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Author: Steven Moe

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We talk purpose with inspiring people making a positive impact with their lives. We are particularly interested in social enterprises and entrepreneurs. We will listen to them reflect on their journeys and take time to dig deeper in order to better understand what really motivates their choices.
121 Episodes
Darren has worked for many years in the NGO sector and now assists organisations to maximize social impact through Direct Impact Group.  In this interview we talk about his childhood and early years and career before he joined an NGO.  We focus in particular on governance and impact and how you go about maximising social impact.  We also discuss what he has observed over the years of working as the head of an NGO and now consulting to assist them. For more interviews visit          
Bill Murphy is the founder of Enterprise Angels and of the Purpose Capital Impact Fund.  In this episode we talk a lot about entrepreneurs, start-ups and impact investing.  However, we also talk about Bill's life and what has led him to what he does today.  If you enjoy this check out earlier episodes as there are more than 100 in the back catalogue.  Video of the session after this with about 20+ people about the Purpose Capital Impact Fund: Video of this podcast interview: If you enjoy this have a listen to Chris Simcock on Impact Investing here (another purpose driven fund supported by Akina and others - more here): This was recorded on 5 August 2019. Purpose Capital Impact Fund: Enterprise Angels: More about the fund: "Around the world, investors are looking for ways to not only make money from their investments, but also to make a difference. Whether it is concern about poverty, housing, or the environment, more and more of us are feeling the urgency to change the way we invest and do business. We want to back innovative solutions to major environmental and social problems. Globally, impact investing is on an upward trajectory. The Global Impact Investors Network (GIIN) estimates that there is now US$228 billion in impact investing assets, which represents a doubling of the year prior. The Purpose Capital Impact Fund is the first fund of its kind in New Zealand. Building on the experience of some of New Zealand’s biggest commercial trusts and New Zealand’s largest investor network, it harnesses the power of the philanthropic and commercial sectors in one vehicle. As such, it combines expertise in philanthropy and social change with a track record of investing in innovation."
This is a short presentation in Melbourne at the Charity Law Association of Australia and New Zealand (CLAANZ) annual conference.  The topic was looking at private enterprise and business in the context of how they relate to charities so I shared some reflections on what is going on right now in the world and the fact that there may be a paradigm shift occurring.   A lot of this thinking comes from doing this podcast and also from playing a small part in helping write this report: Thanks to the CLAANZ team and Directors for asking me to share and to the other panellists who spoke as well - it was great to have all your input!    I wrote this out in advance and the text of is below...I said it differently when speaking but the essence is the same. Video of this session here  Paradigm Shifts in Business and Charity Kia ora koutou, ko Steven toku ingoa, no Ōtautahi au. Good morning everyone, my name is Steven Moe and I am really pleased to be able to join you today and offer a New Zealand perspective on this topic.  I work as a Partner in a law firm called Parry Field in Christchurch where we have 50 staff and I assist many charities and not for profits but also worked at an international law firm for 11 years – including 4 years in Sydney – so have in the past, and still do, a lot of work for corporates and profit making companies.  I am also on the board of a charitable company called Christian Savings which in New Zealand has more than $100 million in loans out to Churches and similar charities to fund their projects.  So with that bit of context I want to offer you a different perspective. When I was younger there was a particular book which fascinated me and I’ve brought a copy along.  Do any of you remember having one of these?  The book is called “Magic Eye: A new way of looking at the world”.  For a brief period in the 1990s they were the true definition of a “fad”.  They sold tens of millions of copies across the world and appeared in countless waiting rooms.  The way it works is that you see just colours or shapes but if you can adjust your eyes then an image will emerge out of that and appear in three dimensions.  You see something new even in a place where you have looked before. The reason I mention that is to frame what I am about to say.  When we talk about public benefit and private benefit and charity and business I think that there is, in a very similar way, a new way of looking at the world which is emerging right now.  Our own moment in history and the way we have looked at things in the past is not an accurate mirror to represent how it is destined to always be.  But we need eyes which are adjusted well to be able to see that.   What I am talking about here is a paradigm shift of thinking that is very similar to this Magic Eye.  The old paradigm – which we each naturally fall into – particularly if we are active and working in this sector – meets someone at a dinner like the one we will have tonight.  The person to our right says, “I want to help people who are coming out of prison reintegrate back into society”.  We congratulate them and immediately launch into a talk about the charity they are founding and what the source of donations will be, or grant funding.  It is clear that they are being driven by motivations of the heart.  This will clearly be for the public benefit and heart motivations lead to charity.  A key word here might be “purpose” We talk to the person on our left who says, “I’ve got this idea for a new tech solution to reducing the cost of credit cards”.  We congratulate them and immediately launch into a different conversation about being an entrepreneur, about accelerator programs, startup venture capitalists and funding by issuing shares in a for profit company.  It is clear that there are motivations of the head here and so we discuss business.  A key word here might be “profit”.  As a side note, it is important to note that these people have big hearts and often are on boards of charities, donate money and time but see it as something for their spare time, not something that could intersect with their working world. So if that is the old paradigm, then what is the new one? The new one seeks to combine the private and public benefit and integrate the heart and the head.  It does not think in terms of a binary of either being “for profit” or being “not for profit/for purpose”.  Instead it asks whether the organisation cannot be both.  And if it could be both then imagine the possibilities – see the world in a new way.  This new conception of business and charity sees them more overtly integrated.  So turning to our two friends, rather than relying on uncertain funding streams of donations and grants, what if she set up a structure that actually employed the very people that need the support and therefore empowered them?  As for the credit card venture, what if customers could choose to divert a portion of the fees paid to organisations that they want to support?  Both of these entities of course exist – Pathway in NZ does just that with Prisoners and Choice does it with Credit.  This will be lead by the next generation who already ask deep questions and want their lives to have an impact – not just get paid. So the true question is not how do we talk about and frame private and public benefit in the future, the true question is what this paradigm shift means when we talk about charity and business xszand the systems that we have constructed to regulate and govern them – which are based on the old paradigm and don’t match the reality of the new one.  We need to move from an extractive economy to a regenerative economy.  Because like the Magic Eye this also is a new way of seeing the world. If you are interested in learning more about this I was involved in writing a report with 5 others on this and similar topics which is now sitting with the New Zealand Government and I will share more about that later today in the update on New Zealand developments. The last thing to say is that if you’ve listened closely I’ve deliberately not used the words social enterprise, because I don’t want it to become an “us and them” term, as I dream of a day when all businesses have embraced the combination of purpose and profit so I don’t want it to be seen as something that “they” do as the paradigm shift applies to all organisations. Thank you.
Ian was the ambassador to Japan at the time of both the Christchurch and Tohoku earthquakes of 2011.  In this interview we hear all about his childhood and what led him to the diplomatic service.  We also find out about what he loves most about Japan and what it is actually like to be a representative of a country.  These days Ian is involved in the Japan New Zealand Business Council so we also learn about that organisation. Japan New Zealand Business Council For more content visit 
Bridget cares about the UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and founded social enterprise Bead and Proceed to highlight them.  In this interview we find out about the SDGs as well as her own life story and journey including her work with the Student Volunteer Army, Global Shapers, working as a lawyer and time on the TV show, What Now.  For some reason we also discuss a lot of memorable and inspiring quotes on this particular episode - it was great to welcome this self described "enthusiastic human" onto the show! Website:  LinkedIn: Bead and Proceed Instagram: Email: SDGs: More interviews at   
What is your Cathedral?

What is your Cathedral?


A short reflection.   The text of this is here. What do you think?   Photo from Pixabay by suetot:  
Japanese decision making - how is it different?  What can we learn?  This is a short little presentation at the Canterbury Employers Chamber of Commerce on doing business in Japan.  I lived in Tokyo and Osaka for 5 years and worked two of those years within a very large Japanese trading house so this episode contains some of the key things I learned.  In particular, I talk about the concepts of Nemawashi and the Ringi system of decision making.   Video of the talk is here: Other resources at 
Hannah is a communications consultant and wordsmith who helps organisations focussed on impact to communicate their stories. She founded Ngātahi Communications and in this interview we find out about her childhood growing up on a remote high country farm, her early love of writing and stories, a special relationship with her great-grandfather, studying communication, the impact of the earthquakes and why she focusses on organisations creating positive impact. We also chat about her decision to switch to a 4 day work week, as well as the impact of her family history on what she does today.   This is one of those wide ranging interviews with a key player in Christchurch who is focussed on helping people doing good to communicate that most effectively. Ngātahi Communications: Facebook: Email: Other organisations mentioned in this interview:
This is a live panel discussion recorded 17 July 2019 in Christchurch at an event to answer questions about B Corps.  In it we hear from 6 different people about their experiences either working for B Corps or looking to become one, as well as from Andrew Davies from B Labs Australia and New Zealand.  The panellists are: Tim Jones, from Grow Good (Tim hosted and organised the event) Andrew Davies, CEO of B Labs Australia and New Zealand Michelle Sharp, CEO of Kilmarnock Enterprises  Belinda Mathers from Enviro-Mark Sam Davies from Trineo Kath Row from Eagle Protect Impact Assessment site: The Impact Report Andrew mentioned is an audio book read out for seeds, and links to it, here: Michelle has been on this podcast telling her life story before (twice) here and here Tim Jones has also been on three times, and his life story is here: and a discussion with another former guest, Mark Ambundo, is here:    
Israel has a clear sense of identity and purpose and we talk about what led to his co-founding the building company, home, which has a real focus on people and community and is an impact driven company.  From his earliest years as a child growing up in the cult his Grandfather founded (now called Gloriavale) to time in the United States and Australia, working at PWC and co-founding IT companies, working in the movie industry, we talk about that and more along the way.  What shines through in this interview is a clear sense of identity and resulting purpose which places an emphasis on people and community over profits.  For me, having worked with many social enterprises and other companies what home is doing is significant as it foreshadows the future I think more companies will embrace - including time frames that allow for 100 year business plans, a focus on employment and care for people who work at a company and a desire to actually do some good through the business of the company itself - in this case, providing homes (not just houses) to many in New Zealand.  This is one of my favourite interviews so far and as it is the 112th one, that is saying something.   Website:
Comments (1)

Jonathan Lee

A few weeks ago, I sat down with Steven and had a solid, fun, recorded conversation on purpose and life. Steven recently published a legal handbook on social enterprises in New Zealand and has been doing interviews with entrepreneurs and social enterprises about their journeys on this podcast. Through mutual friends and overlapping circles we got connected quite quickly. I feel honored to have been invited to be on the podcast. The growing list of humans and their truly impressive set of accomplishments and contributions to earth and society are humbling. Steven masterfully guided the conversation from my childhood to teenager years as an immigrant, as he waives into it his own story and aspirations, and we move into my university days and during that the exposure to the greater world, its beauty, its problems, my craft, and my finding of sometimes-often bumpy pathways that have taken me where I am currently. I told him it has been years since anyone has dug that deep to my past-history and the aspirations that have been part of my constant evolution, and it was truly an enlightening articulation/process for myself as well. After our interview/conversation, I have listened to several podcasts with other interviewees and have enjoyed their stories, lessons, and journeys. I am looking forward to soaking up some more! I can definitely recommend this podcast and hope that there is great value for you too.

Jan 23rd
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