Erica LLT Programme Manager


We are only a couple of weeks out from the start of Lightning Lab Tourism Accelerator, and it’s high time we introduce the team that will be keep everything running smoothly for the next three months. You’ve already read all about our Programme Director, Jeffrey, it’s now time to meet our awesome Programme Manager, Erica.



Power Snack: I make noodles and I can make them in 5 minutes. Real noodles! If there are enough ingredients in the fridge (like eggs, bokchoy, fresh tomatoes) I can whip up something healthy in no time.

Power Tune: Chinese Pop songs. Jay Chou.

Power Routine: Dancing. Silly Dance. I’m more comfortable dancing in front of people than speaking.



Tell us a little bit about yourself.

First and foremost I’m a multipotentialite. Someone with multiple passions. I’ve realized that during my architecture studies I’m capable of many things outside of architecture and I’ve embraced that over the last six years.

I’ve moved from Auckland to Christchurch because I wanted to be a part of the rebuild and since then I’ve been a part of every event in the city. We want people to understand what Christchurch is really like. Beyond the label of “post-earthquake” or “post-disaster”.

People know me as the Christchurch ambassador and I want to grow that brand. It’s about locals being confident and positive about their city. When I heard about Lightning Lab coming back, (after Lightning Lab Digital 2015), I saw it as the perfect chance to understand the tourism industry and make sure Christchurch benefits from it.

All in all, I’m a holistic thinker. I love curating meaningful experiences that look after everyone involved.


What’s something that inspires you?

People. People with amazing ideas. I’m a great facilitator. I’m not the person that immediately comes up with the best ideas but I love to support people with bright ideas. That’s what drew me to this sector: my ability to connect and facilitate good conversations and supporting the people who have ideas but aren’t able to take it to the next step.

I’m not a natural public speaker but when it comes to talking about other people and their ideas, I become more confident.


What are you most excited about for Lightning Lab Tourism?

First of all, it’s based in Christchurch which is quite exciting for the city. And to learn more about how Creative HQ runs programs like this. The thing that I love the most, which I’ve never seen in programmes around the world, or any programme I’ve been involved with, is the leadership coaching part where the programme looks after the individual person, as well as the idea and business. They really make sure the founders are well supported on a personal level, to then be able to make sure they live to their fullest potential. I’m a learner by heart. Love learning.


How can Lightning Lab Tourism help to build a more sustainable tourism industry in Aotearoa?

One of the things we’ve been really conscious of in terms of team selection and thinking about programme experience, is to understand what is the impact we’re creating on the environment. Is it gonna be an extra problem for the future? It’s about long term planning and making sure that the positive social and environmental impact is woven in throughout the programme. I’m very passionate about that. And, New Zealand is such a beautiful place and we want to preserve that.


What advice would you give to the teams participating in Lightning Lab Tourism?

To really be open. Open to ideas, to change, to all of the connections. Sometimes connections don’t really make sense to you at the beginning but it will change in all types of forms and become something tangible if you keep building those relationships. Be open to those learnings and be adaptable.


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