Feilding social entrepreneur named as 2020 Edmund Hillary Fellow


4 November 2020

MEDIA RELEASE

As our region and country works to regenerate its economy under on-going COVID pressures, the role of entrepreneurs, investors and innovators has become more relevant than ever before. The global Edmund Hillary Fellowship (EHF) initiative has just welcomed 267 brand new fellows into its ranks, with one of just 18% of Kiwis featuring in the new global line up being Ian ‘Harv’ Harvey of Feilding.

“It’s very much up to you to make the most of such an opportunity as this” say Harv. “I was stoked to make the cut after a tough application process and it was quite evident from some of the first conversations I had with my peers, that these are people who really get on and ‘get sh*t’ done.”

Although no stranger to mixing with a diverse range of people in his work in the business wellbeing sector, Harv is looking forward to broadening his horizons, exploring how to connect up the businesspeople he will be meeting with our heartland region, and pushing his own boundaries when it comes to learning about global issues.

With New Zealand borders still closed, the big challenge for this crop of new international Fellows is not being able to travel to New Zealand and meet up and work as they normally would on their Impact Visas (entrepreneurs are not a priority for border exemptions). Harv spent the weekend online with his fellow fellows, getting to know each other and as part of the host country, supporting tangata whenua welcome, mihi and acknowledge the new Fellows.

“For many of these global citizens, and there’s some 40 nationalities represented, it’s our stand-out relationships with our indigenous people, with tangata whenua, that fascinate and inspire them”, says Harv.

“The EHF staff place a huge emphasis on their partnership with iwi and Māori-lead values, and they want the entrepreneurial ecosystem they’re developing to support and enhance Māori development and problem solving”

Harv takes his place in the cohort alongside many heavy-hitters doing work in tech, health, climate change, education and innovation spheres around the globe – some of which you may recognise, like Tristan Harris, founder of the Center for Humane Tech and a key player in the 2020 Netflix doco, The Social Dilemma.

“It was a bit of a laugh when we were online and people were asking, “where are you dialling in from?”, and here were people from The Hague, Shanghai, Beijing, New York, London, and then me – zooming in from our office in Feilding.“

The EHF aims to incubate solutions to global problems from Aotearoa-New Zealand. They do this by bringing together some of the most globally-connected and forward-thinking entrepreneurs and investors in the world.

Says Harv,

“We’ve long been an incubation nation. The EHF firmly believe we can do things here in our country that others can’t and I’m excited to see what we can do together.”

Named for one of our country’s most loved and famous global citizens, Sir Edmund Hillary, the EHF Fellowship programme launched in 2017. This latest announcement of Fellows brings to an end a 4-year Global Impact Visa pilot programme, where 533 Fellows from over 40 nationalities were selected from a pool of 3,400 applicants over 3.5 years.

The award does have a special meaning for Harv, as he once met the famous man when he was asked to chauffeur him to a rhododendron event up at Kimbolton. “I had to drive across a wet Manawatū paddock to pick up Sir Ed from a helicopter and then ferry him onto his engagement in my ute. It was as wet as shag going across to the chopper so all I could think was, ‘Don’t get stuck you dick!’”

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