About The Britten Institute


New Zealand continues to follow traditional value creation models. We have ideas, we make things and then we start to think about how we are going to sell into an ever-more competitive global market.

Throughout our European history we have leveraged our natural environment to help us sell our products. We have been great at coming up with pragmatic solutions that enhance the lives of some in the belief that a rising tide lifts all boats.

What will define us? Other countries have rivers and mountains as well as entrepreneurs with ideas. It is time for us to decide our own real and compelling story.


Our Name

John Britten is a name that conjures up a picture of a man who laboured against the accepted way of doing things. Creating a legacy did not shape Johns thinking but imagine what he could have done, if he’d had the chance to live his real dream and put his mind to solving challenges on a global scale, from New Zealand.

Successful organisations of tomorrow must begin now to develop a long term defensible purpose and our future John Brittens must care deeply about what, how and why, they do what they do.


What shaped our thinking

Given that New Zealand was the first to give women the vote, the first to introduce social welfare, New Zealanders were the first to split the atom, navigate rivers in jet boats, manage stock with electric fences and so may more, we wondered how we could develop basic critical thinking skills to reflect the uniqueness of New Zealand and in doing so reconnect our communities and learn to value all contributions.  

Our challenge is a big one but the advantages to us are obvious.

In a fast shifting world, we need to quickly engage teams of diverse thinkers. If we embrace diverse thinking we will enhance social engagement and decision-making skills nationally. We will then have access to more diverse minds. Bringing better ideas to fuel our future development.

We can be a country known for its consistent ability to provide real value for the world.


The Britten Institute

At The Britten Institute, we visualise New Zealand truly becoming a global leader.

We want to embrace a new way of creating value that can change the world for good.  We believe that our principles-based Design Thinking methodology can help to distil values and embed them in all that we do.

It’s possible to create a country that attracts clever and thoughtful people and encourages them to pursue their dreams.  This allows us to work towards leading, teaching and mentoring the world in a new way of thinking, being and creating lasting value for others.

The Britten Institute wants to build a national wave that inspires individuals and New Zealand organisations to develop products and services that truly work for people, planet and profit.

Successful organisations must muster their energies around a greater long-term purpose and must care deeply about what, how and why they do what they do. We cannot wait any longer to capture our advantage.

The Britten Institute has been conceived as a conduit and enabler that will develop the kind of new thinking New Zealand needs as we make decisions about our future.

The Britten Institute is an aspiring Social Enterprise that delivers the following programmes to individuals and organisations.


Our Offering

The Britten Institute has developed tools and methods to bring diverse people together, respect their differences and bring forward ideas guided by a set of universal principles.

1.      Short Workshop Programme

An overview of the Britten Institute design principles and how they function. Lively, Interactive and thought -provoking this runs as a two-and-a-half-hour open workshop or as an inhouse workshop.

2.      On Line Design Purpose Course (launching late 2017)

An exploration into the meaning and value of a truly diverse team and an in-depth study into the establishment of an organisations purpose.

3.      On Line Design Thinking Programme (launching early 2018)

 In depth study of the Design Principles in action. Designed as a ten-module course with a study commitment of four to six hours per module.  Participants will engage with a cohort of students.  They will be encouraged to communicate with one-another via the learning platform. Cohorts will be offered opportunities for further face-to-face learning.

4.      Group Learning Events (in development)

Next step for graduates of our On-Line Learning Programme

5.      John Britten Scholarship (in Development)

The John Britten Scholarship is for young people who are bright in ways that are not recognised by our current education system. They lack the advantage of a wider range of social support systems that can give them the skills and confidence to put themselves forward. The Britten Institute will provide mentoring, guidance and financial support.