vivian Hutchinson is the Executive Officer of the Social Innovation Investment Group, and the New Zealand Social Entrepreneur Fellowship. For the last thirty years, he has been a community activist and social entrepreneur, mainly on employment and livelihood issues.
He established the Skills of Enterprise training programmes, which were New Zealand’s first business courses for unemployed people. He also founded
The Jobs Letter
, a media watch and essential information service which focused on unemployment and poverty issues and the community initiatives that are making a difference.
Vivian was instrumental in establishing the Mayors Taskforce for Jobs which has 95% of all New Zealand Mayors in its membership, and is working to ensure that “no young person under 25 years will be out of work or training in our communities”. He also started the Employment Catalyst Fund, backed by the Tindall Foundation, which provided matching funds for employment initiatives inspired by the Mayors Taskforce.
In addition to his work in community employment initiatives, vivian has also been a cultural entrepreneur creating network gatherings and learning communities for “New Zealanders working for the common good”.
In 1985, he launched the Festivals of Co-operation which brought together community-based activists from a wide variety of service sectors from employment, environment, health, justice, race relations and peace issues. In 1989, these Festivals grew to become the Heart Politics gatherings which continue to be run twice a year at the Tauhara Conference Centre, in Taupo.
In 2006, vivian was awarded the Queen’s Service Medal for Community Services (QSM) in the New Zealand New Years Honours, in recognition of his work in race relations, social justice, job creation, and philanthropy.