Our Why

We believe that all young people deserve to live a life that makes them come alive. A life with the belief, confidence and opportunity to do more of what they love & make a difference. We believe that we must work to create new systems, support the next generation of innovators, collaborate to deepen the impact of existing organisations to truly make a difference. We believe that the power in our work is in our diversity of thoughts, ideas, feelings & experiences - coupled with our creative process & collaborative structure.

Our Approach

We bring together a diverse group of young people, to work collaboratively on projects and issues that relate to them. We believe that young people need to be the driving force for change when we create projects, systems and programmes for young people. We utilise the basics of Design Thinking principles, Lean Startup & Social Innovation methodologies. Though we are open, flexible and constantly curious about different approaches and methods or ways to deepen our impact and enhance our process.

Our Beliefs

  1. Nothing about us, without us.

  2. Collaboration over competition.

  3. Given the right opportunity & platform all young people can thrive.

  4. Bold, ambitious, gentle in our approach.

  5. Open & curious in our inquiry.


Young Innovators Collective was founded by Kiran Patel, Jessica Bailey & Shayna Bridger in September 2013.



  • Ideas sparked in an informal conversation between Kiran Patel & Jess Bailey, asking the question how might we connect young leaders among the Auckland Region to work together, to support young people all over Auckland. 
  • The Collective was inspired at a workshop at Survive & Thrive Conference, where Vivian Hutchinson shared his learning around bringing his community around social issues and sharing ideas and collaborating to make things happen.
  • Young Innovators Collective formed over a conversation in Kaukapakapa between Jess, Kiran & Shayna, exploring the idea of connecting young leaders within the Auckland region to create platforms for connection, creative expression & leadership
  • YIC began with a Facebook Page - The initial circle sought to connect a number of passionate young people to create something bigger than themselves. The initial circle were musicians & artists who came up with the idea to run a Busking Concert: Busking For Change raising funds for Oxfams efforts in Haiyan after a Typhoon hit the Philippines.


  • Momentum built after Busking for Change, and inspired a number of ideas on potential projects to bring young people together to making something happen.   
  • The campaign ‘What is your big dream’ started in effort to reach out to number of young people across Auckland to share their aspirations, ideas, and dreams. Groups formed around various interests, music, photography, graphic design, random acts of kindness. Out of which came a number of projects and ideas.


  • Kiran entered the HomeGrown Changemakers Programme ran by Inspiring Stories & Auckland Council, and gained $1000 funding to create a website, and launch a service called ‘Get Connected’ - connecting young people to people, opportunities and projects. In efforts to help young people discover & pursue their passions, learning by doing and getting involved in community service & projects.
  • The website launched on May 1st, and saw 160 people go through the online Get Connected Service, Kiran with the aid of 15 YIC Volunteers, helped connect these young people to local projects and people they could connect with.
  • Keniel Yao came onboard to support YIC and incorporate further substance into the philosophy, approach and ideas underpinning YIC as a whole. 
  • YIC was awarded the Auckland Youth Award for giving young people opportunities in our Get Connected efforts.
  • In this time, we had spoke around 15 speaking engagements between May-September.
  • YIC was accepted into Chalkle’s 3-month Always Be Learning Programme, to introduce, services, workshops & classes.
  • YIC was accepted into the LifeHack Venture Support Programme
  • Launched Changemakers Tribes to connect young passionate people who want to make a difference in their communities, connecting the Big Dreamers to support one another in their pursuit of their passions. 


  • The YIC Core Team, the initial circle to what is now the YIC Network was formed; with Conrad, Samunditha, Janelle, Chris, Kiran & William.
  • Idea sparked to revamp the Get Connected Service as a campaign & service - My Big Dream
  • Idea sparked to create Support My Project to connect people wanting to get involved impact projects and start impact projects.
  • Collaboration with Zeal with our Howick Changemakers Tribe
  • Collaborated with New Zealand Youth Leadership Summit - Facilitated & Designed
  • Collaborated with Auckland Council with their Youth Engagement Committee 
  • Collaborated with Inspiring Stories on Co-Designing Festival for the Future.


  • The YIC Network & Gatherings including young people who have a project or passion to empower young people has been established.