Haere Mai (Welcome)

Sam Johnson is one of New Zealand’s most inspiring young citizens. Farm boy – turned disaster recovery guru, Sam has a record of challenging the status quo, shattering stereotypes and literally shifting mountains with a few friends.

Awarded Young New Zealander of Year for his leadership, Communicator of the Year for his honest media commentary and a Sir Peter Blake Leadership Award to remind him never to rest on success; in Sam’s world, there is no moment worth missing out on.

From devastation or despair, to mobilization and repair his experiences from natural disasters in Christchurch, Japan, the Philippines, Vanuatu, and Nepal have taught Sam and his team a lifetime of experiences in a few short years!

The Student Volunteer Army mobilized an astonishing 11,000 people through social media, though its success was not the scale. SVA’s legacy is that one person had the courage to build a real team around an idea, moved egos out of the way, and co-create an international movement that school kids, students, board room tables and politicians from Saudi Arabia to Brazil; to right around the Pacific, are learning from.

Sam’s dream is to catalyse a revolution in youth leadership. “With 7 billion people on the planet, and over half of those under the age of 30, there’s never been a more important time to coach people in practical, commonsense leadership that can make a real difference.”