Guy Ryan


"Imagine if every young New Zealander unleashed their potential to change the world." Guy is a serial entrepreneur who is best known as the CEO and Founder of Inspiring Stories, and being awarded the Young New Zealander of the Year in 2015.  

Guy is passionate about creativity and entrepreneurship, and believes that young people are a critical part of the solution to tackling the big issues of our time. His energy is infectious, which has led him to create a range of initiatives to back young New Zealanders including founding the national event Festival for the Future, the accelerator programme Live the Dream, and building the Future Fund to provide seed funding and tailored support. He has delivered presentations to more than 25,000 people in New Zealand and abroad, including being a panelist at the Social Enterprise World Forum alongside Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Professor Mohammad Yunus.

Key steps in the journey

Guy grew up on the West Coast of the South Island in a tiny little town called Granity – a beautiful, but very low socio-economic area of New Zealand. Having just scraped through secondary school he was the first in his family to attend university, where he studied design and marketing at Otago. Whilst there he got involved in a range of entrepreneurial initiatives.

After learning more about climate change and the many social and environmental challenges our world faces, Guy became increasingly interested in social entrepreneurship and enterprise. He founded Inspiring Stories in 2011, and won a World of Difference scholarship from Vodafone to fuel the first year of operation. Initially hugely story and film-focused, the organisation has broadened significantly to develop an impressive range of programmes and partnerships.