Future Thinker of the Year 2021

Future Thinker of the Year is back for 2021. If a green, sustainable building environment is your thing, read on and get involved.

Future Thinker of the Year is awarded to a student or recent graduate passionate about green building who demonstrates leadership and knowledge about driving change in Aotearoa.  Whether you’re a researcher, activist, student, or work in the sustainable building space, we want to help amplify your voice and give you a platform to make a real difference across our built environment.

As Future Thinker of the Year, you’ll gain profile among our building and construction sector, opening opportunities to speak and educate others, and lend your voice to industry events and discussions.

The winner will also receive:

  • Entry to the Green Property Summit in Auckland on 6 May
  • Free entry to all NZGBC networking events in 2021
  • Two NZGBC training courses of their choice
  • An invitation to stand on the selection panel for Future Thinker of the Year 2022
  • Involvement in numerous events and speaking engagements

How to get involved

Entries are now open to any current apprentices or tertiary students, as well as anybody who graduated in the last 4 years.

To enter, fill out the nomination form and email to NZGBCFutureThinkers@nzgbc.org.nz

Download nomination form

Be sure you check out our full terms and conditions

Entries close end of day 7 March 2021

How is the Future Thinker of the Year decided?

A shortlist will be asked to submit a three minute video putting forward their ideas on green building in Aotearoa (check out last year’s videos here).

These will then be considered alongside the initial written applications by our panel of industry experts.

The judges will agree four finalists who will be invited to speak at the awards evening where the Future Thinker of the Year will be decided.

The 2021 awards evening will be held on Tuesday 13 April at AUT.

Watch the 2020 awards discussion:

Meet 2020 Future Thinker of the Year Tessa Meyer


Tessa has a Bachelors in Science with a Masters in Urban Resilience and Renewal, and currently works as Programme Sustainability Lead at KiwiRail in Wellington. Previous, she was part of Panuku’s Corporate Responsibility team.

Tessa worked successfully with NZGBC to achieve Green Star – Communities ratings for two of Panuku’s key priority neighbourhoods in Takapuna and Henderson, a first of their kind in Aotearoa. Tessa has also worked to complete Panuku’s Toitū Envirocare Carbon Reduce certification with an emissions inventory and management plan, which includes championing internal sustainable travel. 

Tessa’s submission and interview focused on the need to address decarbonisation through community-wide planning and infrastructure, and to establish ways to communicate the long term economic benefits of this.  

Sustainability Engineer Kate Boylan became NZGBC's first Future Thinker of the Year in 2019.

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