It’s an oft-used phrase that ‘the youth are our future’, but how can we do more as a community to engage and support our emerging leaders? Our panelists join us to discuss their experience in social innovation and achieving change, with a focus on young people and creating inclusive communities.

Great for you if you’re interested in:
• Leadership
• Youth engagement
• Running a social enterprise

Thursday, 28th Sept.
5:15pm – 6:00pm


Smash Palace, 172 High Street, Christchurch,


David Parks Director of The Skill Mill Limited (United Kingdom) David is from Glasgow, Scotland whose career has focused on developing multi-disciplinary services for young offenders. He has established an international network, sharing practice and ideas with criminal justice agencies including the National Partnership for Juvenile Services (USA) and academic and practice institutions in Europe. He chairs the partnership between Newcastle YOT where he is Team Manager and Northumbria University which includes all faculties and other criminal justice agencies. In 2013 he founded The Skill Mill Limited – a multi award-winning Social Enterprise dedicated to the employment of young ex-offenders in environmental work – with teams established and developing across the UK, Europe and USA. More recently he has co-founded E-dible a Social Enterprise which tackles food waste in innovative and creative ways and provides training and employment opportunities. Andrea Chen Co-founder and Executive Director of Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation (USA) Andrea Chen is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Propeller: A Force for Social Innovation, a nonprofit organization dedicated to supporting social innovation in New Orleans. Founded in 2009, Propeller grows and supports entrepreneurs to tackle social and environmental disparities in the areas of water, food, health, and education. Since founding, Propeller has accelerated over 130+ ventures that have generated over $74mm in revenue and financing and operates a 10,000 s.f. co-working office space for entrepreneurs. Prior to joining Propeller, Ms. Chen worked at the Louisiana Association of Public Charter Schools where she oversaw grant making for over $5 million in charter school startup funds and launched a loan fund. She was named a 2016 Business Person of the Year by Biz New Orleans, "40 Under 40" by Gambit Magazine, 2010 City Business Women of the Year, and serves on the boards of Public Lab and Bureau of Governmental Research. She graduated from Stanford University, attended Harvard Graduate School of Education and the University of New Orleans, and was trained in business at Dartmouth University's Tuck School of Business. Ian Short Senior advisor (New Zealand) Ian Short recently returned to NZ after spending the last 12 years on innovation in sustainable/ smart cities, urban development and climate change in Europe and before this 15 years in finance in London, New York and Wellington. He is currently working as a senior advisor to a broad range of organisations in these areas, including helping the NZ govt develop plans for the transition to a low emissions economy.