Partner and Managing Director, IDEO San Francisco
Each day, I help create programs that allow companies and IDEO designers to envision a new future—from pioneering new ventures to helping evolve culture in organizations.
What you won’t learn from my bio:
I was the co-director of a dance troupe in college. I LOVE to dance and can still be found blasting music and trying to master a new move or routine with my kids in my living room.
Melanie Bell-Mayeda is a Partner and Managing Director in IDEO’s San Francisco office, helping to lead the Design for Change studio. An MBA by training and a sociologist at heart, her passion lies in helping organizations reinvent themselves in order to connect with customers in new and meaningful ways. Two things that will stop her in her tracks: an analytical exercise that unlocks a completely new way of seeing an opportunity, and the development and launch of a market-facing pilot that sets the stage for changing an experience, brand, and organization.
Melanie collaborates with clients to connect human need and market opportunity by leveraging IDEO’s strategic design capabilities. Her focus spans a broad range of industries, from financial services to hard and soft good manufacturing to consumer services. Mostly recently, Melanie led an initiative called The Powerful Now, a global project that explored ways to bring creativity and design thinking to the topic of aging.
Prior to joining IDEO, Melanie led LeapFrog’s global licensing business. She was responsible for content acquisition and single-handedly launched a brand extension initiative across six industries. She also has extensive experience in strategy and business development through her work at Virgin Entertainment Group. Years spent at Booz-Allen & Hamilton and Morgan Stanley sharpened her skill in applying strategic thinking and financial analysis to the business decision-making process for her clients. Melanie is on the Board of Regents at Samuel Merritt University, focused on helping the institution meet its goal of advancing the future of patient care. She earned a degree in sociology from Harvard University and has an MBA from Harvard Business School.
What gets her up and out in the morning? Helping clients explore and act upon future business opportunities, the prospect of a good run, and getting her two kids ready for a day of learning new things.