It’s been a little over nine months since I was part of the Lifehack weekend in Auckland. We were all given one task for the weekend – to come with creative and innovative technological solutions to tackle youth mental illness especially depression/social isolation. This was a social issue I am really passionate about because of my background in public health and the appalling rates of youth suicide Aotearoa has compared to other OECD countries.
It was an intense weekend but a very productive and fantastic one. I met some amazing people from all walks of life who are passionate about social change and using technology to achieve that. There were some fantastic ideas and some awesome concepts that came out of the weekend. It gave me a real hope that there are some amazing people who are passionate about the same things I am and that we are all fighting for some real social change in our own worlds. Lifehack just happened to find all these fabulous people and connect us so that we can put our ideas together to fight for the same cause.
Since Lifehack, I am continuing the fight for social change by working in the NGO/NFP sector with a focus on women and young people. I was humbled and very proud to be recognised for the work I do in the form of a nomination for the Westpac’s Women of Influence Awards under the Emerging Leader category. I was even more excited and humbled when I was one of five young women finalists in that category. You can read more here about why I was one of finalists.
The awards ceremony was great, I got to mix and mingle with some impressive and truly inspirational women from all walks of life. This includes one amazing woman I had the pleasure of meeting at Lifehack, Dr. Michelle Dickinson who was nominated under the Innovation/Science category.
Even though I did not win, I had the pleasure of meeting and connecting with women and men who are passionate about women’s empowerment and leadership. As I have said many times before I do all my work not for the awards or the recognition, I do them because of my passion for the empowerment of women and young people. Being a finalist meant that the organisations I am involved with got some recognition of the work they do and for that I am grateful. I was also very appreciative for all the aroha (love) and support I got during the Women of Influence Awards.
2013 was a great year and it all started off by making some great connections at Lifehack. 2014 is already off to a great start and I am hoping to do more amazing things and go on some great adventures this year. I am off to New York in March to attend the UN Commission on the Status of Women, which is really exciting, and I bet I will be back in Aotearoa with a recharged energy to do more amazing things!!
If you want to follow my adventures and the things I get up to or you just want to connect with me, you can do so via twitter: @NiveSharat