What’s in a name? When the name is McGuinness Institute, it tells you all you need knowing

Whoa there a mo’.

Alf might have spent an hour or so too long in Bellamy’s and maybe his usually sharp brain has been a tad numbed by the splendid scotch they serve.

But what’s going on at an outfit which today rejoices in the name McGuinness Institute

Early yesterday it was the Sustainable Future Institute.

But its directorial team has approved a name change to the McGuinness Institute, effective from February 28.

And who is the chief executive?

Why, it turns out to be someone named Wendy McGuinness (FCA, BCom, MBA), a chartered accountant specialising in risk management and future studies.

Wendy says in a media statement she

… believes this change reflects international best practice, making transparent both where the principal funds are coming from, and the purpose; namely private funds invested for the public good.

Things become a bit circular at this juncture.

If you go to the institute’s website and look up “funding”, you will find the institute is funded by a registered charitable trust, known as the New Zealand Sustainable Future Foundation Trust, through Sustainable Future Limited.

Our research is funded by donations made to this Trust. Many individuals also provide their time and resources in order to provide relevant and meaningful information for the general public.

The trustees of the New Zealand Sustainable Future Foundation Trust are Wendy Louise McGuinness and Mark Daniel McGuinness and the trustee of Sustainable Future Limited is the aforementioned Wendy Louise McGuinness

But let’s not digress.

The media statement goes on –

The Institute has become increasingly aware of misconceptions concerning the nature of our work arising from the use of the word sustainable.

Alf harboured no misconceptions, to tell the truth, because he had never heard of it.

Never mind. He knows now.

The statement goes on –

Rather than being seen as an organisation primarily focused on progressing environmental issues, the name change better reflects the breadth of the Institute’s work; exploring New Zealand’s long- term future through integrated evidence-based research on social, economic and environmental issues.

And “McGuinness Institute” tells you this more effectively than “Sustainable Future Institute” – right?

Hmm. Must be missing something.

So what are they up to?

Glad you asked.

The McGuinness Institute is a non-partisan think tank working for the public good, contributing strategic foresight through evidence-based research and policy analysis.

We endeavor to undertake research that is independent, innovative and relevant in a professional manner.

Further, the McGuinness Institute places a great value on inclusiveness and accessibility and works hard to respect cultural and demographic diversity.

Oh dear. There’s a whiff of PC in that lot.

But who does the work?

The McGuinness Institute operates with a diverse team of graduates, academics and experienced professionals with expertise in a multitude of disciplines, who are all focused on working towards better long-term outcomes for New Zealand.

The McGuinness Institute is very fortunate to have the help, advice and support of many experts who guide the team through the process and externally review all publications.

Further, the McGuinness Institute has a number of international affiliations and relationships which ensure an informed global view is incorporated into our research and policy recommendations.

What sort of work is being done?

Obviously they are proud of Project 2058.

Earlier work by the McGuinness Institute found that New Zealand is well behind on its international obligations to develop and implement a National Sustainable Development Strategy (NSDS).

The strategic aim of Project 2058 is therefore to promote integrated long-term thinking, leadership and capacity-building through the development of an NSDS that effectively seeks and creates opportunities while simultaneously exploring and managing risks over the next 50 years.

It is hoped that Project 2058 will help develop dialogue among government ministers, parliamentarians, policy analysts and members of the public about alternative strategies for New Zealand’s future.

Maybe they missed Alf out, if they distributed copeis of their report in Parliament to aid and abet the developing of a dialogue.

Then there’s a Constitutional Review project.

The aim of this project is to build capacity so that New Zealanders – in particular youth between the ages of 18–25 – can engage with the Constitutional Advisory Panel in an informed and considered manner.

This project has two main work streams.

Firstly, the McGuinness Institute is closely following the progress of the Constitutional Advisory Panel and will report and research key issues as they arise.

Secondly, the Empower project aims to facilitate discussion amongst young people around the constitutional review and New Zealand’s long-term future.

The McGuinness Institute is working to create a space and place to enable young people to connect, discuss and explore New Zealand’s future constitutional arrangements.

And then there’s the Integrated Report project.

The McGuinness Institute believes the use of one integrated annual report, by both organisations and countries, is a critical mechanism for improving global governance of resources, human health and well-being.

The creation of the International Integrated Reporting Council (IIRC) is a positive step towards the formation of this framework, and the Institute has introduced the current stream of work in support of this initiative.

The McGuinness Institute considers it is now time to plan how to move from a financial reporting framework to an integrated reporting framework.

The heading on the media statement says:

Sustainable Future Institute Changes Name to McGuinness Institute:

And a sub-head says

New Name Better Reflects the Institute’s Research Scope

So thanks to the name change, you will immediately twig to what’s going on.

Or will you?

3 Responses to What’s in a name? When the name is McGuinness Institute, it tells you all you need knowing

  1. stephenps says:

    Thanks for this. I wondered who they were.

  2. David says:

    this Video on the constitution Review 2013 and the McGuinness Institutes involvement

  3. What i do not understand is how this organisation can be a charitable trust?

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