with the world. When you become aware of those relationships, everything is so much better. Bridget told me that the problem is people aren’t good at understanding the relationships between things. Everything is related in some way and people ignore that sometimes, so I want to create something that will change that.

In terms of creativity, I think it will be the thing to keep humanity going. I’m in the web industry and we’re constantly thinking about how it will evolve because I.T is the fastest changing industry. So who know where we will be in the next 5 years. So what is it that humans have that we cannot recreate? Creativity. I realised that years ago and wanted to include that in my days and in my work, it’s great to be creative for no reason! That’s a massive thing I think people lose as they grow older. It’s so natural as a kid but then you learn about the world and you lose that side of it. That’s what I want to do, enable creativity.

The crazy thing is that I didn’t think of those two things and then go and make this event. I’ve thought about it afterwards and realised how aligned it is to me, and that’s probably why I’ve taken these risks and kept working.

 

Take the Leap! //Week#7 AKL

Snap out of it! The long weekend is behind us and we have settled back into furious work. This week has been mostly self directed, however we have also had a pitch den with the lovely Sara Jones and Rebecca Milne to give the teams advice on how to improve their pitches. We seem to be repeatedly welcoming back into the space Nic Hadley and Rupert Ross who treated us to some awesome interactive workshops. Dan from Akina also visited the teams for one-on-one chats to encourage teams to stop and rethink their ideas once again. We’ve even had workshops and sessions taught by our very own participants and crew, what a bunch of multi-talented people! We have a great space here at AUT and we love that the mentors and speakers who come in to talk to us fit into our “zone”, you’re all welcome anytime!

Farewell Alex! Thank you for all of your dedication and support!

Farewell Alex! Thank you for all of your dedication and support!

This week our #AKL team farewelled our facilitator Alex Devereux who has left to join the Fonterra Business Graduate programme. We threw him a goodbye morning tea with lots of yummy treats and festivities. Thank you for all of your hard work during the programme Alex, we all appreciate it and are wishing you luck for the future!

"HAPPY 21st VIC"! We surprised one of our participants with a birthday bash.

“HAPPY 21st VIC”! We surprised one of our participants with a birthday bash.

We also celebrated Vic’s birthday by throwing a surprise birthday bash! Happy birthday Vic with much love from the team!

The group celebrating Vic's birthday!

The group celebrating Vic’s birthday! The birthday girl doesn’t look so happy though… Don’t worry, she was!

Overall it has been quite a busy week, but I managed to sit down and have a chat with the second Plastic Diet member, Josefina Peters-Didier about her experiences with plastic and the importance of passion in everything that you do…

From left: Gemma, Samuditha, Florence and Josefina from the Plastic Diet team.

From left: Gemma, Samuditha, Florence and Josefina from the Plastic Diet team.

We’ve already heard a bit about Plastic Diet from Samuditha in Week 3, but has your idea changed or evolved since then?

Every day it changes! Every time you think you have an idea and everyone will love it, you talk to someone else and they say maybe it’s not so good. It’s easy to get carried away with side ideas, so you always have to have your purpose super clear.

In our case it’s reducing the use of plastic at the source. We keep going back to the idea of recycling but the truth is that that doesn’t solve a problem.

Is it difficult to be open to change within your idea?

Yes because you get attached to ideas and sometimes you have to let them go. Maybe they are bad ideas, or for some reason it’s unlikely those ideas can physically happen, or it’s not the time for them yet. We keep record of all the ideas and we’re trying to figure out when they could actually happen. It can be quite frustrating but we will keep working towards it.

How are you personally connected to the idea of “reducing single use plastic at the source”?

I have always loved the ocean, taking care of it and the animals that live in it, even as a little child. Then I thought well now I want to become a marine biologist, but if I want to make a change I need to be a bloody good marine biologist. I just finished my PHD and even though the research is fascinating it’s really hard to make a change. You spend years creating research and only a few people will read about it. There are things going on in society today that we need to act on. Live the Dream came at a perfect time, I had just finished university and I had always been super concerned about plastic pollution.

I have the credentials so now I want to act on it. I’m still very divided because I love research but that only reaches a small audience. I’ve got to do something big!

What have you been up to this week?

Throughout the programme we have been talking to as many people as we can. We have been working on other areas that could make bigger impact through the use of plastic.

I wish we could be at the moment when we’re working on our business model. But it’s such a complicated issue that we still aren’t quite there yet. I think the most important thing is to create awareness and the most difficult thing is to link that with money or an income stream. We might just start with campaigns until we get more recognition from the community. Then once we’ve created awareness and have more people onboard, we will start thinking about revenue streams.

What has stuck with you so far throughout the programme?

I had this weird conception that in business you have to show that you’re a business person, but now I realise that it is about being genuine in yourself and saying “I want to make a change in the world”. That is the best way to connect with people.

Everything that you do, if you do it from the heart, will lead to success.

I’ve seen that so many times throughout the programme, by respecting who you are and being absolutely genuine. The question for me is when you’re really genuine and hard working, at what point will it start working? I want things to start working now, but I guess it’s like they say, when you see a good idea it took 9 years in the making…

If you stay true to yourself you can make a change in the world.

What has been the biggest challenge of the Live the Dream programme so far?

I guess it’s just scary when your idea doesn’t work. It comes down to external factors which is really scary because sometimes it doesn’t matter if you have all of this passion and conviction.

I’m guessing you have faced some external issues?

Every time we have a new idea. We’re going to make it happen and we don’t want to disappoint people. Getting to know all of the people that have gone through what we’re going through and seeing where they are now is very inspiring.

What is driving you to spend ten weeks of your life here at Live the Dream?

I love challenges. Anything that sounds scary I normally go for it because I will come out a better person. I just love taking the leap. Even if it sounds scary, just going in and figuring it out. You are putting yourself on the line and other people have their eyes on you, so it’s essentially an all or nothing kind of thing.  Putting yourself on the line is an addictive feeling.

If you consciously decide to take the risk, you will give it all.

I’ve got one last big question… What is your vision for this world?

I could guarantee that people and society would be so much more happy if we reconnect and take care of things. Part of the plastic programme is that people have become so independent, its quick, its easy; it’s the takeaway culture. Somehow when you remove plastic from the picture there’s suddenly more connection. There is value in protecting something or caring for a cause. It’s really difficult at first, but if everybody starts doing it I think we would be better with each other and with nature.

Is there anything else you want to add?

I told Guy the other day that I am so grateful. I want this “leap of faith” situation to finally lead somewhere amazing. The feeling of giving back to everybody, it’s like a secret rewards club.

How you guys are helping us at the moment, I wish I could do someday for you.

We’re working really hard and I don’t think that work is going nowhere. When you know you have the skills to make it work it’s all about determination. If you’re determined enough to make something work it will sort itself out in time.

 

Sun, Sand, Surf and Work / / Week#6 AKL

There are so many things to report on, I don’t know where to start!

Take #2 - The incredible Taranaki Team!

Take #1 – The incredible Taranaki Team!

The Taranaki weekend was an absolute blast! The Auckland and Wellington teams met up in Opunake for a weekend away from it all to soak up the sun, sand and surf. Needless to say the Opunake Lake Lodge was filled with the best of vibes, smiles, music, food and laughter! It is an amazing thing to have such a diverse and yet such in-tuned group of people in one place. There were definitely some good conversations and relationships being made and it’s safe to say that everyone was feeling like we needed to do it again!

Take #2 - The incredible Taranaki Team!

Take #2 – The incredible Taranaki Team. This lot has the best set of funny faces!

A select number of photos have been added to our Facebook page, and if you’re looking for some live-action antics head on over to Twitter. But until then, feast your eyes on these little gems…

Flat tire, oh no! Luckily a kind local helped us out. It made for a great team building exercise!

Flat tire, oh no! Luckily a kind local helped us out and gave us a chance to do some team building!

Surf lessons with Guy and Oliver. What a lovely day at the beach!

Surf lessons with Guy and Oliver. What a lovely day at the beach!

Celebrating the Festival of Lights!

Celebrating the New Plymouth Festival of Lights!

Aside from the weekend away (yes we do have to get back to work eventually), I was lucky enough to sit down and chat with both members of the Peg It team, Easter Greig and Kahu Goulton, about their Live the Dream journey so far…

Peg It

Peg It

Tell us about your venture… 

K: Peg It is all about revolutionising people’s access to work in society. We question why the quality of ones’ life can be determined by a fragile job market, or by how one fits or doesn’t fit into it, and we want to challenge this.

K: Peg It is an alternative online platform that works as a self marketing tool where one can offer services, skills or products to gain some kind of income. There isn’t a suitable avenue out there where you can market yourself to show that, so we recognised a gap. We’re really about empowering people. Everybody has got some skill they can contribute to society so it’s about creating a platform for that to happen.

How is it different from existing job sites out there?

K: There are a lot of people who struggle to make ends meet because they don’t fit into the current job market and the traditional system for finding employment doesn’t work for them. This could be for a number of reasons – they might be juggling a timetable around children, need only a quick solution in a new place or perhaps don’t feel that their skills or experience don’t match up to the traditional job market.

E: People also don’t tend to recognise their personal skills as professional traits and wouldn’t necessarily put them on their LinkedIn profile or on their CVs. But these personal skills don’t make you less valuable to society, they just put you in a different category. With Peg It, we’re empowering people to look into themselves and recognise the skills and services that they can contribute to society. In return they have the means to access finances to support a better balance in life.

There’s a bit of a story behind your venture, where did the idea first come from?

E: For a lot of my friends and family, growing up, money was a bit scarce. They had to think out of the box by making their own products to sell for example. This included things like sewing and making food which I sold at flea markets, and that’s where my idea came from.

K: I had my experience coming out of university as a new student. I was fortunate enough to have some time as a student in China doing an internship. During that time I got to see what it’s like to live in a country where the government doesn’t actually support you in terms of finances. It’s hard being in a position when you want to work, have skills, but struggle to find anything.

What has been the most memorable topic, speaker or lesson during Live the Dream so far?

E: There has been a lot of great speakers. A highlight was Derek Handley and how he talked about the fact that you’ve only got so much time here on earth to tackle an issue, so why not try and tackle something in a bigger way and make an impact. Another highlight was one of the first workshops we had with Curative, going back to the reasons why you’re trying to tackle the problem and getting stuck in. Knuckling down the “why?” and finding out the purpose for it all. When things get tough, always go back to the “why?”.

K: My highlight would probably be Nick Hadley, he’s our mentor at the moment and has been really good to us. The experience he’s shared with us has been invaluable and really important in helping to develop our website.

E: I think one of the big things that he always makes us think about is that question; “what are people going to type into Google or any other search engines to look for you?”. It’s important for us to understand that and know our market.

What has been the most challenging aspect of Live the Dream so far?

K: Probably the time frame. It forces you to push on! But that’s a good challenge.

E: Time. In terms of the pitch, its hard to portray both sides of Peg It, so trying to squash that into 5 minutes has been a tough task.

After Interim Pitch, are you feeling more or less confident in terms of your venture?

K: After the pitch wasn’t a great feeling. It is tough to channel your thoughts into what is most important, especially fitting that into five minutes. It was a positive experience, but it definitely enlightened us about the stuff we need to rethink. We haven’t really moved on our vision and that’s good I think. It means that we’re going to get there somehow, at some point.

E: In terms of losing faith in the venture, we haven’t. Everyone has those moments of second guessing things, but we realised that it is bigger than us. Our vision has very much stayed the same since day one.

You started doing a bit of work on Peg It before Live the Dream, what is driving you continue the venture through the Live the Dream programme?

K: This an awesome opportunity, you’d probably never get this opportunity any other way. We looked into a whole lot of other incubators, and they all offer a three month time frame for a charge. It has been something we’ve been conscious of all along and we know we would’ve needed to do something like it. It’s amazing to be a part of.

E: It was luck that we stumbled across it, it was like it was meant to be or something.

K: Perfect timing too. We were just about to go into the next phase of development so it was perfect. We’ve kind of done it backwards; we’ve gone straight to the product and then we’re validating what we’ve done. It has been important to be open to pivoting. It’s almost like it was meant to stop us there to get us to rethink things and review things, to go forward in the best way possible.

E: There are definitely awesome people and networks that you meet. High profile fellas who give all of these suggestions and ideas about what we could do and what we need to do; it has been really valuable.

Aside from relaxation, did you get anything productive out of the Taranaki weekend?

K: It was just great to meet other people who are on the same journey and have the same sort of aspiration, big goals, entrepreneurship, creativity and vision. It’s just such a cool vibe. They’re an awesome lot down in Wellington, they’re very down to earth and genuine people which is always good to be around.

E: The Wellington team have given heaps of cool feedback and they have given us some good ideas about how we can do things differently.

One last loaded question… What do you want to tell the world?

K: Peg It to us is a movement. Our vision for it is very much to create sharing amongst communities and by doing that we will be able to bring each other together. We definitely think that Peg It can play a role in closing the gap between the rich and the less fortunate, it can encourage them to meet in the middle.

E: I think that we’re seeing more of that now because the unemployment rate has gone down within the past 5 years. But we still have a problem because at least 250,000 children go to school without lunches. Families still don’t have enough money to feed their kids, so something needs to happen!

E: We also want to break down some of the stereotypes. People think that because you’ve got higher qualifications, you’re a more valuable person in society, when I think we’re all equally valuable.

Anything else you want to add?

K: We have to get something happening!

K: Self sufficiency is at the heart of what we do. To create communities that are self sufficient and share amongst the people. We’re just so crazy on the other end of that at the moment. I think the way we’re heading at the moment, there has got to be something pop up soon.

 

 

Halfway There! // Week#5 AKL

It has been a week of organised chaos!

Teams have been busy preparing their ideas and readying themselves for the Interim Pitch on Thursday night. The Interim Pitch went down a treat and all of our teams presented confidently, clearly and made their passions clear. Afterwards everyone was invited for drinks and nibbles which allowed the teams to get some valued feedback on their presentations and to further their networks. We were grateful to welcome so many friendly faces into the audience, and once again we would like to thank you for all the support you have provided for the ventures so far!

Guy introducing the Interim Pitch.

Guy Ryan welcoming everyone to the Interim Pitch.

We’re currently in the middle of the programme and we would just like to take the time to recognise all of the speakers, facilitators and contributors for their support and kindness so far!

Fun in the sun! The teams jumping around in the park.

Fun in the sun. Our teams are sending their slightly crazy thanks!

Both the Auckland and Wellington programmes have got an exciting weekend ahead. Both Live the Dream contingents are meeting in Taranaki to have some much needed down-time and will have the chance to get to know one another, because Skype meetings cannot suffice! Keep an eye on our social media because our shenanigans cannot escape Facebook and Twitter.

Picnics in the sun at Albert Park.

Picnics in the sun at Albert Park, crazy-fun shenanigans with the teams!

Somehow, during his busy schedule, I managed to sit down with Robin Kerr from The Playground Collective to talk about his vision for the performing arts sector in New Zealand…

Robin Kerr from The Playground Collective.

Robin Kerr from The Playground Collective.

 

Tell us about your venture…

I came to Live the Dream with the vision of setting up a year-round youth theatre company focussing on central Auckland. This vision is something I’ve had a bit of experience with due to my performing arts background, and whilst that vision has remained relatively the same, it’s expanded and opened up other avenues.

How has Live the Dream helped you develop your vision?

I’ve definitely found that canvassing; seeing what else is out there in the landscape and what the real issues are, has really helped my idea to evolve, which is a really exciting.  I don’t think that would’ve occurred if I didn’t have the push or space to focus on what this activity could be.

What is your venture in response to? Have you found a gap within the performing arts space that you are planning on focusing on?

The main thing is trying to address some pretty big sustainability issues within the arts. For emerging practitioners, a lack of sustainability is really crippling, there are significant barriers to entry which makes the likelihood of longevity for emerging practitioners very very small.

I was looking at some stats the other day, I think it’s something like… Since 2011 we’ve had a 60% increase in students graduating from the performing arts in New Zealand, from 150 to 250 graduates a year, and yet the number of full time jobs in the sector is not only minimal, but decreasing. The amount of people we’re outputting is completely at odds with the existing demand of the sector.

How does your venture aim to tackle this problem?

There are 2 ways….

In a broader sense, I am aiming to train people to be independent by actually creating their own opportunities such as starting their own sustainable performing arts ventures. Having the room to focus on that has been cool, it has become clear that that is the outcome that I need to be moving towards.

The other thing is, we have artists that have a tendency to make “art for art’s sake” which isn’t relevant to people’s lives. Then, we have charities, government organisations and social enterprises who struggle to effectively communicate with their audiences, explore their mission or activate change on a large scale.

I’ve had some past experience with one-off youth projects that focus on social issues, partnering with organisations that have a mandate to address these issues. From the success of that, I see an ongoing opportunity to create a platform for these organisations to work with artists, enabling them to connect and engage with their audiences through more interesting works and more interesting processes.

A variety of projects can be created that sustain artists while at the same time benefit organisations and make their causes more visible.

It’s week five and we’ve reached the middle of the programme, how are you feeling about Live the Dream so far?

The programme is really good. The fact that it exists, and that it is so well entrenched in the industry is really important. I’m relishing having the time and space to just focus on what I want to do in such a great co-working environment.

What are the problems you have had to face and how have you solved these issues?

I think definitely there is a challenge in being a one-man venture. I lost a collaborator early on which was unfortunate, so I’ve been trying to rustle up a bit more support behind me. It’s been a struggle to do this whilst simultaneously trying to keep up with a very full agenda! I’ve been asking more of the Live the Dream interns which has been really helpful and also putting in the extra hours, which is important for a new venture I think. Especially to make the most of a programme like this.

Right now I’m on the hunt for an intern/collaborator for the remainder of the programme… so if anyone’s interested…?

You received some very important news last week, do you want to share that with the world?

The Playground Collective is a theatre company and we’ve been operating for about 7 years,  with a bunch of art projects on the go at all times. Live the Dream is exploring just one strand of our business. Last week, our grant from Creative New Zealand totalling $32,000 cleared and arrived in our bank account, which opens up some very exciting opportunities, including taking our work overseas.

What is driving you to spend 10 weeks of your life dedicated to Live the Dream? 

I think that this is the time for social enterprise.

It’s flourishing, particularly in Auckland right now. There is a really exciting community which has been very welcoming to me. Before I came to Auckland 6 months ago, the word social enterprise wasn’t even in my awareness and now I’m in this programme I live and breathe it.

I think a lot of people are driven to do good things in the world, but why I am doing this programme is because it’s a really high value pathway into a really exciting movement. I can see that there’s a lot of potential for this to define, not only my future, but this city’s future and potentially this country’s future. It’s a really exciting prospect to come on board and grow with the movement.

To stumble across a new idea, taking theatre in a new direction, and to be a part of a vibrant movement that has a lot of momentum behind it, is a really exciting prospect.

Who has been your favourite speaker so far during the programme?

Dan from Akina is the bomb diggity, (which I’m really looking forward to seeing you spell). He is an amazing facilitator, he’s really good at appreciative inquiry, I really like his hard-boil approach too, he’s not overly sympathetic like a lot of Kiwis can be. He works in a really concentrated, fast and deeply connected way.

One last loaded question… What is your vision for this world?

I want to make the world a more creative and playful place.

I read this article somewhere and it was about people’s last request on their deathbed. The highest statistical response was ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so hard’, or ‘I wish I hadn’t worked so much’. I think we live in a very serious world and take ourselves too seriously.

We have an obsession with work and wealth creation and I guess I would like to see the world that we live in governed by a happiness index rather than GDP. Where we value quality of life over and above the size of the bags under someone’s eyes or how high they are on the Fortune 500.

 

Recharged and Ready! // Week#4 AKL

There have been smiles all around as the Dreamers return to their desks and knuckle down into the New Year. The Auckland Crew have kicked off the week full of high spirits that could only lead to productivity throughout the weeks to come. Snapping out of holiday mode and into work mode has been tricky, but luckily the participants are eager and rested. Here’s to the last seven weeks!

The Dreamers bask in the sunshine during their morning tea picnic, a break before they snap back into it!

The Dreamers bask in the sunshine during their morning tea picnic. A break from work before they snap back into it!

Next week is the Interim Pitch, which is a big deal for the teams as they continue to validate their venture purpose.  Nerves are high, but if all goes well the energy will fuel the success of the pitches next week.

In the midst of it all I managed to sit down and chat with Vic from CoPlay to talk about the ups and downs of her journey so far.

 

Vic from Coplay

Vic from Coplay.

 

Tell us a bit about your venture…

Coplay is essentially about trying to get people engaged in active participation where they wouldn’t otherwise have a lot of time. It’s about creating active social interactions that engage individuals and communities while tackling the issue of obesity, sedentary lifestyles and complex social issues.

Why is the element of “play” so important in this?

You learn from play, but you’re learning in a way that helps you to develop real life skills around social interaction, sharing, leadership, physical mobility, boundaries and that sort of thing.

But learning in the “traditional” sense isn’t often thought of as play…

Well these days parents are almost saying that kids should be educated for longer, they’re essentially creating resumes of skills for their kids. Rather than kids discovering these things on their own and actually working out what they want to do.

When you look at animals in play and children when they are playing, they’re having so much fun because they are taking ownership of what they’re doing.

When adults place a construct on a child’s play, it takes away their independence and it tells them that adults are the ones who know how they should be playing.

Not allowing children to have that self expression is problematic because they cannot develop real social skills. Especially now, most kids are behind the screen and a lot of the time the person they present differs to the person they present during play.

So are you changing the way modern children play and taking it back to more “traditional” methods?

I think it’s a mixture, because in a way technology is an enabler. Kids are always going to have technology and that isn’t going to change, especially as it is getting faster, cheaper and more prolific. I want them to use technology as a mechanism to engage with other people to do real, outdoor, tactile, tangible play. Fun play, that doesn’t involve sitting in front of a screen and being inside being sedentary.

It’s about allowing people to experience play as nature intended, as opposed to a manufactured mode of play.

What about your “Connect. Play. Reward” system, how would you deliver that?

“Connect” is basically allowing people to connect through the app and make friendships within community spaces. Then they play and meet new people which fosters community cohesion.

The reward is for active behaviour both individually and collectively.

Potentially, the individual reward would provide you with a “currency” which allows you access to products and services that support sustainable, green and ethical standards. This is very important to my venture as well as supporting the triple bottom line; people, profit and planet.  Another aspect is that those who participate in the event in every way get points which can then be cast as votes. The votes will support projects, products and services that the community needs so that all of those involved benefit.

Coming back to the Live the Dream programme, what has been your favourite speaker/topic/lesson so far?

I think that all of the workshops and the experience itself has been incredibly empowering. Especially exploring the diversity of components that you need to run a successful business. I’m a little bit of a geek so I really enjoyed Kelsey Deane’s talk; seeing how her mind works through topics of technology and social enterprise as well as engagement strategies. She has given us some fantastic resources that I will use. Not just for this venture but for any other start-ups and ventures that I do from here on.

I’ve loved all of the workshops because I’m one of those people that learns much better when given an example. So the speakers here have been great; they show me how it applies, they outline the lesson, show how it worked before and explain what to take away.  It’s so much easier to let that sink in and have a deeper sense of learning.

I also love that the people at Live the Dream work with passion and have a sheer belief in what they are doing. We’re all here for that same reason. We’ve had an idea, we’re passionate about it and we want it to come to fruition. If you surround yourself with like minded people, that becomes easier.

We’re just finishing up our fourth week, how has the journey been so far and what has been your biggest challenge?

I think the biggest barriers I have found so far are around true validation for partners and suppliers. A lot of them need metrics around usage before people will even entertain the idea of getting on board as a revenue stream. It’s tricky trying to sell them something that doesn’t quite exist yet.

How has the validation process been useful to your venture?

It has been really good to validate what I am doing and making sure that I am on the right track in terms of why I’m doing it and the perceived need. The perceptions I have about what I think people need could be quite different to what they really do need. Getting involved and really building relationships with communities, asking questions and letting them be a part of the solution is incredibly important.

What is driving you to dedicate ten weeks of your life to this venture?

A true belief. When I get the thing in my head where I’m passionate about something, I can’t let it go. I’ve got this tenacity around what I do, and I truly believe that it can have a positive effect on whole communities. At the end of the day this is the thing I really want to be doing.

I want to make a difference somehow.

What do you want to tell the world?

I think it’s really important to understand that people need to learn for themselves, so that we can find solutions and positive outcomes for really complex issues and wicked problems. I’m really compelled to find solutions to those.

There are no bad ideas, there’s a bad execution. The idea has to evolve and the most important thing is to understand who you’re doing it for and the reasons why you’re doing it. You really need to find the pain points and go by the method. It’s like ingredients in a recipe, you can’t make assumptions.

 

Vic left me with a quote from Dr. Libby Weaver to inspire us all this year…

“This is the year I will be stronger, braver, kinder and unstoppable. This year I will be fierce”.

We’re Not in Holiday Mode Just Yet // Week#3 AKL

We kicked off the week full of Christmas cheer! #LTD_AKL celebrated the festive season by donning party hats, stuffing our bellies and singing along badly to much loved Christmas carols over a shared lunch. We’ve had a few moments to step away from the busy workload and reflect on the days past as well as those to come.

 

The Christmas Lunch

The Auckland Live the Dream team share a festive Christmas lunch.

The teams have been developing their confidence, speech styles and presentation skills and are delivering stronger pitches than their nerves in week two would have allowed. This week we farewelled one of our crew members Julia Holderness, who is returning to Christchurch after facilitating the first few weeks of the programme. With everyone coming and going, it is great to know that we have solid knowledge, support and brainpower to fuel our participants who are rapidly moving forward with their ventures.

 

The teams working during a speaker workshop with Penny Harrison.

The teams working during a presentation workshop with Penny Harrison.

 

In the middle of this hectic week, I managed to take a seat with Samuditha Rupasinghe from Plastic Diet to talk about her venture and Live the Dream experience so far.

 

From left: Gemma, Samuditha, Florence and Josefina from the Plastic Diet team.

From left: Gemma, Samuditha, Florence and Josefina from the Plastic Diet team.

 

Tell me about your venture…

Our venture tries to make sustainability easy by making bio-degradable plastic the norm in society.

We live in a system where plastic is the norm. Even if you don’t want to kill the planet, you still have to buy the things in the system, so I want to change that.

So far we’ve come up with ideas about a consultancy for businesses. We would work at connecting cafes and businesses in the food industry with alternative providers for plastic, so that they get rid of all of their plastic and replace it with bio-degradable plastic.

Was there a moment for you personally, that you knew this was what you wanted to do?

One moment was cleaning beaches with a group from uni. The amount of trash and tiny little bits of plastic you find is insane.

Number two happened in traffic. When you’re stuck in traffic you realise the piles of plastic and rubbish that litter the sides of the road that you wouldn’t notice while you’re driving.

It gets to the point where you can’t just keep picking up the rubbish on the beaches. It just doesn’t work. So you have to change it before it gets through in the first place. So that’s what we are trying to do, start from the source to stop plastic existing in the first place. I think there are so many ventures who do recycling stuff and working on plastic waste. There’s a lot of stuff like that, but no one is taking action or going to government. Recycling is exhausting and never ending, the flow of rubbish is never going to stop.

Why should we care about these problems and issues? 

Because it’s going to get to a point where there is no space to fill up landfills anymore.

I guess in the world everything goes in cycles. You cut a tree, you make paper and it goes back to compost. But plastic never finishes a cycle. So it’s going to get to a point when there’s no more resources to make stuff out of.

What have you been up to this week?

This week we have been validating our problem and trying to work out what exactly our problem is. Every time we think we have our problem sorted out, someone tells us that it’s not a problem. Yesterday, we thought our problem was that businesses don’t have the time and energy to look into alternatives. But we realised that wasn’t the problem. We realised that they are actually missing out on a specific segment of customers they could have if they used bio-degradable stuff.

You also had your second pitch, how did you find that?

I’m so glad that they make us do practice ones, I kinda hate it but secretly it’s really good. We practice all day. Non-stop talking to ourselves really loudly across the hall. That’s the good thing about having teams, I don’t think I could do this without a team.

What is the biggest thing that you have taken away from this week?

When Billy Matheson from ReGeneration NZ was speaking to us yesterday, he simply said that you can’t solve everything in the world. He had this metaphor of a ball of string, filled with everything wrong in the world, and you just can’t solve it, but that’s ok because you’re going to solve one thing and it’s going to be great. That’s my problem, the fact that I want to try and solve everything and the fact that I can’t is hard to comprehend.

What is driving you to spend 10 weeks of your life dedicated to Live the Dream?

I got to the stage where I couldn’t watch the news because I’d feel too helpless about the world. I got into some projects during high school and then during my uni career, and for the first time I didn’t feel helpless about the world!

Live the Dream has been a great opportunity to spend entire days focused on our idea. I now feel like there’s something I can do to change the world to make it a better place.

Here you are surrounded by people who are doing amazing things, giving you positive peer pressure and motivation – it’s the best!

 

From all of us Auckland Dreamers, may you have a Merry Christmas and a safe and a Happy New Year!

 

 

 

 

 

 

Everybody has Something to Give // Week#2 AKL

Week two has been another big focus on validation. The crew have been connecting with a wide range of stakeholders to better explore gaps and opportunities in the market. We’ve also been looking at different business models, and started to practice ‘pitching’ our ideas. We’ve welcomed many incredible speakers and mentors who have provided fresh perspectives and constructive criticism.
 

The teams working on their ventures.

Our co-working space – the teams working on their ventures.


 

The teams working during a speaker workshop.

A workshop on Business Strategy with Elisabeth Vaneveld from The Big Idea.


 

This week I had the pleasure of sitting down and talking with participant, Hana Mender from Career Choices, who is passionate about the well being and incentives for those entering the work force.
 

Hana from Career Choices

Hana from Career Choices


 

Tell us a bit about your venture & where the idea came from…

Career Choices is about helping people, specifically students, to find their passion and connect with what they love. My experiences have made me wish that there was someone that could have helped me understand my career choices when I was in high school.

My ideas actually began at Festival for the Future. What it did for me as a young person, was very inspiring. Hearing from young people who want to make a difference; by talking about ideas, innovation and making the world a better place. I had no idea that there was a platform for that. Festival helped me make friends with amazing people who I would never had met otherwise.

Live the Dream is a good place to explore your idea, to have people supporting you and encouraging you to develop it. They are interested in what you’re doing and they congratulate your effort and the fact that you are trying your hardest. So far it has been an overwhelming but amazing experience.
 

Why should we care about your venture? 

My big picture vision is to see the New Zealand workforce filled with people who love what they do everyday.

In my opinion, if people love what they do, then they excel in what they do. People come to work and say, I did something amazing yesterday, but I want to do something more amazing today because I love this job. I think economically and socially New Zealand would soar like a rocket and we’d all shine.

Think about it; we spend more time at work then we spend time on our own, or doing other activities. So imagine doing a job that you hate everyday, and you’re doing it 9-5, that’s a waste.

If we were able to give students a wide range of resources then they would be making smarter and more informed decisions about their future. A lot of people don’t really think about their financial security or about the future as much as they should. So I ask: when are we going to do something to break the cycle of day to day passionless work, or at least try to?
 

What has been some of the challenges over the past few weeks?

One challenge is working by myself. One person can do only so much, and I’d like to have a team. The age factor comes in a lot too. I think a lot of people don’t take me as seriously as they should sometimes and I think that is going to be my biggest challenge going forward with this programme. Tackling such a massive issue and in an area like education and career choices, the people in charge are not young people. But if you’re trying to work with young people, you have to be on a similar level as them – I think that’s how you reach them best.
 

So how do you think you’ll go about making them take you seriously?

I think getting people on board who already have some credibility in this area will help. I think it’s a human thing that we need some assurance, that others also think it’s a credible idea. It is finding that one person to believe in what you believe. I think after that it will get easier, hopefully.
 

What is the biggest thing you have taken away from this week?

I had an interesting session with Shay Wright from The Icehouse on Tuesday. He had a fresh perspective about what I was trying to create, and finding a solution that would satisfy people. He suggested that if you look at your idea from the who, you will get to the what, and if you went straight to the what, you’d come up with a solution that someone had already done. That reverse was really interesting.

Shay’s session was by far the most challenging, and still has me thinking about his ideas and constructive criticism. The biggest thing I took away from that day was not to be fixated on your idea because the idea can change.
 

So do you have anyone you know that you could bring on board to your team?

Every person I speak to, I’m thinking that they could be a potential contributor, one way or another. It would be good by the end of this programme to hopefully have at least another team member who’s interested.
 

What inspiring thought or phrase has captured your attention this week?

Sharn Rayner from Pod Consultants suggested “create something that would survive without you”. I wouldn’t want to create something that was reliant on me and then when I’m gone it all crumbles. It’s important to have a solid team that can step in when you’re not there.
 

 

Purpose, Passion, and Focus // Week#1 AKL

Kia Ora! I’m Nelzy, the Media and Comm’s intern up here in Auckland. I’ll be guiding you through the next 10 weeks. Welcome to our first post, week one!
 

Janelle Profile
 

New starts are daunting; yet the initial nerves, information overload, long days and adrenaline have all made for a hugely productive first week. Already the teams are growing their ideas, drilling deeper into their purpose and asking difficult questions.
 

This week the main focus has been on purpose and goal setting, both personal and venture focused. This has allowed us to track back to our passions and motivations, and to define those ‘trigger’ moments of inspiration.
 

The Groups Working - Week One
 

Shona McElroy and Rowan Yeoman from Akina provided the teams with a context for social enterprise, with a range of examples including projects, resources and concepts to aid the search for venture purpose. Rowan also introduced the Social Lean Canvas (SLC) concept which helped teams to critique, grow and re-evaluate their venture ideas.
 

The teams also got the chance to meet entrepreneurs Oscar Peppitt from Uber, and Kiran Patel from Young Innovators Collective (YIC) as part of our first ‘Founders Circle’. This session allowed the teams to expand their thinking and ideas regarding market validation, and this was followed up by Alex Devereux’s talk about partnership and stakeholder mapping.
 

We also welcomed Guy Ryan, Founder & CEO of Inspiring Stories, Festival for the Future, & Live the Dream. Guy ran a session on vision and mission, had some one-on-one coaching time with the teams, and then straight into the Launch Party – to officially launch the Auckland chapter of Live the Dream.
 

Guy Ryan – 2014 Live the Dream Launch, Auckland
 

The Launch Party was a fun celebration, with many wonderful faces gracing us with their company. People literally stayed for hours – the room was buzzing with conversation. It was a great chance for the participants to get to know their mentors, and some of the wider community of supporters. Thanks to everyone who joined us, for your generosity and support in enabling this awesome programme to happen!
 

Auckland Live the Dream Launch Crew
 

Even after a big night, Friday morning felt fresh and filled with optimism. This energy fuelled the first Collaboration Cafe which saw teams critiquing their ideas, with help from external influences. Everyone found this a really exciting format and we look forward to the next one. Dale De Graaf from Enspiral enlightened the teams about accounting and taught them to get on top of their financial situation by starting early and being organised.
 

We have all embraced this first week with open minds and it’s great to be underway. Hana, Cara, Samuditha, Josefina, Easter, Kahu, Robin, Vic, Kristin, Louise and Melody: best of luck and a warm welcome! You guys are inspirational. 46 workdays until Final Pitch! Wahoo!
 

If you’re keen to check out or progress on Facebook or Twitter, click the links and have a squizz at the photos. Until next week everyone!