Magazine article New Zealand Management

Inbox: Pyjamas Optional

Magazine article New Zealand Management

Inbox: Pyjamas Optional

Article excerpt

A self-described former "skinny kid growing up in Wellington", Rick Boven reckons he's become cold-averse, which could come in handy as he's about to be one of around 100 people taking part in this year's Lifewise Big Sleepout.

On June 28 he'll join a group of influential New Zealanders making a concrete slab their bed, an open air quad their bedroom and others their 'sleep mates', all in the name of raising critical funds and awareness for the issue of homelessness.

Dr Lesley Mynett-Johnson, Lifewise's director of fundraising, marketing and communications, says their collective efforts last year resulted in over $110,000 being raised.

"It was an extraordinary effort that ensured we were able to continue providing solutions to Auckland's homeless population."

Boven, who did the sleepout last year as well, says his usual methods of giving to others are often indirect "by contributing ideas and changing the ways people think. This is an opportunity to give back more directly."

A director of Stakeholder Strategies and former head of the independent thinktank the New Zealand Institute, he aims to beat his previous year's fundraising target, learn more about how homeless people live their lives successfully, enjoy the camaraderie and atmosphere of the event, and "walk home in the early morning with altered perceptions".

Mynett-Johnson says there's still time for other people to get involved and she'd love to hear from other business leaders keen to take up the challenge. …

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