2016 Launching Leaders Conference

The 2016 Launching Leaders Conference was definitely a day to remember! The conference was hosted by Scots College, and the six of us from St Mary’s were joined by around 200 other students from many other schools in the lower North Island region. Right from the welcome by our MC for the day, Scots’ director of leadership – Joel Bouzaid, we were encouraged to talk to as many strangers as possible.

We were lucky enough to hear from and be inspired by three amazing keynote speakers throughout the day: Richard Shirtcliffe, who, after launching and working for many different brands (to varying successes), is now the CEO of Tuatara Brewery. Katie Appleyard, a neuroscientist, fashion blogger and photographer. And Jason Buckley, the extraordinary marketing director of Hell Pizza who did not do well academically, but who was underestimated as an incredible business and marketing visionary, and a selfless people person.

Before lunch, we were split into six focus groups, where we discussed the issues surrounding social media, such as the depersonalisation of conversation and cyber-bullying, and then came up with possible solutions to these issues, including education.

The overriding messages that came across were things like never giving up, and never letting what other people think of you, define you. The idea that leadership is being friendly, persistent and passionate, really resonated with all of us there, and will never leave us. We are the next generation, the problem solvers, and the somewhat radical thinkers. It is up to us to realise the leadership potential within each of us, and BE the leaders of tomorrow, starting today.

Keva Ready
Deputy Head Girl – Special Character