During 2020, my team and I team were contracted to lead a project for Farmlands, supported by New Zealand National Science Challenge – Our Land and Water. The project, designed to flesh out challenges to the uptake of changing land and water policies on farm. The project was supported by Manaaki Whenua and AgResearch. The Project involved in-depth conversations with farmers conducted with empathy and understanding.
“I am an environmental scientist and I spend my time grappling with complex and conflict-laden issues such as how to manage land and water to achieve social, cultural economic and environmental outcomes. This type of research demands an integrated research approach, within which both science thinking, multiple knowledge bases and systems thinking are important.
What Dorenda’s design thinking workshop brought to my work (and has the potential to bring to a wider research audience) is to help build on the ‘what was’ and ‘what is’ of systems thinking, to include the ‘what could be’ – an essential element of tackling our most entrenched environmental issues.”
“Dorenda walked our members through the element of change that we constantly face as people, technology, and process continually evolve. We looked at the skill-sets and approaches that should be the focus for Project Managers in today’s world, to be able to deliver in tomorrow’s. Dorenda encouraged us to open our minds to new ways of working, and new approaches to share and grow ideas. She challenged us to hold on to the purpose we have as Project Managers and deliver the right outcomes through making the most of the changes we continue to face. An engaging presentation, a great presenter – an evening our members appreciated.”
“Dorenda opened an Association’s conference with a keynote address titled “Re-Thinking Innovation in Education”. Her address raised many relevant issues and was thought-provoking as well as entertaining. All of the delegates appreciated her message and her openness for the remainder of the conference.”
“Dorenda opened the Association’s 2010 conference with a keynote address titled “Re-Thinking Innovation in Education”. Her address raised many relevant issues and was thought-provoking as well as entertaining. All of the delegates appreciated her message and her openness for the remainder of the conference.”
“Dorenda has been a mentor with me on multiple Startup Weekend events. Her background spans a multitude of different areas from design through to strategy. She approaches people and organisations with a holistic attitude to product and service development that serves the real needs of real people. She promotes a broad contextual view that includes social, environmental, and fiscal elements to ensure that the changes she influences impact all areas equally and positively.”
Dorenda spoke at our Cashmere Rotary Club in May 2023 about her work, life and passion – fighting for better design outcomes for New Zealand.
Dorenda’s presentation was far-reaching, fascinating, and based on her personal experiences, including various employment in Australia, Papa New Guinea and working with Vitra, a major design organisation in Europe. She supported her late brother John’s successful international racing bids, and they had plans to work together on entirely new projects.
Dorenda presented in her trademark passionate manner which highlighted to all her genuine commitment to her design principle framework that underscores all she teaches and consults to, around New Zealand.
“Dorenda Britten ran a workshop for students participating at the UC Innovators’ Summer Start-Up Programme at the University of Canterbury. The students were working on a range of ventures covering both for-profit and social enterprises. The intent of the workshop was to encourage the students to be more aware of the needs of society, the environment as well as financial return. Dorenda was very engaging from the beginning to the end of the workshop. From the start she had the students involved in a variety of “hands-on” activities. Throughout the workshop, she encouraged discussion and ensured that everyone participated.. I would recommend Dorenda for providing an innovative and engaging workshop on Design Thinking.”
“Dorenda’s depth of experience and insights regarding innovation processes, alongside her evolutions of design-based thinking into a values-based design framework is invaluable to our early-stage student founders. Dorenda speaks with passion, wisdom, and conviction, providing students with the principles of diversity and inclusion, as a base of exploring complex problems, helping to refine solutions that align with purpose and create value”
“We were fortunate enough to recruit the services of Dorenda Britten from the Britten Institute. Dorenda did a superb job of facilitating our two-day offsite technical think tank session Not only was Dorenda able to tactfully facilitate, she also introduced thought-provoking ideas and tools to assist us in our journey. I would highly recommend Dorenda to those seeking a facilitator for sessions where results matter.”
“Tokona Te Ao really enjoyed Dorenda’s “Designing Solutions” workshop. It was both stimulating and fun and as a team, we appreciated the highly relevant content.”
“Dorenda facilitated a strategy day for our Board to help us come to grips with our strategic direction and purpose. She challenged our thinking and sometimes got us out of our comfort zones – all of which enabled us to ultimately agree on a NZYF purpose we could all connect and relate too. An incredibly worthwhile exercise!”
“Dorenda Britten is a longtime supporter and mentor on the innovation programmes we run through the UC Centre for Entrepreneurship. She has extensive innovation ecosystem knowledge, experience, and empathy that she shares with student ventures, with a high level of professionalism at all times. The UC team highly value Dorenda’s insights and her enthusiastic support for emerging innovation.”
“For me Dorenda was a gamechanger for not only the project I was working on, in other areas as well. She gave me a lot of confidence when I had doubts and helped me identify beneficial connections, connect ideas, and opened opportunities that I hadn’t thought of. Dorenda is a creative, direct, and enthusiastic mentor, who will give it to you straight, with compassion, care, and fairness. All people and companies who connect with Dorenda will immediately feel her energy and benefit greatly from working with her at any level. “
“The food-agricultural industry is facing potential disruption on an unprecedented scale. This requires us to rethink why people buy our products and to understand what attributes they truly value.
The Design Thinking course is a brilliant introduction to the design process; practical, interesting and powerfully delivered by an experienced practitioner. I believe that it is crucial that our agribusiness sector is exposed to this thinking to help prepare us for the challenges that lie ahead”
“I have devoted many years to working on my product idea, developing, testing, and searching for someone to help me move it forward. After a number of bad experiences, I made contact with Dorenda and within three weeks she had listened carefully to my idea, researched it, and came back with intelligent and thoughtful questions.
Dorenda’s advice and planning skills have helped me to realise opportunities that had seemed beyond me. Her approach is warm and caring, but combines this with pragmatism, honesty, and attention to detail. She has helped me understand my strengths and weaknesses, the importance of connections and timing, and to see problems as challenges on a path to success.”
Feels like a life-long commitment rather than a set of boxes to be ticked.
“I have used Dorenda for the last three years as a design coach for our MBA design thinking elective class and anticipate continuing to do so in coming years. The feedback from the students, who are all experienced managers, is always excellent regarding Dorenda’s involvement. She consistently offers the right balance of challenging, cajoling and helping with connections that accelerate the students’ understanding and insight into both their practical projects and the underlying principles we are trying to demonstrate. She always brings great enthusiasm and energy to the group and I look forward to continue working with Dorenda in the future.”
Dorenda cares deeply about people not fulfilling their potential, not feeling valued for who they are and what they can achieve. She is brilliant at helping people seek out better ways to do what they aspire to achieve.
“Dorenda Britten is a wonderful presenter. Dorenda has presented to a number of Executive Massey MBA students and alumni over a number of years.
Dorenda is a dynamic, interesting, and inspiring speaker. She captured and held the audience’s interest and imagination, challenging them to defy their current ways of thinking to explore and invent new ways of doing business.
It can be a difficult task presenting to accomplished executives, but Dorenda did this with ease, pitching her message appropriately, leveraging the shared knowledge and experience of the MBA, whilst reminding the audience to stay afoot of the rapidly changing business, social and political environment.
Dorenda is extremely professional, very knowledgeable, and was a highlight of our programme. She has valuable contributions to make and does so in a meaningful and memorable way.
I highly recommend Dorenda as a speaker. It was a pleasure working with her.”