Written by Georgia McConnon

Tauranga’s 2019 Startup Weekend is taking on the seventeen sustainable development goals, address global problems and challenges surrounding sustainability – the first in New Zealand to have a Startup Weekend dedicated to the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDG).

Supported by future-focussed sponsors, and organised by an entire team of volunteers hailing from across our local community, Startup Weekend is able to bring together cohorts of people from all over the country, with a vast array of backgrounds, building a community right
here in Tauranga.
This year’s cohort is filled with amazing people who have been tackling many of the seventeen sustainable development goals prior to this weekend. From mental health, to environmental conservation, this year’s participants do not align with the values of the SDGs, but are taking action by taking action.

The Barter Barber, Sam

Sam, known as the Barter Barber is on a mission to get men talking about their mental health. Having lost four males in his life to suicide, three from Tauranga and countless clients in just three years, Sam is has teamed up with Lifeline, touring the country to increase awareness and encourage men in New Zealand to talk about their mental health and wellbeing while in the chair of the barber.

Having trained at Clifford Lamar in Tauranga, Sam has started his own barbershop, travelled teaching business people how to start a barber shops overseas and all over New Zealand.

His poodle-cross, Bo, who is soon-to-be a registered service dog travels with Dowdall, and have been living out of a 1971 Bedford ambulance since February, towing a barbershop caravan behind. As an amateur film-maker, Dowell is filming the two-year journey, hoping to produce a documentary, which he will dedicate to the last friend he lost to suicide, in December. On his travels, Dowell taking a leap of faith is trading barbering haircuts for services, rather than money. Challenging the status-quo, this passion for sustainability and wellbeing has brought Sam to the Tauranga Startup Weekend 2019 Sustainable Development Edition to form a team, and kick-start innovation and sustainability among the hair/ salon industry.

#TGASW Team: Hair to Stay
Making horticulture healthier and sustainable

Bay Conservation Alliance

With an overall vision to support “a healthy environment enriching nature and people,” Michelle Elborn from Bay Conservation Alliance has a strong relationship with the Sustainable Development Goals, and the actionables needed to integrate these into communities, cities and environments. 

Originally from the UK having completed her master’s degree in Conservation and Recreation Management, Michelle moved to New Zealand in 2001. Working across sustainability, community development, strategy and communications with the Tauranga City Council, she now leads the Bay Conservation Alliance, which presents a huge opportunity to develop a new model for community centralised conservation through the development and implementation of strategy to stimulate change. 

With a long-standing passion for the environment, Michelle attended Tauranga’s Startup Weekend in order to develop tourism for good, in aim to stimulate foot traffic across less known iSites across Tauranga.

#TGASW Team: The Hikoi Squad
Developing tourism for good

Tauranga’s 2019 Startup Weekend is taking on the seventeen sustainable development goals, address global problems and challenges surrounding sustainability. Pitching local solutions developing ideas into concepts, and work on solutions for the good of our people and planet..all over the course of a single weekend!

Photos by: Salina Galvan Photography  &  James Oliver


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