March to June - Human flourishing / July to November the Courage to Act

As part of a review of the Trust during 2016, it was decided that we focus our study activities based on the idea that the trust will “be a catalyst for transforming religion and society to be more compassionate and accepting”.

The plans for the coming year are focussed around 2 weekend conferences and a series of associated lunchtime meetings. In the first half of the year the theme is on Human Flourishing and from July on the Courage to Act. There will be a number of invited speakers and an opportunity for participants to develop and discuss the topics they introduce in greater detail. People who take part will be encouraged to identify and act to develop the elements of flourishing and courage in our lives and communities.


Overview -  Human Flourishing: March to June 2017

GDP is high and some say we have a rock-star economy but does that translate into human well-being? For many of the things that are truly valuable to our humanity there is a paradox. Often the most valuable elements can be hard to justify with a purely economic viewpoint such as studying the humanities or investment in museums, arts and culture. In contrast those things like love and connection can are generally not subject to the transactional or the money economy no matter how plentiful the money is.


Thursday March 9 12.30- 2.00   Susan Jones Introduction to Human Flourishing 

Thursday 6 April 12.30 – 2.00 - A group of younger people answering the question ‘what needs to happen to create a flourishing NZ?’  Speakers are Morgan Godfery, Laura O'Connell Rapira and Christina Curley

Morgan Godfery is a writer and political commentator. He is based in Wellington and specialises in Māori politics. Morgan has worked for the Hon. Parekura Horomia and Rino Tirikatene MP and he edited the Bridget Williams Books set of essays titled The Interregnum which was published last year The book gathered ten of New Zealand’s sharpest emerging thinkers to debate ‘morbid symptoms’ of the current moment, “when the old is dying but the new cannot be born”. Essays address issues from precarious work to climate change, and to discuss what shape change might take, from ‘the politics of love’ to postcapitalism. Although about New Zealand the book anticipated the Trump and Brexit phenomena by discussing whether we are also approaching “that ambiguous moment between society-wide discontent and political change” in New Zealand.
Morgan will talk about The Interregnum - how did where get here, what can we expect - and then focus on what a progressive programme looks like under these conditions.
The Interregnum is available from Bridget Williams Books

Laura O'Connell Rapira is Action Station’s Director of Campaigns. She is also the Co-Founder of RockEnrol - a volunteer-run organisation dedicated to building and activating political power for young people. In her work with ActionStation she is dedicated to taking people on a journey that takes them from small beginnings to increasing confidence in citizenship working with political advocacy and campaigning. ActionStation’s current campaigns include building support for improving mental health services, including in Christchurch, and against sexual violence. Often ActionStation works alongside other advocacy organisations to develop and run a campaign. The People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting is an example. ActionStation is working with the Coalition for Better Broadcasting on a crowdfunded and people-powered investigation to make New Zealand's public broadcasting and media work better for New Zealanders. The Commission is accepting submissions and is holding public meetings in centres across New Zealand.
Laura will discuss this journey and how ActionStation’s 2017 campaigns will build towards a vision of a flourishing and fair New Zealand, with courage and compassion at its core. ActionStation believes in putting everyday people and our precious planet first, and building a society and economy that truly serves us. This involves seeing flourishing through the lens of citizenship - a robust democracy powered by informed and connected citizens and guided by accountable leaders.
You can find out more about ActionStation and the current campaigns on the website
People’s Commission on Public Broadcasting


Christina Curley, Social Entrepreneur
Upwards' Founder Christina has an extensive background in digital marketing, online education, and website creation across New Zealand, San Francisco and the UK. However, her biggest interest is in helping young people: from childhood grew an enormous sense of care for others and the seeds for social enterprises Upwards and Savvy Up were sown.

From July - September 2015 Christina was part of the Lifehack Flourishing Fellowship, a cohort of people working in Aotearoa New Zealand to encourage youth wellbeing. Upwards' development was further strengthened by this work, and in November 2015 Upwards was one of three projects through Lifehack's four-week startup accelerator, Te Kōanga.

Lifehack works at the intersection of wellbeing science, design, technology and social entrepreneurship to improve the wellbeing of young people in Aotearoa New Zealand. Lifehack is an initiative from the Prime Minister’s Youth Mental Health Project

More information about Lifehack and Christina’s work on Upwards