World Expo 2020: The Global Kaitiakitanga Project

YES have partnered with NZ at Expo 2020 to create the Global Kaitiakitanga Project – a 14-month programme of high-quality mentoring and international collaboration for five Years 11-12 YES companies with a focus on sustainability.

An International Business Opportunity for YES Students 

Why are we running the Global Kaitiakitanga Project? 

World Expos (previously World Fairs) bring the world together every five years to celebrate innovation and collaboration. The telephone, colour TV, the Eiffel Tower, are all thanks to World Expos.  The next will be held in Dubai from October 2020 to April 2021 with the theme of ‘Connecting Minds and Creating the Future’. The theme of the New Zealand Pavilion is ‘Care for People and Place’, based on the Māori concept of Kaitiakitanga. 

As part of this, we’re supporting young kiwi entrepreneurs by providing them with a platform to showcase their sustainable and innovative products at Expo 2020. 190 countries are participating, with an expected 25 million total visitors to Expo Park across the six months. We’re keen to show that New Zealand is good for the world, so we’ve partnered with Young Enterprise, with help from the Southeast Asia Centre of Asia-Pacific Excellence, to make this happen.  

What is it?

Five YES companies will be selected for a 14-month (July 2019 – September 2020) international mentoring and engagement programme that includes (fully-paid):

-  One-week BizVenture to Thailand, October 2019 (for five selected students, one per team), sponsored by Southeast Asia Centre for Asia Pacific Excellence

-  Four-day trip to World Expo in Dubai, January 2021 for winning team (up to a maximum of four, plus one teacher) to display their product/service

-  Four expert mentoring workshops in Wellington (one person per team, per workshop), plus the final pitch in Wellington (two students per team)

-  Up to $2,000 in seed funding per team.  

What commitments do you need to make?

We’re conscious that you will have YES, school and other commitments on top of the Global Kaitiakitanga Project: 

-  The programme is designed to run alongside YES and complement the YES challenges, however, it is not part of YES and requires additional work

-  The work has been deliberately structured not to be intensive, nor to detract you from your school studies, but it will require extra effort at times 

-  The whole team does not need to attend every trip or workshop - this can be shared within the team so that everyone can be involved.  

Am I eligible to apply?

-  Companies must currently be in Year 11 or Year 12

-  Companies must commit to continuing their YES business into 2020

-  Companies must have written support of their school

-  Students must be NZ citizens or permanent residents and have valid passports

-  Companies must have a product or service that embodies the principals of kaitiakitanga (guardianship and conservation): the connection between humans and the natural world.

How can I apply?

-  Companies must submit a 90-second video that answers the following questions:

-  What is your product/service and how does it relate to kaitiakitanga?

-  Why would your product/service be suitable for international markets?

-  What do you know about the Expo 2020 Dubai?

-  Why we should take you to Dubai in 2021?

-  Companies must submit a Lean Canvas

-  Companies must submit a letter from their YES teacher confirming:

-  The school’s support for the company to be on this programme (understanding that the programme is not intensive and supports the YES programme challenges)

-  Teacher’s belief that the company will commit to 14 months.


Apply by clicking the link below, applications close 5pm, Sunday 7 July.


 Apply Here


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World Expo 2020: The Global Kaitiakitanga Project