2012 is the Chinese year of the dragon and is believed to bring abundance, prosperity and good fortune to those born under its sign; a timely prospect as global economic woes and civil unrest continue into the New Year.

It also looks set to be another busy and exciting year for the Sustainable Future Institute and our calendar will continue to grow as the year progresses and our work programme takes shape. We have a number of exciting initiatives of our own lined up already for the year, so stay tuned and follow these as they develop:

  • We have been working on a report on government-funded science in New Zealand for quite some time, and will publish our report in February. We will be keeping a close eye on developments in this area as the new Ministry of Science and Innovation embeds itself and publishes its strategic documents.
  • We will continue to watch closely for any developments in the Constitutional Review as well as progressing our Project Constitutional Review and other initiatives through the EmpowerNZ website. Of particular note, we are looking at the possibility of running a non-conference event as part of Empower later in the year.
  • The Institute is looking at running a StrategyNZ School Competition. The competition will involve schools in developing a strategy map that outlines their vision for the future of New Zealand. Further details of the competition of the competition, how to register your interest in participating in this competition and more information about developing strategy maps of your visions of New Zealand’s future will be made available over the coming months.
  • There are a number of important debates taking shape concerning local government reform in the Wellington area. This is an increasingly important policy debate in New Zealand as the Auckland Council’s relationship with the government continues to take shape, further changes to legislation for local authorities occur, and councils address long-term strategic concerns. We are intending to publish a Think Piece on this subject.
  • This year the annual World Future Society Conference will be held in Toronto, Canada. Wendy has attended the last four conferences. Following the positive reception the presentation on StrategyNZ: Mapping our Future received last year in Vancouver, Wendy will by heading over to Toronto to speak on the Institute’s latest work.
  • In February Gareth Morgan will be heading to Antarctica & the sub-Antarctic Islands to raise New Zealanders’ awareness of the area & its importance. The objective of this project is to raise New Zealanders’ awareness of the importance of the area between Stewart Island and the South Pole. This is a project that has our wholehearted support. Read more about the OurFarSouth project.
  • The Transit of Venus will take place on June 6 this year, to be marked by an event conceived by Sir Paul Callaghan. There will be a forum on 7 and 8 June, in Gisborne, that will be aimed at a new generation of New Zealand thinkers: to confront current realities and risks and put forward some bold and optimistic opportunities for development.

Our calendar is also filling up with a number of other important dates, some of the key dates for the first half of the year so far are: