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Festival for the future

What happens when you spend a weekend with 1,200 passionate young adults who want to make a difference and aren’t afraid to tackle the hard questions? 

My colleague, Opender Singh, and I found out when we attended Festival for the Future at the beginning of August. It was an eye-opening experience which encouraged me to make a positive change in society, while providing us with a unique opportunity for professional development.

The festival challenged us to think big and not use our age as an excuse for ignorance. The panels were a great example of this, with bold topics including tackling the problem of climate change, how technology will affect the future of work and ways to improve New Zealand's education system.

Festival for the future

It was also empowering to hear the stories of speakers from various social enterprises and charities who shared how their visions came to fruition despite various obstacles in their path. I particularly enjoyed hearing from Daniel Flynn, who dreamt of tackling the water crisis in developing nations and came up with the Thank You brand, which donates 100% of their proceeds to improving water infrastructure in developing nations.

I also appreciated the strong focus on professional development at the Festival, a great example of this was the workshops I attended. The creative problem solving workshop focused on techniques for problem solving. Through the workshop I realised that successful problem solving requires a willingness to get feedback on your solution early and to be willing to adapt your approach.

This lesson is certainly an important one in my work as a software developer as I strive to come up with solutions which best meet my client's needs. I also attended a leadership workshop which broke down common misconceptions of leadership. Out of this workshop came the realisation that leadership is not necessarily a role of power and dominance but one which requires a good listening ear and a clear and defined vision.

Finally, the festival provided a comfortable atmosphere for connecting with the other participants, the represented charities and even the speakers. This provided a great opportunity to contribute to and receive inspiration from other people's ideas as well as incubate new ideas and dreams.

All in all I was very encouraged to see so many young adults passionate about making a positive change in the world. The lessons I learnt from the workshops and the encouragement from the stories of the speakers made me feel better equipped and inspired for my journey ahead. I would like to thank Intergen for providing me with the opportunity to attend the festival, it is great to see the company's investment into the community and my professional development.

Posted by: Simon de Vries, Junior Developer | 24 August 2017

Tags: Personal Development, Festival for the future

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