Story image

Ākina Foundation announces new CEO, farewells Alex Hannant

26 Oct 2017

New Zealand social enterprise intermediary Ākina Foundation has formally announced that Alex Hannant will be stepping down from his role as chief executive after six years in leadership.

Hannant will be replaced by former general manager Louise Aitken, who has overseen the operational management of the Foundation since February 2016.

The change will take immediate effect, with Alex Hannant remaining at Ākina until the end of the year to support the transition.

In his role, Alex strived to increase innovation and business capability in the fields of sustainability and social change.

Ākina has provided direct support to more than 1500 social enterprises across 15 regions and developed programmes such as Launchpad – New Zealand’s first accelerator for social impact.

Alex has also played a key role in developing New Zealand’s social enterprise ecosystem. This includes building partnerships across the private, community and public sectors, helping to inform the Government's decision to invest $5.55m in sector development, launching the Impact Investment Report last month with EY and JBWere, and proposing a new legal structure for social enterprise in New Zealand.

The team at Ākina are all very proud of what has been achieved on his watch - culminating in the hosting of the Social Enterprise World Forum in September.

“I am proud of what Ākina Foundation (formerly known as Hikurangi Foundation) has achieved over the last six years,” says Hannant.

“I came into the role with a belief that the world of social change and sustainable development was changing, and that new models of practice, organisation, and collaboration were both possible and necessary. I wanted to enable more people to innovate and make social enterprise the new normal.”

Anake Goodall, Ākina board Chair, announced the appointment of Louise Aitken as CEO to stakeholders on October 24.

“Alex notified the Ākina board of his intentions earlier this year, and we have since conducted a careful process to identify his replacement,” he says.  

“Louise brings considerable energy and new skills to the role and the Board is looking forward to working with her as Ākina enters the next stage of its journey.”

Prior to joining Ākina in February 2016, Louise was the programme manager of global sustainability and social responsibility at Fonterra.

In this role, she lead Fonterra Milk for Schools, New Zealand’s largest Corporate Social Responsibility programme, and KickStart Breakfast, in partnership with the Ministry of Social Development and Sanitarium.

“I’m excited for this new opportunity to lead Ākina and to continue to support the strengthening of the social enterprise sector in New Zealand,” says Aitken.

“After the success of the Social Enterprise World Forum in Christchurch last month, Ākina Foundation will be taking the opportunity to conduct a strategic review in order to ascertain how we can make the biggest impact going forward.

Aitken joins the growing number of women in chief executive roles in New Zealand, which as of June 2017, sees only one woman lead the top NZX 50 companies.

Apple's AirPods now come with 'Hey Siri' functionality
The new AirPods come with a standard case or a Wireless Charging Case that holds additional charges for more than 24 hours of listening time.
NZ investment funds throw weight against social media giants
A consortium of NZ funds managing assets worth more than $90m are appealing against Facebook, Twitter, and Google following the Christchurch terror attacks.
Poly appoints new A/NZ managing director, Andy Hurt
“We’re excited to be bringing together two established pioneers in audio and video technology to be moving forward and one business – Poly."
NVIDIA announces Jetson Nano: A US$99 tiny, yet mighty AI computer 
“Jetson Nano makes AI more accessible to everyone, and is supported by the same underlying architecture and software that powers the world's supercomputers.”
Unity and NVIDIA announce real-time ray tracing across industries
For situations that demand maximum photorealism and the highest visual fidelity, ray tracing provides reflections and accurate dynamic computations for global lighting.
Slack doubles down on enterprise key management
EKM adds an extra layer of protection so customers can share conversations, files, and data while still meeting their own risk mitigation requirements.
NVIDIA introduces a new breed of high-performance workstations
“Data science is one of the fastest growing fields of computer science and impacts every industry."
Apple says its new iMacs are "pretty freaking powerful"
The company has chosen the tagline “Pretty. Freaking powerful” as the tagline – and it’s not too hard to see why.