Background

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 create fit or to sell into an ever-more competitive global market. That market is changing and so are our opportunities!

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. We have been unprepared to acknowledge the effect of our development policies.

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. The Britten Institute believes that we have it in our power to reshape our country's future by incorporating social, environmental and financial measures into all that we do, and spreading the benefits.


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The real voyage of discovery consists
not in seeking new landscapes but in having new eyes.
— Marcel Proust

What shaped our thinking

Given that New Zealand was the first to give women the vote, the first to introduce social welfare, the first to split the atom, navigate rivers in jet boats, manage stock with electric fences and so much more, we wondered how we could develop a decision framework to reflect the uniqueness of New Zealand and in doing so reconnect our communities for meaningful participation.  

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 bring a broader cross-section of society into decision-making, we will not only enhance social engagement but also the quality of our thinking nationally. Higher-quality thinking will bring forward better ideas to fuel our future development.

We can be a country known for its consistent ability to provide real value for the world rather than contributing to a world full of things of dubious or transient value.

We created The Britten Institute as a social enterprise to demonstrate our commitment to this idea.