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Guy Ryan


BCom, BCApSc, MSciComm (Otago)

I am: 2014 Young New Zealander of the Year; Inspiring Stories Trust CEO; Festival of the Future Founder

I did: Commerce and Science Communication

2015 Young New Zealander of the Year Guy Ryan’s diverse study choices at the University of Otago are something he draws on daily.

Guy, the chief executive and founder of the Inspiring Stories, did a double degree in commerce and design at Otago, followed by a Master of Science Communication “with a little bit of psychology and computer science as well”.

“It enabled me to draw on all those different fields and apply it directly to a range of projects and enterprises I’ve started, then onto the thing I’ve poured my heart and soul into over the past five years. It set me up with the knowledge and tools to bring ideas to life.”

Guy ended up at Otago through a combination of having family in Dunedin (“I’ve got three aunties and few cousies down there”), a passion for surfing, and the city’s great surf breaks.

“I had an amazing time at Otago. I used to get video cameras out every weekend from the design department. I started out making surfing and skateboarding films with mates and putting on these big premieres in bars, and getting great student bands to play.”

One of those films won a Best New Zealand Film Award at the New Zealand Mountain Film Festival in Wanaka.

“In addition to the study I was always up to something, some kind of project on the side (or multiple projects).”

Just after completing his master’s he started the organisation called Inspiring Stories, which operates nationwide with the vision to see every young New Zealander unleash their potential to change the world.

The proximity of Dunedin and the University to the things he loved was important during Guy’s time at Otago.

“For me, obviously surfing was a big drawcard, and access to adventure and the outdoors – Queenstown, Central Otago, the Catlins – all those sort of places almost on your back doorstep. “

It’s really unique – Only Otago gives you access to snow, surf and a student experience like no other.”

Find out more about the Bachelor of Commerce and the Master of Science Communication

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