Security Check: As the Education Director and Lead Strategist at Wolff Olins, education is what keeps Melissa Andrada up at night. She just launched a school within Wolff Olins called Kitchen for ambitious leaders who want to build businesses that change the world. Their classes sit at the heart of business, leadership and design.
What’s your historical London and New York connection?
I’ve been lucky to live on both sides of the pond. My heart sits between Brooklyn and East London. NYC has been my second city for the past 10 years — basically since my sister and partner-in-crime Joy moved there. We share a sister NYC-LDN Tumblr called Joy and Mel. I officially lived in NYC for three years before transferring to my company’s London office about a year and a half ago.
Describe your experience in London as a New Yorker
I can’t sit still. Over the past 10 years, I’ve lived all over the place — from Guarare to Seoul, from Edinburgh to NYC and now, London. The grass should always be greenest in your own backyard and I always try to make the most of where I am. Some of the things I love most about London are Broadway Market, London Fields, Regents Canal. And fresh mint tea!
How can New York and London better engage with each other?
By focusing on and sharing the best of what each city has to offer — whether that’s through newsletters,Tumblrs,Meetups, or inter-company transfers. For example, I love how the entrepreneurship scene in LDN is largely focused on social enterprise. I’d love to see more businesses in NYC focused on social impact.
Favorite NYC secret spot: I love riding my bicycle from Williamsburg to Red Hook. It’s one of my favourite city-within-the-city escapes. My usual tour of Red Hook includes lobster rolls at Red Hook Lobster and a nap in front of the Statue of Liberty.
Favorite London secret spot: Kew Gardens is a lovely reprieve from the city. It’s like leaving London, while still being in London. You can spend a whole day there picnicing, wandering through the green houses. Make sure to stop by the Tree Top Walk and the Marianne North Gallery.
If you could live anywhere in the world, where would it be and why? San Francisco — beautiful scenery, good food, entrepreneurship, great friends — what more could you ask for?
In flight entertainment:
What’s playing in your headphones right now? Brenton Wood is my latest obsession. Love me some old-school soul.
*Check out our 3460 Miles playlist! It’s a compilation of every featured passenger’s in-flight entertainment choices.*
And what are you currently reading? Building up an education business requires a mixed bag: Smart Pricing: An easy read on how to have a more innovative approach to pricing; Betterness: An inspiring read on how to create a new and better paradigm of capitalism; and Teaching to Transgress: a tough but insightful read by social activist bell hooks on to make learning a practice of freedom.
From the 3460 Miles newsletter: connecting NEW YORK CITY + LONDON