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On 1 August there is an event happening called The Rotary Forum. The theme for this years event is ‘Achieving the impossible dream for Wellington, city and region’.

Heidi Quinn - passionate Wellington resident and: Community Outreach Coordinator - Green Party of Aotearoa New Zealand, Events and Concessions Advisor - Greater Wellington Regional Council, An Alternative Reality - Virgin Unite.

We interviewed Heidi on what her impossible dream for Wellington was. Enjoy:

How long have you lived in Wellington? I moved in 2011. In 2010 I was in Finland and at the time and made a New Year’s resolution to move to New Zealand. A year later I landed in Wellington!

Has there been a memorable moment for you in the last year in Wellington? I was the Volunteering Manager at New Zealand’s first natural wine festival -Budburst. It was held at Pre-fab and was amazing.

You’ve made this statement before, “Wellington. The most liveable city in the world (2017). Soon, the most sustainable and resilient.” What makes Wellington unique? The people! It’s like a microcosm of a country in one city. It’s even more diverse than London here. Everyone has one thing in common here - they care. There is a lot of motivation to do good here.

“I’ve lived in a few places but hopefully this is my last.”

What is your favorite place here in Wellington? The Southern walkway (as long as it’s dry) and Mt Victoria. When I need to think big picture I love to go up Mt Vic and think.

Are there any places you avoid? Courtney Place after midnight.

What do you want to see more of in Wellington? It would be great to see more organisations collaborating together as opposed to competing. I don’t believe in hierarchy. We should all be more level. More human.

“The hardest thing with any change is getting the first one to fall (think dominos).”

What do you want to see less of in Wellington? Often we keep re-inventing the wheel, a lot of the answers to problems already exist. We can look to the natural world to solve a lot of our problems. For example, the hexagon is an incredibly strong structure. Building with hexagons is also incredibly labour and material efficient. You just need to look at the honeycomb constructed by bees to know that many of the answers to our problems are already out there waiting for us to open our eyes.

Is there an issue you are trying to tackle at the moment? Climate Change! It is the biggest issue we face as a species.

What are you doing about it? First I’d like to say that the hardest thing with any change is getting the first one to fall (think dominos). I currently work with businesses to challenge the current bottom line approach to see how we might start measuring things that make us actually feel the environmental and social impact our business decisions are having. Genuine Progress Indicators (GPIs) are a good starting point. I want business to understand that their impact on water services are x-thousand dollars and their impact on air quality is x-thousand dollars. We should be valuing the service nature gives us properly.

You are part of a group called The Collective, can you talk about this? This work is Inspired by the groundbreaking 'The Economics of Ecosystems and Biodiversity Study’, which offers methodology to build and operate an alternative economy that works in balance with natural capital. An alternative economy is achievable.

How has your view on Wellington changed over time? More affection for the place. All Wellington has done is look after me.

"I'd love it if we started with the landfill, it is the biggest Co2 emitter in Wellington."

What is your impossible dream for Wellington? Wellington should showcase how sustainable a city can be. I see no reason why Wellington can't be a world leader in electrification of all modes of transport, sustainable buildings, renewable energy resources and fully sustainable business processes. All the tools we need are freely available already. Learn from others who have already succeeded and repeat. I'd love it if we started with the landfill, it is the biggest Co2 emitter in Wellington.

Thank you.

The most sustainable and resilient city in the world

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