Protecting New Zealand Native Birds: An Investigation of Founder Motivations in the Squawk Squad Collaborative Innovation Network

  • Stephen J. Thorpe
  • Leanne Bint
Part of the Studies on Entrepreneurship, Structural Change and Industrial Dynamics book series (ESID)


Student social enterprise is an ideal breeding ground for Collaborative Innovation Networks (COINs) to thrive. Students and graduates are fresh with learning, are tech savvy, have uncolonised minds, and they default to working in non-hierarchical cooperative ways when working with their peers. This paper identifies the motivations of the founders still involved in the Squawk Squad initiative in New Zealand. Squawk Squad is a new social enterprise using smart sensors, modern trapping technologies, and a wider social network to tackle the problem of pests decimating the populations of endangered native birds. The ideas behind this social enterprise were developed by a team at a local start up week-end, and within 6 months, the team had launched a successful Kickstarter Campaign that brought in three and a half times its target. Interviews were conducted with two of the founding members to identify what motivated them to work on and grow the initiative without clear tangible rewards. Themes were identified using open coding, and seven motivational concepts were identified. Many of the themes identified will not be new to those involved in COINs research and its applications. However, this investigation does provide an interesting case study and may provide a new contribution regarding the role of technology and social networks in the democratization of conservation in New Zealand. This may have further relevance to academics and practitioners seeking to foster and grow student social enterprise and seeking to harness the power of the swarm and collaborative innovation networks.


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Copyright information

© Springer International Publishing AG, part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of IT and Software Engineering, School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical SciencesAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand
  2. 2.Department of External Relations and Development, School of Engineering, Computer and Mathematical SciencesAuckland University of TechnologyAucklandNew Zealand

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