Residentials is a new series profiling the innovative companies and individuals who make up BizDojo’s coworking ecosystem. Each episode gets you up close and personal with some of New Zealand’s finest entrepreneurial thinkers.

Our first episode focuses on the team behind Inspiring Stories, who moved into BizDojo Wellington at the start of this year. Their focus, productivity and inventive use of the space has been truly refreshing.

Led by CEO Guy Ryan, the team works to empower young New Zealanders to reach their potential. If this sounds ambitious that’s because it is, and the aim of Inspiring Stories goes further, about as far as an aim can go – they see this maximising of potential as a solution to some of the world’s most pressing issues. 

There’s much rhetoric around ‘the youth’ being a solution to our biggest problems, and what’s different about Inspiring Stories is their practical and individual commitment to young people.

The rubber is hitting the road in a very literal sense through nationwide workshop tours that teach storytelling and filmmaking. Festival for the Future puts young people front and centre, giving them a platform to share and develop their ideas with other social entrepreneurs, and leaders from the community and business sectors. The Live the Dream accelerator programme supports young entrepreneurs to transform ideas into action through social enterprise.

A side effect of Inspiring Stories’ multi-pronged approach is the re-shaping of the narrative around young people. Yes - they can be rebellious. Okay, alright -understanding their point of view can be a challenge for older generations. But much good can come from harnessing the momentum and fresh perspective of a young mind that refuses to compromise.

Inspiring Stories was born of Guy Ryan’s own fresh perspective and refusal to settle for the status quo, and we at BizDojo are thrilled to see Guy’s vision and leadership being rewarded with a very exciting nomination. Regardless of who is awarded Young New Zealander of the Year, Guy’s nomination is well-deserved recognition for the work of Inspiring Stories.

Nik Jarvie-Waldrom is BizDojo Wellington’s Community Manager. Follow her on Twitter. (my handle thingo is @nikinajar)