Awakin Calls » Philippe Simonin
Philippe Simonin: Dreamer, Online Community Builder, Engineer and Technologist
Dec 3, 2016: A Dream to Share Dreams
Read: Call Transcript
Philippe Simonin had a dream to share dreams. Driven by a faith in creating a collaborative community where people support and help each other actualize their dreams, he founded Dreemit.org, a personal social online project aiming at creating hope and community. Originally from a little village in France near the Alps, he now finds himself in the Bay Area, California, armed with a camera and an open heart as he dreams with people on the streets of San Francisco. “When I came to San Francisco, I was amazed by the energy of the Bay Area and its people,” Philippe has said. “The people of San Francisco and the Bay Area inspired me through their engagement; they taught me what it means to dream big and make a difference. I loved it and wanted to share it. See full.
Philippe Simonin had a dream to share dreams. Driven by a faith in creating a collaborative community where people support and help each other actualize their dreams, he founded Dreemit.org, a personal social online project aiming at creating hope and community. Originally from a little village in France near the Alps, he now finds himself in the Bay Area, California, armed with a camera and an open heart as he dreams with people on the streets of San Francisco.
“When I came to San Francisco, I was amazed by the energy of the Bay Area and its people,” Philippe has said. “The people of San Francisco and the Bay Area inspired me through their engagement; they taught me what it means to dream big and make a difference. I loved it and wanted to share it. With two Japanese friends, Takuya and Eiko, we thought that it all starts with some people’s dreams and ideas. … Dreemit.org was born: What if we collect people’s dreams in life?”
Philippe has recorded 400 interviews of people from all walks of life in eight countries on their dreams and aspirations. “My dream is to collect 1 million dreams, spread inspiration and build a positive community, helping as many people as possible to achieve their dreams,” Philippe has said.
“Dreams turned into reality are the quintessence of life …. Experiencing this is unique, and a privilege. I wanted to share that experience with those far away. So I left my mechanical engineering life and started a blog (making my parents worried): Now I interview strangers about their dreams! Once past the first uncomfortable seconds, when people look into my eyes and see that I mean it and I care, it’s wonderful.”
“I hear amazing stories. I’ve done this in eight countries — France, Sweden, Belgium, England, Spain, Portugal and Germany, as well as the U.S. — and so far Americans understand better than anyone the idea of a dream and tend to pursue their dreams more.”
Prior to Dreemit.org, Philippe worked mainly in the automotive industry in France, Sweden and Thailand. He has more than ten years of experience in automotive technical program management, and has worked on several award-winning trucks. He completed his engineering degree in France, Austria and Germany, and holds an MBA from the Lyon School of Management. He also completed a one-year Transformation Programme in Positive Psychology and Collective Intelligence at the Ecole Centrale in Paris in 2014.
Though Dreemit.org is still in its infancy, it was awarded second place in the San Francisco Startup Weekend Hackathon in July 2016. As Philippe has said, “I am getting amazing and positive feedback with some very friendly and profound answers from people who accept and trust me. How this project will evolve is still to be defined. I will learn by doing with your help hopefully.”
Five Questions for Philippe
What Makes You Come Alive?
The sun (winter memories of Scandinavia), nature (like the Fjords of Norway), beauty (looking at the Trevi fountain in Roma), emotions (looking at a movie from Jacques Audiard), an act of kindness (see further bellow), deep empathy (Ill explain), outdoor sport like biking and skiing, the Christmas cake of my mum, love (seeing people kissing in Paris), the smile of Tania, feeling useful (youll tell me after the talk) and life in general. I love meeting strangers on the streets and connecting with them by asking: "Hello I am Philippe, I do a positive project about people's dreams, because people are good and dreams are positive and meaningful. Can I ask you for a dream?". Then comes this moment when people look into my eyes :)
Pivotal turning point in your life?
Two moments in my case: The 1st one was in a change management class. I was ten years in my engineering career and life, a quite successful one. We were looking at a video, and I suddenly started tearing, I was not expecting it. It was like all this sensitivity I had tried to control for years just found its way out. And I am trying to never let it back in. The 2nd moment is meeting a Chinese American woman named Tania in the elevator of my building in Bangkok Thailand. We are now husband and wife. I was on my way to move to India for work and I cancelled the move (making my boss unhappy) to stay with her. After two years in Thailand and some time in Europe, we now live in San Francisco. I now have a loving Chinese American family in law. Tania is encouraging me to be curious, take some risks and be vulnerable. My life turned unpredictable and great.
An Act of Kindness You'll Never Forget?
I've been blessed by receiving several beautiful acts of kindness but one highlight is recent: I was in the panhandle with my bicycle out of a meditation class when I received an unexpected email. It was 2 very good friends asking my wife and I if we could accept to be the guardians of their young baby daughter in case anything happened to them because they thought we would be wonderful parents. In just a few words, our friends were in some way giving the most precious thing they had. It was a big shock, like receiving a bomb of trust and love. I guess trust and love must be deserved, but it is one of the most incredible thing to be given.
One Thing On Your Bucket List?
Collect one million dreams.
One-line Message for the World?
We are different and much more similar than we think we are.
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