Peter Mandeno

Executive Leadership Program - Amsterdam Class 02

Peter Mandeno
Design Researcher & Entrepreneur
My experience and deep interests:
I am based in: London

Through a combination of research, writing, design, and consulting, I am on a mission to create a better-connected world. I mean real, meaningful, human connections (not just technological ones)... but let's start at the beginning.

I was born and grew up in beautifully sunny Northland, New Zealand. I obtained undergraduate degrees in psychology and business strategy before departing on what has been a 20-year journey across the globe. I worked in the travel industry in Minneapolis and Copenhagen for 2.5 years. I traveled the Middle East and Europe on a shoestring budget for six months and talked my way into a graphic design job in London where I worked for two years before moving to Amsterdam to set up the Dutch office of the design agency I worked for. I fell in love with Amsterdam and stayed there for 8+ years, learning Dutch in the process and building boutique agencies focused on strategy, innovation, and storytelling.

In 2010, I moved to New York, seeking a new (ad)venture. Realizing the world was conspiring to connect me with people just like me – "Hey, you're from New Zealand, come and meet these other New Zealanders..." – I designed a social experience (Wok+Wine) that effectively created the conditions for serendipity (finding the people I didn't know I was looking for). I took the concept around the world, connecting thousands of people in the process and eventually being featured in Harvard Business Review.

This awoke a passion for helping people to find and form connections to others that would open doors to new opportunities, ideas, and experiences. In 2017, I started a Ph.D. in Design Engineering at Imperial College London. The focus of my research is human connectivity. I am developing a set of design principles that help the designers of services, experiences, products, and systems to achieve better human connectivity outcomes.

I am always looking for inspiration and collaborators. Please do get in touch.