Next Generation Influencers


Our aim is to bring together an innovative, talented and inspired community of next generation influencers into the Challenge


Applications for this project are now closed


The project

As part of the Challenge capability development pipeline, the Next Generation Influencers (NGI) project seeks to equip and empower people with the potential to be the next generation of influencers for our land and water. The NGI project will equip our participants with the skills, knowledge and networks to embrace the challenge of stewardship by embedding them at the heart of this National Science Challenge. Our aim is to build the capacity of society to shape and use the outputs of the Challenge in parallel with building capacity in science.

Imagine by 2026 a network of rising influencers with an intimate knowledge of and connections within the Challenge, working for transformation. These influencers will be a fulcrum of change.


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What we are looking for in a Next Generation Influencer

  • A passion for the future of our land and water

  • An appreciation of both thinking and doing

  • A willingness to weave a range of perspectives to find innovative paths forward


What’s in it for you?

  • Forging networks within the Challenge and across new Zealand

  • Opportunities to help shape the future in Our Land and Water and even get involved with new research programmes

  • Generate and co-create ideas and find opportunities to develop these with mentors

  • All this in a creative environment, with an innovative community of people


The process

The project will run over approximately 18 months. The contact time involved will depend on the interests and aspirations of the person involved, however is, at a minimum, 3 x 2.5 day events in phase 2 and 1 x 1.5 day event in phase 4. Participants will be matched with mentors who will support participants thought the process. The majority of course costs will be met by OLW. An additional fee of $2000 (ex GST) will also be charged per participant, however scholarships are available. Travel and accommodation costs will be minimised but are not covered by the course fee. 

Process Stages

  • Identifying next generation influencers: Recruiting participants (3 months to February 2018)
  • Building a foundation: Learning opportunities to build skills, knowledge and networks consisting of 3 x 2.5 day events in April, June and August 2018 on Land/water/people, Innovation and Change (6 months to August 2018)

Workshop dates are:

Event 1 April 3-5

Event 2 June 13-15

Event 3 August 20-22

  • Leading and learning by doing: Using the skills, knowledge and networks gained in phase two, with the support of an assigned mentor (9 months to February 2019)
  • Enduring change: Consolidate the learning through reflection and future planning consisting of 1 x 1.5 day event (3 months to May 2019)


Getting involved

In order to create change, you need to be a part of it! As an NGI participant, you are at the heart of the Challenge, supported with the skills, knowledge and networks to embrace the challenge of stewardship. We believe that by bringing a group of next generation influencers together, we can broaden knowledge and skills and opportunities to build networks and relationships across the land and water system. Empowering you to realise your visions for the land and water systems will lead to a healthy, productive and sustainable program outcomes and purpose.  


This project is being delivered by a passionate team, including Adrian Hunt (Plant and Food Research), Melissa Robson and Franca Buelow (Manaaki Whenua), Ra Smith (Ngāti Kahungunu).



Applications are now closed