We are innovators, facilitators, leadership coaches, entrepreneurs and community builders with a passion for systems change. We have decades of experience innovating solutions to complex challenges and have come to realise the critical need for inner work to be effective innovators. Emerge Institute is born out of our collective experience and desire to bring personal transformation, healing and greater awareness into the process of working on tough challenges.
Community Builder & Connector
Tui grew up in the country, being surrounded by nature she formed a deep connection with the environment at an early age. Seeing the harm being done to nature and how much of this stemmed from humanity, her calling to this mahi (work) began. She also has a deep passion for connecting people and building community for social change.
Her experience in the entrepreneurship began when she started a technology company with her peers when they were 16. She helped set up the Centre for Entrepreneurship at The University of Canterbury and participated in and project managed a range of business accelerators and incubators. Tui is also a keen yoga teacher and in her journey of becoming a yoga teacher, exploring meditation and training in other personal growth practices such as Non Violent Communication & Somatic Experiencing, she realised the need for this to be woven into entrepreneurship and innovation. She spent time travelling exploring models overseas that might do this but unable to find models that reflected her vision came back to Aotearoa.
She has run a number of events here that connect people and build community for social change such as Festival for the Future, a roadshow on caring for water and land, Love NZ Land & Water, and was a curator for the Auckland Hub of the World Economic Forum's Global Shaper Community - a network of 8000+ young leaders across the world. Tui also co-founded The Social Experiment; an organisation which helps people discover their purpose, and take action on issues they care about. She has partnered and worked with a range of organisations through this work including Callaghan Innovation, Ministry for Youth Development, Foundation North and Philanthropy NZ, Auckland Council.
Enabler & Innovator
Shruthi’s career began working as a management consultant with the Boston Consulting Group advising large business and government clients in an effort to better understand how business works and potential it has in improving our environment and the lives of people. She realised how much the mindsets and beliefs of people shaped their actions and spent the next leg of her career in India, working with Better World Ed, an education startup bringing empathy, creativity and understanding of global issues into classrooms, in an effort to help shape the next generation of society. She then returned to New Zealand and trained as a coach and ran a social entrepreneurship accelerator, Live the Dream, helping young entrepreneurs develop themselves and their business ideas.
In an effort to more deeply understand the nexus of business, economy and personal development, she spent the last two years living in Oxford where she completed her MBA on full scholarship and studied systems thinking, new economic models and the role of business in impacting society and the environment. She worked for the Skoll Centre for Social Entrepreneurship running leadership development and skill building programmes for Oxford University’s top students. Alongside this role, she has had extensive facilitation and coaching experience - teaching on corporate executive education programmes, an MBA Elective at INSEAD University, running trainings on the Doughnut Economics model, and coaching on the world’s largest Climate Innovation Summer School, run by the European Union.
Shruthi grew up with a passion for spirituality, having followed the teachings of Sathya Sai Baba which are capsulated in the message of “love all, serve all”. She is an active member of the Sathya Sai International Organisation leading various initiatives around spiritual solutions to the environmental crisis. She is a keen meditator, engages in community service, and is often found reading books on various schools of spirituality and religion.
Technologist & Designer
Vinny Lohan is a nomad at heart who moved to New Zealand in the 2002 and later went on to study engineering at the University of Auckland. During his time at university his interest was engaged in how technology can assist in making an impact in the lives of people who need it the most instead of assisting companies who have lost track of their moral responsibility to society and are just creating technology that is hurting this planet. Vinny and his team worked on enabling access to internet style connectivity to millions of low cost computers in rural areas using AM/FM radio based connectivity, it was an internationally acclaimed project that concretised his view that we already have enough technical capability to solve many global problems, the work ahead is to get this technology in the hands of the people that need it.
In his desire to understand the need of the people and to build technology solutions for the bottom of the pyramid he moved to India in 2012. Here he proceeded to co-founded a technology and design studio which built products across many sectors including education, music, health care / mental health and supports organisations working in the social sector including UNESCO and the Gates Foundation. Through this work he gained deep insights into the process of building social movements and sustaining them. For his work in India he was named 1 of 3 emerging social entrepreneurs in the world under 30 by G.E (General Electric)
His explorations over the last decade across multiple fields of life has induced a real thirst for self understanding in him. This led him to explore and learn multiple systems of meditation and yoga from Masters across India of multiple traditions including Vedanta, Buddhism, Christianity and Sufism. He has been exploring what is the deeper urge in human being to know who they are and what determines their purpose on this planet and how does one go about finding the answers to these questions. He is an avid practitioner of advanced breathing techniques and is constantly exploring methods to bring the mind to a state of equilibrium, a state which is much needed to be able to stay with complex problems and hopefully find a new way to address them.
Organisational & Systems Healer
Louise Marra’s leadership experience has spanned all sectors having held senior leadership and governance roles within Government, the private sector, philanthropy and the NGO sector. She has been an advisor to the Prime Minister, co-director of a company, led a collaborative government office, worked on macro Strategy and has aided the set-up of innovation labs both for Government and for Philanthropy. Louise’s passion is to help build the next era of conscious leaders, innovators, activists and organisations robust enough to enable radical innovation for an emergent and evolutionary approach to personal, social and environmental change. Her ability to understand and bring together both the strategic and the granular, the personal and the system, equip her to build robust changing organisations. These are backed up with post graduate qualifications in strategy and policy, environmental management and also Jungian and transpersonal psychology.
She has been part of the first global school on understanding collective and intergenerational trauma and runs large scale healing processes. As well as being a director of the Emerge Institute she runs her own company, Unity House and is co-director of Spirited Leadership, and is the director of The Leadership New Zealand Programme. She also has her own executive and group coaching private practice.
Louise works globally and lives on a small island in New Zealand, grows most of her own food, has taught yoga, qi gong, higher layers of consciousness and meditation for many years and loves to commune with nature. She is passionate about helping people refind their ecological self and to work with their highest self.