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The Te Hono Stanford Bootcamp is a week long, intensive programme held at Stanford University in California, USA around the middle of each year. Invitations are extended to those who normally hold Chief Executive or senior governance positions and are predominantly exporters from the primary sector. Maori agribusiness, educational institutes and government agencies have increasingly played an important role to enable a robust New Zealand ecosystem discussion.
Both new members and a smaller number of existing alumni attend. Each Bootcamp has focused on a different theme (with Stanford faculty speakers and guest speakers from private sector businesses) – but all with the over-arching objective of fundamentally improving the competitiveness of New Zealand’s primary sector on a global stage.
The first Bootcamp was a small event at Stanford University – 23 Chief Executives from New Zealand’s primary sector companies, together with the then Minister for Primary Industries, Hon. David Carter and Chief Executive of New Zealand Trade & Enterprise, Peter Chrisp. As well as providing the opportunity to gain further education and connect with global thinkers these leaders soon realised the conversations they’d started could help begin to unlock the potential of the primary sector.
The next Bootcamp event reached out to Maori leaders, who bought diversity and cultural elements into the conversation – a key factor in ensuring the successful development of not only Maori business but the primary sector as a whole.
Following this Bootcamp momentum was growing – trust was building and alignment amongst alumni was great.
Stanford Bootcamp 2014 focused on creating an ecosystem around the primary sector. Building on the diversity of the two years prior this class was made up of various business, academic, government, gender, ethnic, public and private participants. The key-note speaker was Prof Condoleezza Rice (American political scientist, diplomat and the 66th United States Secretary of State) who spoke about ‘Global Business and the Economy’. Attendees had site visits to Google and PayPal.
This year focused on ‘Transformational Leadership and Understanding Value – Consumer, Digital and Market Innovation’. It was recognised that the foundation and ecosystem had been laid, and now moved into the acceleration/action phase. The key-note speaker was William McDonough – world leader in sustainable development and recognised by TIME magazine as a ‘hero’ for the planet. As well as site visits to IDEO and IBM, this class was divided into teams assigned with ‘How might we…’ challenges for the sector requiring gathering of user insights and presentations back to the wider group. An unprecedented 33 individual and collective actions were committed to.
The theme ‘Accelerating Transformation: Building a High Value Economy’ focused on transformational leadership, understanding value, disruption by design and opportunities for competitive identity. For the first time ‘international customers’ were invited, who provided the group with an invaluable outside-in perspective. The final session resulted in 45 individual and collective commitments amongst the group to improve New Zealand’s performance on the global stage.
The focus of the 2017 Bootcamp was how might we make Aotearoa New Zealand the global exemplar – environmentally, economically and socially. The programme was a springboard for driving significant change, with alumni collaborating to develop and accelerate nine projects that will create a quantum shift for New Zealand’s primary sector. Through a mixture of transformational leadership insights, Stanford Graduate School of Business faculty teachings and facilitated project development, the cohort created business plans that will achieve international momentum, drive economic prosperity and enhance the reputation of New Zealand.
“Well done guys this has been a really amazing experience and for me incredibly relevant to where our business is right now. It couldn’t have come at a better time. Have already started to connect on some projects which is great.” - Mark Cox, Craigmore
“It in all ways exceeded expectation – the quality of the lectures, the speakers, the positive collaborative attitude of the group, the positive impact of maori culture on the event, and the out of class discussions. Great to meet so many like-minded NZ’ers and NZ-philes. Most of all, it’s great to be involved in something with such a worthwhile purpose. I look forward to staying involved going forward.” - David Ross, Kotahi
“It was the most inspiring and stimulating executive education I have ever done, and I believe will result in changes for me, for our company and I hope for New Zealand.” - Jen Scoular, NZ Avocado
“This was a truly rewarding experience on a both personal and professional level. Thanks so much to all those involved.”
“Combinations of MBA-type training and NZ development were great together.”
“Te Hono Bootcamp is the most powerful event of my working life – nothing matches it I have gained energy, insight, knowledge and a deep understanding of what Aotearoa Inc really means I have made connections that I will treasure.”
“I loved the strong Māori component and the sense of pride in our country and sense of transformation you are shooting for in terms of how we see ourselves in the world to potentially shape markets. “
"The Te Hono Bootcamp at Stanford Business School is in a league of its own…" - Daniel Boulton, Sealord
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