#MakersMemoirs Meet Andrew McLeod!

#MakersMemoirs is a series that highlights the unique stories of our members, as we believe we can all benefit from one another’s lessons, insights, and experiences.
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Andrew McLeod, originally from New Zealand, is our in-house meditation technician, but what exactly does that mean? Learn about his super interesting story and how Barcelona’s always had a special place in his heart: 

“ I’ve been meditating for about 20 years now – I’ve attended several silent retreats in the UK, Thailand and New Zealand, and at one point, I reached a deep understanding of how and why meditation can benefit people. I decided to combine this with my 20 year career in technology: 

When it comes to the information technology industry, there’s not a lot of diversity. The people who tend to work in IT also often tend to not give much importance to their emotions – the intellect is king. What this means is that their understanding of the needs of the end user may not be exactly aligned with reality.

In order to increase diversity in terms of what’s actually being built, we should be asking: What is the technology that we are making? Who is going to use it? Does it truly make people happy? Does it give people a better life? 

I believe mindfulness in organisations can help people understand themselves better, and if people understand themselves better they can understand other people better – and if that’s the case, they have more information to develop better technology for human needs. 

Really, it’s not just hippies in tie-dyed shirts smoking pot, it’s a recognised discipline with scientifically proven benefits

I was one of those people as well, that’s why I can see how it’s a problem and how meditation can be beneficial. It’s more of a purpose than just a career. Because of my experiences, I can identify these problems, and if I can help address these issues, then I can make changes that are much bigger than me. Really, it’s not just hippies in tie-dyed shirts smoking pot, it’s a recognised discipline with scientifically proven benefits. 

For New Zealanders it’s pretty normal to do an overseas experience, it’s part of the culture. A lot of us end up in London. I did the same but deep down I’ve always known that Spain was the right country for me to settle in. When I was still in New Zealand I was attending a Spanish class and I had this vision: I saw myself in a small apartment with bare bricks, somewhere in Spain, playing the guitar. 

You know when you fly into a city and you can slowly see it come closer through your little window…for 12 years London never really felt like home in those moments, and Barcelona immediately did. 

I don’t know how to put this in a beautifully poetic way but it’s kind of funny to me how I wanted to be here when I left New Zealand, then kind of forgot about it, and then ended up here fortuitously. ”

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