Elevate Programme


 We will begin the day exploring the development sector to better understand how the most effective change can be made. 

Learn from:
Sam Davies Talwar - The EWB Story: How we were founded and the lessons learned about development

In his roles, Sam participated in many of the discussions, triumphs and failures which helped form EWBNZ's approach to international development and community engagement. Sam will draw on real world examples from previous EWB projects as well as thought experiments to challenge commonly held ideas about international development and take you through the learning process that EWBNZ has navigated as an organisation to reach our current approach.

Gill Greer - "He taught us all he knew... and our lives have changed forever"

In a world of volatility, disorder and disruption, enough small acts can, together, make a difference. Drawing on examples of this, at home in Aotearoa New Zealand, and across our region, we can see that volunteering lies at the very centre of people centred development, and at the heart of global citizenship. Building on mutual respect, reciprocity, and relationships, it offers opportunities for new learning and understanding, enabling people to realise their potential, as they have the right to do. But how do we ensure its value is recognised – in policy, funding, and in action from local communities to the UN and be the new global agenda to ensure ‘no-one is left behind’?

Matt King & Iva Koroismanunu - Development in the Pacific

This presentation weaves together stories direct from Vanuatu on the Live and Learn Western Pacific Sanitation Marketing and Innovation Program (WPSMIP). Matt King and Iva Koroisamanunu will talk from their respective positions on their current work to improve the sanitation conditions in Vanuatu.


Then we will be inspired by people who are doing amazing things.

Lionel Taito - Creating change

Lionel's presentation will cover his research into the global issue of plastic waste and its effects on the environment. Primarily focusing on Samoa and how the country deals with plastic and waste management, Lionel will discuss his creative approach to the issue that uses 3D printing as an alternative method of recycling whilst considers the various community benefits, up-skilling of communities in digital literacy, education and his examples of what could be made in the pacific and how they can benefit the community. Lionel will also discuss Creative Pathways which he founded at the end of 2015 as a result of his research, and how Creative Pathways aims to try and increase numbers of Pacific, Maori,and Female participation in the fields of STEMMD (D for Design). Discussing his journey into entrepreneurship, his motivation and his approach to making teaching and learning fun and enjoyable for students and teachers. Helping create pathways for careers, education and for the future through CREATIVITY.

Janette Searle - How the leg of a boy in Pakistan led me toward the changing face of education in my own back yard, and the 5 lessons I learned on the way

The journey started with 400 feet in Wellington and the learning of her first two lessons. What happens when you start, and how to get others to travel along with you. Since then Janette has learned 5 key lessons that are as relevant to sending medical equipment to Honiara, as they are to minimising barriers to education for youth at risk in Waitakere. In fact you can apply these lessons to most things you’re trying to do especially if you are hoping to create social change and you’re not doing it on your own.

Sam Lucas - Empowering gifted youth to code their way out of poverty.

Social enterprise ‘Onja’ started with 8 volunteers skyping two Cambodian students out of a tiny room at the University of Auckland. The Cambodian students, Saroeun and Veasna learned to make websites in one year, and started making money from their new skill. At this point Onja’s team realised they were onto something big. In 2015 Sam Lucas, Onja’s founder moved to Madagascar, the island nation off the coast of East Africa - identified as the place where Onja would be most impactful. He spent a year living in a rural village, and has formed a small team that believes they have a role to play in revealing Africa’s greatest, but most overlooked resource: it’s people.

Finally, we will learn how we can get involved in creating positive change!

Mary Curnow of Volunteer Services Abroad - Volunteering: Discover the possibilities

Come and find out more about the opportunities to work alongside people in the Pacific with VSA, and help enable lasting positive change. VSA sends amazing Kiwi volunteers to share their skills and experience with local people and communities, to make better lives for everyone. Hear the stories of returned volunteers and find out how you can take action for change.

Paula Feehan of Oxfam - Campaigning: How YOU can make change happen

If you are interested in making a positive difference and being involved in making change happen – come along to this one hour workshop to find out how you can plan a campaign, develop creative and meaningful strategies and be a successful campaigner making the world a better place!

Alex Manktelow & Quinn Hornblow of Engineers Without Borders - Fundraising: A toolkit


...and more!


Dynamic workshops will be held throughout the day!

Ivan Burduk and Effective Altruism: Auckland - Making an impact

Here at Effective Altruism we like to ask a simple question: How can we most effectively improve the world? Our workshop will focus on answering that question by highlighting common barriers to change, providing tools to navigate those challenges and introducing attendees to the most common debates around what are the most effective areas to work on. The workshop will include the development of critical thinking skills, learning about cognitive biases, and an introduction to a number of highly effective organizations and tools. There will also be an opportunity to engage in two rounds of group discussions to share, challenge and sharpen our ideas. By the end of the workshop attendees will have a firm grasp of many areas in which they can make a strong impact, as well as be introduced to the skills and resources necessary to navigate challenges and contribute effectively to a better world.

Andrew Drain - Co-creation, innovation and impact - the value of user participation

This workshop will look at the role of participatory design in the creation of contextually appropriate solutions and explore the principles and methods that underpin the approach. Participants will work through hands-on design activities and critically discuss practical aspects of participatory design.

Hana Cadzow - How do we "do" development? 

What does it mean to be developed? What paths are there to development? What role can/should engineers play in development projects? As engineers with a desire to use our training to improve the lives of others it is important that we think critically about our attitudes and ideas around the developed/developing divide. This workshop explores current narratives around development and seeks to unpack the way in which we assess and measure development while some providing tools to guide engineering activities in the context of vulnerable communities.