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Wellington innovator named Young New Zealander of the Year

26 Feb 2015

A young Wellingtonian unleashing his peers’ potential to change the world has been named Young New Zealander of the Year.

NZroftheYear web
Guy Ryan - New Zealander of the Year

Since Guy Ryan founded Inspiring Stories in 2011, nearly 5,000 young New Zealanders been directly involved in its programmes, including the flagship event Festival for the Future and accelerator programme, Live the Dream.

Operating nationwide from their Wellington HQ at co-working space BizDojo, Guy and his team provide end-to-end assistance supporting young social entrepreneurs to develop their ventures.

Inspiring Stories is growing a movement of young New Zealanders who can, and will change the world, Ryan says.

“Receiving the award is incredibly humbling. It’s a huge testament to the community of remarkable people and organisations who share our vision and enable us to do this work. I feel so proud to be a New Zealander, and am excited about the many great things that will grow from this and result in better outcomes for young people."

Wellington City Council Economic Portfolio leader Jo Coughlan says entrepreneurs like Ryan are the new face of Wellington, with the city’s young leaders making waves globally through their innovations and ideas. 

“Half of Wellington’s workforce is employed in knowledge-based industries and we are hugely focused on growing and attracting young talent and businesses as we further grow the region’s knowledge economy,” says Councillor Coughlan. 

“Initiatives like those led by Inspiring Stories are absolutely key to helping the city achieve its goal of a 10% increase in GDP per capita over 10 years, adding an additional $5.4 billion to our economy by 2031.”

Fellow Wellingtonian Matt Strawbridge, founder of dyslexiapotential.comwas also among the three finalists in this year’s award. The website offers free, real tools, guides and strategies to help young people manage, control and master dyslexia.

For more about the New Zealander of the Year Awards, visit

View Guy Ryan’s ‘A Vision for New Zealand’ TEDxWellington 2014 speech here.

For more information or interviews, please contact:

Guy Ryan
CEO & Founder of Inspiring Stories
M: +64 21 243 9869

Jo Coughlan
Wellington City Councillor
Chair Economic Growth and Arts Committee
M: +64 21 522 142
P: +64 802 5010

Laura Nyberg
Brand Executive
Positively Wellington Tourism
M: +64 22 135 6169


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