Lotta Bryant is Wintec’s Social Innovation Programmes Manager in the Centre for Research and Applied Innovation.
Lotta’s social innovation interest is particularly focused around working with youth and elderly, and the use of technology to make a difference for ageing and vulnerable people. She grew up in Lund, Sweden and draws on her networks there and from her previous roles in New Zealand with Waikato Management School, TWOA, Awanuiarangi and Export NZ. While those roles were all in the commercial space, she has been able to use these networks to expand the social innovation initiatives for Wintec.
During 2017, Lotta has worked on many exciting projects that have now been handed over to community partners, including the initiative for the Taumarunui Community Hub, the Tokoroa Youth project and of course the Innovations that Transform Societies ITP Symposium which was held at Wintec in July.
The outcomes from the symposium have been huge. For example, the ‘Innovation in Healthy Living and Ageing’ stream sponsored by Waikato DHB became the launch-pad for the Hearty Hauora initiative which was held at YMCA on the 11 November. The day was organised by Waikato DHB and Te Whanau o Mangaru and participation extended into several other organisations.
Lotts says that, “It feels incredibly rewarding to know that this seed of an idea led to the Waikato DHB Acting Chief Executive, as well as representatives from the 40 divisions being present on the day, feeling as though they achieved a break-through to reach those under-represented in the health system.” Record results were achieved for almost every participating department/organisation. Wintec’s own Biokinetic Clinic gathered data from just under 100 of the 300 visitors on the day, providing information for a new and interesting research project.
2017 has also seen the progress in our relationship with Ministry of Public Health, Thailand and the planned future projects there. Working with Thailand and Sweden on these global issues provides a fantastic opportunity for Wintec.
Lotta feels that “The reward of working with marginalised and vulnerable groups and connecting leading edge technology, while in the education space is totally exciting.” And it is exciting that projects of this type bring together almost all our Centres to create success in transforming societies.