Over the last year Dick has been busy getting people to think outside the square by challenging the likes of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation in relation to fair and unbiased reporting and in relation to major public issues such as climate change, he re- launched Dick Smith Foods which promotes locally grown and produced foods, become a major shareholder in Australian Agricultural Company, been pushing the Australian Federal government to support a solar thermal power station for Port Augusta, door knocked homes throughout Australia giving away tens of thousands of dollars to folks that support locally made and produced products, published a book Population Crisis, challenged Australian business leaders to be more philanthropic, established the $1 million dollar Wilberforce Award that encourages a new breed of young leaders and thinkers, and also has featured in numerous documentaries.
Andrew Martin, organiser of the Queenstown event Tomorrow’s Business Forum and publisher of a blog that focuses on major trends and sustainability, said “Smith is a dynamo and I’m always amazed how much energy he has and how busy he is. Dick is doing some great stuff and is being recognised globally for his efforts in raising awareness of some major issues that will impact economies and society over the coming years. He is ahead of the curve on many issues, that’s why he has been so successful over the years.”
Smith is not about how much money he can accumulate. He sold Dick Smith Electronics back in the eighties when it was starting to take off “I was able to get off the treadmill before it took over my life. I have friends who still haven’t escaped, and many of them tell me they regret it”. “While Dick is a very savvy entrepreneur he definitely understands how capital can be used for the greater good and is a very generous person”, Martin said.
Dick last spoke publically in New Zealand around ten years ago so it will be interesting to see how he engages with well known business and economic commentator Rod Oram who will bring a Kiwi perspective to the event. Dick will be discussing some of the challenges for business and society moving forward. He will be joined by Sam Johnson of Student Volunteer Army fame who will discuss how social media can be used to instigate change and share his experiences. The event is being held Friday the 14th of September to encourage people from around New Zealand to make a weekend of it in Queenstown and see a living legend.
For more information visit: www.tomorrows-business.org
Any profits from this event go toward a Queenstown Lakes District community engagement initiative, Shaping Our Future.