Sean Mckelvey

Mates, Strategic Design

I leverage my background in Buddhist psychology, ethnography, emotional technology, and design thinking to design the process of creating stories that move people’s hearts as a strategic designer. Based on deep insights, I develop meaningful solutions.


The psychology of meditation that brings happiness to the world

How does mindfulness contribute to the psychological state of individuals and society? I want to deepen my research on how self-awareness that arises from this practice can improve people and the world.

Research on gender and media

How does popular media affect our ideas about gender roles and identities in Japan and the US? I enjoy critically examining media to better understand socially constructed identities.

Narrative, mythology, and life in multicultural environments

How much of our beliefs are unique to ourselves or our culture, and where do they come from? I want to learn about comparative mythology and narrative construction to better understand my life in a multicultural environment.


After graduating from Naropa University in the US, I came to Japan and worked in translation and interpretation at Canon and Gree. I then switched my focus to product design and was in charge of planning and development for the world’s first mass-produced emotional companion robot “Pepper.” After that, I supported design-driven innovation challenges for large corporations at BCG Digital Ventures. I have been involved in startup entrepreneurship in fields such as travel, art, and architecture. I obtained a Master’s degree in Strategic Design and Management from Parsons School of Design.