The environment, education and equality are what concern young Kiwis the most, according to a new survey designed to inform the programme for this year’s Festival for the Future.

New Zealand’s biggest festival for young innovators and leaders is run by Inspiring Stories, a social enterprise backing young Kiwis to unleash their potential. The company was established by former Young New Zealander of the Year, Guy Ryan.

Ryan says the three-day Festival for the Future is driven by the participants themselves. It will see over 1,000 of New Zealand’s young innovators and leaders gather in Auckland for talks, hands-on workshops and performances. “With the feedback we’ve received, it’s hard to imagine a group of young people more passionate about helping to shape the future of New Zealand. This festival is an opportunity to explore the issues facing younger generations and inspire young innovators and influencers to make a difference,” says Ryan.

Of the 150 New Zealanders surveyed, 81 per cent thought it was highly important to discuss the future of the environment and sustainability and 74 per cent of respondents said that it was ‘super important’ to discuss mental health and wellbeing. Global citizenship and migration as well as entrepreneurship were also earmarked as hot topics.

Three quarters of respondents gave a high rating for the need to discuss the vision for New Zealand in 2040.

The 2017 Festival for the Future programme will reflect the issues brought to light in the survey. The festival will take place from 4-6 August at the Aotea Centre in Auckland.

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