Ella Lawton

Ella Lawton

Ella Lawton

Ella is the Research Manager at Otago Polytechnic’s Centre for Sustainable Practice. Fascinated in understanding the mechanics of systems, Ella has spent much of her career looking at how natural, social and governance systems function and interact in order to identify those leverage points that will most efficiently trigger positive change. Initially completing undergraduate degrees in law and ecology and subsequent research as a policy analyst highlighted the lack of collective strategic decision-making at both national and international levels.

During her Masters in Strategic Leadership in Sweden the importance of small-scale change inspired Ella to refocus on local governance and community initiatives. For the past four years she has worked with the Otago Polytechnic Centre for Sustainable Practice managing local and national research projects and facilitating collaboration in the Graduate Diploma in Sustainable Practice.

The New Zealand Footprint Project engaged local government and communities to clarify the added value of resource accounting tools within planning and decision-making processes. In January 2013 Ella submitted her PhD thesis based on the same footprint work. The results of the footprint project re-emphasised the importance of local food systems.

What Ella hoped to get out of TEDxQueenstown
Transforming science speak into inspirational conversational speak is difficult, the aim is ‘simplicity without reduction’. This talk will help force me to simplify my research findings without reducing their meaning and importance. It needs to be transformed into a meaningful story.

Ella’s Favourite TEDTalks
Helena Norberg-Hodge, The Economics of Happiness, TEDxEQCHCH, June 2011
Nic Marks, The Happiness Manifesto, TEDx Danubia, April 2011

Ella Lawton: Localisation is a Multiplier, TEDxQueenstown 2013