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Leap team

The Leap Local team is formed of a unique group of individuals and supporting organisations. We are privileged to have such a skilled team, all with a passion for enabling travel to benefit local communities, especially in lesser developed countries.

 Dr Nicky Dee has been the driving force behind Leap Local since its inception. She co-founded Leap Local with Louise having both experienced the uneasy feeling that travel did not always benefit the locals, especially in lesser developed countries. At the age of 18 she took all her money out the bank to join her Aunt and Uncle in a Land Rover to travel across Namibia and South Africa, and then spent the next few years taking any opportunity to work and travel around various continents.

She has a PhD from Cambridge University on Technology Management in Cleantech (exploring companies in the UK and Sri Lanka), and has been an active part of the high growth cluster in Cambridge. She was responsible for introducing business creation competitions to the University to stimulate environmental and social enterprises. She is passionate about enterprise as a means to introduce new solutions to global problems.

Louise Norton has a deep understanding of community and sustainable tourism and experience in entrepreneurship and environmental training. She has fluent Spanish and some Quechua and lives in Ollantaytambo, Cusco, Peru, where she owns and runs her hotel, Apu Lodge, using local guides to create tours for her guests. Previously Director of the Inka Porter Project, based in Cusco, Peru. Other previous experience includes researching a successful book on working conditions, Associate Producer for Revelator Pictures documentary "Sons of the Sun" on impact of tourism in Peru's Sacred Valley and project coordinator at Cambridge Entrepreneurship Centre.

Louise is also a program director for the Alma Children's Education Foundation, working with teachers and other social entrepreneurs in Peru to improve the level and quality of education there.

Robert Norton has been involved with Leap since its earliest days, when he was an undergraduate in Computer Science at the University of Cambridge. After graduating with a first class degree he continued to work on the website as a volunteer, freely contributing his time to something he really believes in. Now studying towards a PhD, Robert has always been a keen traveller. He has spent time on six different continents and most recently spent spent eight months in South America visiting his sister, Louise. He would love to see countries benefit more from the influx of tourists which, too often, become a burden rather than asset. To this end, he spends all the time he can spare when not studying, maintaining and improving the Leap Local website.

 Roseanne Field is currently studying for a degree in Magazine Journalism & Feature Writing at Southampton Solent University. She has a passion for writing, a passion for travel… and a passion for writing about travel. She has a seemingly endless list of places in the world she’d love to see, and if she could spend all winter at a ski resort, she would. Her dream job would be writing about things she loves for a magazine she loves, so she's thoroughly enjoying copy editing, fact checking, doing layout and other tasks for Leap Local’s travel magazine as summer work experience before her third year of university.

Jenny Wright is a new member of the Leap Local team and brings with her a wealth of experience in managing and coordinating international programmes and organisations. A graduate in Spanish and Arabic from the University of Cambridge, she is fascinated by languages, literatures, and cultures, and has lived, studied, and travelled widely in the Midde East and Latin America and taught English in China, Spain, and Syria. Jenny is particularly keen to see Leap expand to promote local guides in the Middle East.

When she's not Leaping, Jenny is combining her MA studies in Islamic art history in London with working in museums and academic organisations to promote understanding and preservation of Islamic manuscripts, ceramics and other artefacts. Whether local guides or ancient culture, she believes in the power of the internet to promote connections and knowledge at both individual and collective levels, and is excited to take part in Leap Local's mission in the role of Marketing and PR Officer.

Technical advisor:

Michael Wells is the Managing Director of Third Light and is a highly regarded expert in internet management systems. He has specialist background knowledge in internet infrastructure and information systems management, Michael founded Third Light in 2002 to cater for the explosion of digital imaging. Prior to forming Third Light, Michael was Principal Consultant at Zeus Technology, where he designed and lead projects in the internet service provider (ISP) markets in the UK and America.

Plus support from:

The Design Office continue to support Leap Local. We used to have a frog in our logo, which was cute but as they pointed out, didn't tell people anything about us! The Design Office helped us re-brand (an on going process), and add the pizzazz to our marketing material. In addition they offer valuable advice on how to reach people with what we are doing.

Thirdlight are a software and internet services business based in Cambridge, UK. Their image library system has a highly acclaimed, easy-to-use web interface that is truly prized by our clients around the world. They provide Leap Local support such as free image library (from where we can launch a photo competition), hosting support, internet payment support etc.