Sam Johnson

How do you describe New Zealand identity?
New Zealand is country the world wants to visit with people the world wants to befriend. We’re small enough to be rare yet strong enough to compete on the world stage. We are known to be clean and green and have distinct ‘get it done’ attitude. We have advantages above so many countries in that we are young and are able to learn from international experience and best practice. Our identity will be shaped by how we use and learn from these advantages!

What are the greatest challenges facing New Zealand?
Maintaining and building on our unique identity while responding to world pressures and adapting to the mentality of today’s young people; the digital generation.
We are caught between international pressure to commit our resources to an unsustainable world and the desire to build sustainable, clean and green country. The fine balance of priorities in this area will greatly influence the future of New Zealand and the lens the digital generation views the world through.
We’re experiencing the effects of the Global Economic Crisis but await the impacts of other international movements and disasters. Everything from the Arab Spring to Occupy Wall Street to the hunger strike in the horn of Africa is influencing the digital generation. Technology now effortlessly unites young people and empowers them to achieve change, protect their future and be the change they want to see.
As nation the best preparation we can do for major challenges is allow, encourage and inspire creativity. New Zealanders are renowned for our ‘Kiwi ingenuity’ and that piece of no.8 wire. We need to encourage and build on that attitude in young people, but do so through the technology already in their pockets. Rapid and positive change can happen if we are supportive, open and accepting to new way of life. It’s an exciting future we’ve got ahead of us! M

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