Leading Change

The Mind Lab announces partnership with The Kiwi Diary

Aligning with our mission to lead education, share knowledge, collaborate, and to achieve sustainable, impactful change, The Mind Lab are excited to announce a new partnership with The Kiwi Diary.

The Kiwi Diary is a diary with a conscience, to keep you organised and inspired, and to “feed your mind and soul”, while promoting the idea of enjoying without destroying Papatūānuku.

“This feels like a really natural alignment because The Mind Lab truly supports what I’m trying to do, while also contributing content that absolutely compliments the diary,” says The Kiwi Diary Founder, Freda Wells.

When the diary was born in 2004 – when Freda’s good friend Annabel saw a similar initiative in Australia – it was pretty “kitsch”. Celebrating Kiwi culture, filled with quotes from Kiwi movies and everyday facts about Aotearoa, as well as all versions of Treaty of Waitangi.

“It was a real pick and mix of anything creative that a Kiwi was producing. It’s like if you just wandered around NZ and peaked into people’s living rooms!” says Freda.

One hundred copies were printed in 2004, the diary’s first year, and since then it’s grown into something far greater.

“I want to plant good plants in the gardens of people’s minds,” says Freda, who grew up in Nelson with a strong connection to nature.

“I just took it for granted, I didn’t appreciate it until I left. I thought it was normal to have pristine oceans and mountains to play with whenever you wanted.”

After finishing high school, Freda did an exchange in Belgium, and experienced a penny drop moment when looking at their environment. “It has completely disappeared, and I realised that they’re not doing anything differently from us, they’ve just been here for a longer time.”

Realising the trajectory that New Zealand was on, Freda realised Kiwis need to change their behaviours. She returned to New Zealand to study a Psychology degree, French Degree, and Environmental Science.

Naturally inquisitive, Freda fell into the role of curator, reaching out to thought leaders, New Zealanders of The Year, scientists, journalists, to contribute to The Kiwi Diary, who most often, would say yes.

Now, the diary is about giving back to the reader, helping you to find your purpose, as well as mindfulness recordings accessible via QR codes, recipes and art. Anyone with a curious mind, a social and environmental conscience, who loves inspiration and poetry, will enjoy The Kiwi Diary.

Freda says: “It’s about humans being humans, Kiwis being Kiwis.”

She says there’s synergies that occur when you move into the space of wanting to do good, after experiencing it for herself. Freda enquired about being a student of The Mind Lab’s Leading Change for Good programme, and when called by an Outreach Manager and The Kiwi Diary was discussed, the idea was passed on to the Marketing & Communications team and the partnership was born.

Marketing Manager, Bex Taylor knew straight away that The Kiwi Diary was something special and totally aligned with the organisation’s purpose to lead positive change, even in the smallest ways.

Freda says that having an influential, innovative company come along to support her in The Kiwi Diary project is “quite the game changer”.

“I love and gravitate towards people and companies who are collectively minded. Who are pathing the path to a future where we are taking care of the environment and still thriving.”

As someone who cannot ignore social or environmental injustice and aims to empower people to understand how to connect to their happiness, meaning and purpose in their lives, Freda would love to one day study The Mind Lab’s Leading Change For Good Programme.

Kiwi Diary 2023 is a team effort: co-designed by Lou Horner, Sarah Weidig, Caspian Ievers and Freda Wells. It wouldn’t be possible without the generous support of The Mind Lab, as well as Steph Fry at Ideal Cups, Sarah Hedger at Yum NZ, Emma & Dan Hennah of Sublime Coffee Roasters and Unity Books.

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