Steven Carden

Steven founded the FirstFoundation in 1998 after recognising the need to assist talented, but financially disadvantaged youth in reaching their potential. The Foundation partners these youth with New Zealand companies, who provide assistance for tertiary education, work experience and links with a personal mentor. The First Foundation has grown into a significant non-profit organisation with operations in Auckland, Wellington and Christchurch.

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Since working in the United States as a McKinsey and Company engagement manager, Steven has established two other organisations: KEA Boston - a chapter of the Kiwi Expatriates Association, and Friends of CCE - a US based non-profit organisation raising funds to help rehabilitate inmates in Ecuadorian prisons (Steven worked there as a volunteer in 2003). In each of these instances, Steven demonstrated an ability to not only turn his vision into a reality, but has inspired others to join him in making it so. Since becoming a Blake Leader, he has written a book about New Zealand's future called New Zealand Unleashed, published by Random House in 2007.

Steven is currently Chief Executive of Landcorp Farming Ltd.

I figured that a small country like New Zealand couldn’t really afford to have some of its people failing to reach their full potential. And it still can’t. ”