Leaders of local organisations working with youth met on Tuesday to talk about how to work more collaboratively.
YMCA Hawke's Bay hosted the breakfast meeting, at Hawke's Bay Opera House, for more than 100 youth organisation leaders.
Guest speaker was Marcus Akuhata-Brown, an educator and communicator working in youth programmes in New Zealand, who spoke from his personal experiences.
Mr Akuhata-Brown was raised on the East Coast, and spent three years as head of the Commonwealth Youth Caucus.
He urged the group to not just "lift the glass lids of low expectations" but to "smash" them.
"Give a young person permission to believe they have potential that is not yet being realised," he said.
Eileen von Dadelszen, YMCA Hawke's Bay's president, said it was the first in a series of opportunities for those working with youth.
"We are setting up a database of all those working within the youth sector and will distribute that freely with others, and undertake to keep it maintained," Mrs von Dadelszen said.
Groups which want to be involved can contact the YMCA by emailing email@example.com