Inspiring Stories

At Inspiring Stories, we’re backing young people to change the world, and increasing access to life-changing experiences and programmes like Future Leaders, Festival for the Future and The Impact Awards.


Over 250 givers have collectively raised $169,236.35 for Inspiring Stories. That has helped to support more than 4,231 young people living in rural and provincial communities to take part in the Future Leaders programme.

What we do

Founded in 2011 with a bold vision to back young people to change the world, Inspiring Stories has become an intergenerational movement for impact. Over the past decade, the team have built an impressive track record of programmes and partnerships with a 12,000-strong tribe of alumni and supporters; provided more than $85,000 in awards and seed funding for young social entrepreneurs; and invested more than $2.5M into life-changing scholarship opportunities for young people.

Inspiring Stories is the organisation behind Aotearoa New Zealand’s largest social innovation summit, Festival for the Future; The Impact Awards – celebrating remarkable young New Zealanders making a difference for our future with $30,000 in prizes across six award categories – climate, enterprise, inclusion, wellbeing, local and global impact; and the Future Leaders programme.

Future Leaders is a fully free and accessible programme that supports young people in rural and provincial communities to connect, be inspired, build their entrepreneurship and leadership skills, and collaborate on real-world projects to make a difference in their backyard. The programme currently runs in Kawerau, Ōpōtiki, Whakatāne, Whangarei, Kaikohe and Greymouth. More than 70% of participants identify as Māori, and mostly as young women.

The support from the generous folk at One Percent Collective helps to increase access for more young people to take part in the Future Leaders programme and receive scholarship support to attend Festival for the Future.

“The difference Future Leaders is making in rural communities is profound; there is no other programme like it. In our rural communities our rangatahi don’t often have their voices heard. This programme is nurturing them to go from someone who has never had a whanau member attend University, to meeting local MP’s, leaders and game changers on a national level, and being able to picture themselves in those positions. The change is profound, not only for these young people, but for the generations that will come after them." – Marlena Martin, Kawerau

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