Guy Ryan


"Imagine if every young New Zealander unleashed their potential to change the world." Guy is an entrepreneur, the CEO and Founder of Inspiring Stories, and the former Young New Zealander of the Year.  

Guy believes that young people are a critical part of creating solutions to tackling the big issues of our time. At University he co-produced the award-winning film Carving the Future, ran a film production company and created an adventure Festival. He went on to found Inspiring Stories, the national event Festival for the Future, the Future Leaders program, the Inspiring Speakers bureau amongst other initiatives. Guy and the team at Inspiring Stories have now supported thousands of young people to build their capability and ideas to make a difference.

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.