About the McGuinness Institute
We are a diverse group of graduates, academics and experienced professionals working towards a sustainable future. To do this we have developed a way of working together to produce reports, papers and background information that we hope will inform, support and inspire other New Zealanders.
The McGuinness Institute is a non-partisan think tank working towards a sustainable future, contributing strategic foresight through evidence-based research and policy analysis.
Frequently Asked Questions
What is the McGuinness Institute?
Why does the Institute exist?
What does the Institute do?
What else does the Institute do?
What are the Institute’s values?
How is the Institute funded and structured?
Who works for the Institute?
How does the Institute relate to government?
How does the Institute relate to international developments in long-term future-thinking?
How do I find the Institute’s research?
What is the James Duncan reference library?
Where is the Institute located?
How can I find out about working for the Institute?
Does the Institute welcome donations?
How can I contact the Institute?
What is the McGuinness Institute?The McGuinness Institute is a privately funded, non-partisan think tank working towards a sustainable future, contributing strategic foresight through evidence-based research and policy analysis.
Why does the Institute exist?The purpose of the McGuinness Institute is to ensure the long-term sustainable future of New Zealand and the wellbeing of its people. The Institute understands the challenges of a rapidly changing environment, nationally and globally, and the need to work collaboratively across all sectors to realise the changes that will ensure the (economic, environmental, social and cultural) wellbeing of the country over the next forty years. It does this by working openly with people of all ages, and cultivating the importance of strategic and future thinking for the long term benefit of New Zealand.
What does the Institute do?The Institute undertakes research and analysis relating to the long-term development of New Zealand. It provides an independent voice, encouraging conversations about the long-term impact of current and future decisions. It also contributes to public discussion by providing submissions and comment to government decision-makers about issues significant to the sustainable future of New Zealand.
What else does the Institute do?An important part of our work is encouraging young people to become engaged with the future of New Zealand and to have their say. To do this the Institute facilitates educational and awareness-raising workshops on issues of national significance and encourages the participants to contribute back to their own communities in ways that pass on what they have experienced. In 2011 the StrategyNZ workshop looked at mapping strategies for New Zealand in 2050, and in 2012 the EmpowerNZ workshop will facilitate discussion about New Zealand’s constitutional arrangements.
What are the Institute’s values?The Institute is guided by the following values:
- A strategic commitment to the long-term sustainability of New Zealand and the wellbeing of its people
- A commitment to producing quality evidence-based research and policy analysis, and making this widely available.
- A commitment to practise an independent, ethical, rigorous and open approach to research and advocacy.
- An aspiration to encourage and facilitate dialogue among central and local government, parliamentarians, policy analysts and the public about alternative strategies for New Zealand’s future.
- Acknowledgement of Te Tiriti o Waitangi and recognition of the goals of iwi and hapu, as well as the goals and aspirations of all other New Zealanders.
- Recognition of the need to build on the past and to explore issues from all angles in order to create a sustainable future that is appropriate in both the short and the long term.
How is the Institute funded and structured?The Institute is led by Chief Executive Wendy McGuinness, who along with her husband Mark McGuinness has established a charitable trust to fund the Institute. The trust provides core funding that enables the Institute to work independently and with other parties interested in pursuing shared goals. In shaping its work programme, the Institute draws on the advice of a range of local and international experts and associates with knowledge and experience of sustainability and future-thinking (foresight) practices. For more information on funding see our March 2012 blog post title 'On our funding, our new name and our origin', or our Annual Reports.
Who works for the Institute?The Institute employs graduates, academics and young professionals from a range of disciplines. Currently the research team consists of full-time and part-time staff, with backgrounds in English, law, commerce, energy management, politics, history and design. Learn more about the staff here.
How does the Institute relate to government?The Institute is non-partisan and has no affiliation with any political parties, government departments or organisations; however we have in the past worked with organisations who share a common interest on specific projects. Our work involves frequent communication with government and other national and international organisations.
How does the Institute relate to international developments in long-term future-thinking?The Institute maintains relationships with future-thinkers in a variety of policy institutes and within various governments – notably Singapore, Canada, Australia and the US – several of whom have been involved in initiatives such as the StrategyNZ: Mapping Our Future workshop. In 2009, 2010, 2011 and 2015 Wendy McGuinness presented papers on Project 2058 at the annual World Future Society conference, and in 2011 she addressed the conference on the StrategyNZ workshop. The Institute is the New Zealand Chapter of the World Future Society.
How do I find the Institute’s research?The Institute publishes and sells research reports and publications through its website. It also makes available its submissions to government and other agencies, ‘think pieces’ on topics of relevance to New Zealand’s long term future, and a range of interviews with local and international future thinkers as part of its commitment to promoting and advocating strategic foresight and future-thinking in New Zealand.
What is the James Duncan reference library?The Institute has established the James Duncan reference library and archive, which houses publications on New Zealand’s future-thinking initiatives and historical development, the theory and practice of future-thinking, strategy development, and national and international perspectives.
Where is the Institute located?The Institute is based in Wellington, New Zealand. Its projects are described, and all its reports and publications are available, on this website.
How can I find out about working for the Institute?If you are interested in working for the McGuinness Institute, please learn more about jobs and internships here or scholarships here.
Does the Institute welcome donations?
As you can appreciate, there is a wide range of activities and research opportunities we would like to undertake but for funding reasons, we are simply unable to do. If you are in a position to donate funds for a particular project or scholarship or to provide more general support, please do not hesitate to contact us.