The context for action.

From climate change to inequality, mental health to unemployment – we live in a world with urgent and complex problems that need solving. There’s never been a greater call for leadership. There’s never been a better time than now.

How Future Leaders started.

Future Leaders is an initiative of Inspiring Stories, a Kiwi charity founded in 2011 with the vision to see every young New Zealander unleash their potential to change the world. The Future Leaders programme grew out of a conversation between Inspiring Stories and the Mayor’s Taskforce for Jobs. We started with a simple question – how might we make a bigger difference for young people in rural and provincial New Zealand?

In 2016 we prototyped the programme for the first time, very small scale. We learnt a lot, and built those lessons into version 2.0, which ran in 2017. That year three out of the eighteen participants ended up winning Local Hero Medals as part of the New Zealander of the Year Awards, and achieved impressive outcomes for the young people involved. In 2018, the programme grew from 18 young people to more than 200.

Where are we going?

Our vision is that Future Leaders becomes transformative for young people and their communities, helping to create a more resilient, vibrant and sustainable Aotearoa New Zealand. At it’s core, the programme puts young people at the heart of creating solutions to the challenges they face in their backyard, building their capability and confidence, and a community of support around them. We’d like to scale it up nationwide.

Young people on the programme have reported significant increases in their sense of ambition, optimism, resilience, personal and social skills, entrepreneurship and leadership skills. We are working to develop and strengthen partnerships at the local and national level, and strengthen pathways into employment, entrepreneurship and leadership. If you’d like to be part of this journey or support in some way, get in touch.

What young people say about the programme.



Who's behind it.

The Future Leaders programme is run by Inspiring Stories, the Kiwi charity backing young New Zealanders to change the world.

The team at Inspiring Stories have built an impressive track record, having now supported thousands young New Zealanders to build their entrepreneurship and leadership capability, and their ideas to make a difference. Learn more >>