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Patrick Snedden and Jesse Mulligan talk memories, life and The Big Idea

Pat Snedden
Patrick Snedden and Jesse Mulligan weave a conversation across childhood memories, bold career choices, biggest failures and a lifetime of creative entrepreneurship.


Listen to the recent conversation between Patrick Snedden and Radio New Zealand presenter Jesse Mulligan. They weave in and out of Patrick's memories of childhood, his boldest career moves, the things he is most proud of and his biggest failures. This provides interesting insight into how Patrick has navigated a lifetime of creative entrepreneurship and how that led to his most recent governance position as chairman of The Big Idea.

While Patrick claims to be new to the creative sector, he has certainly used his creativity generously to find solutions for some of New Zealand’s largest social issues. One that he is most proud of is his journey with Manaiakalani, an education programme for decile 1 and 2 New Zealanders focussing on lifting Māori and Pacific Island students in the environment of a digital teaching methodology. Manaiakalani started in Tamaki, Auckland and now aims to reach 500 schools across Aotearoa New Zealand. Patrick says, “this is actually one of the best things I’ve ever done in my life.”

It was through this initiative that Patrick met Annie Ackerman, the current CEO of The Big Idea. She facilitated the Spark Foundation to support Manaiakalani in its earliest days. When Annie invited Patrick to be the new chairman on The Big Idea he felt that he owed her one and could bring his governance experience to this process.

These discussions are peppered with stories of earning a reputation in his family for lighting fires in inappropriate places, times of great failure and how he has learned from those experiences and his determination to only sit on boards that have at least 50% female representation.

Have a listen to Bookmarks: Patrick Snedden on Radio New Zealand

Written by

Hannah Mackintosh

27 Mar 2017

Hannah is a Wellington-based writer, community organiser and lover of stories.