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Simon Hampel
Episode 124th September 2021 • Podventures • MOE Foundation
00:00:00 01:14:48

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Simon Hampel

Website: https://sarsen.com/ 

Socials: https://www.linkedin.com/in/simonhampel/ 

Websites of initiatives mentioned:

Leaders’ Quest: https://leadersquest.org/ 

Growing wise leaders for a regenerative future

Association for Coaching podcast series on Health & Wellbeing https://www.associationforcoaching.com/page/Health_and_Wellbeing_podcast_series

Other resources mentioned e.g. books, talks…

The 5 Tibetan Rites

Viktor Frankl quote: “Between stimulus and response there is a space. In that space is our power to choose our response. In our response lies our growth and our freedom.”

Simon's Biog:

Simon spent between 1993-2001 as a serial entrepreneur, building companies in Europe, the US and Canada in the fields of financial services, leisure, consultancy and technology. In 2002 he lost everything. 

He joined an expedition to the Amazon and spent the next four years living with local communities there, across the Himalayas, through Mongolia, and down Ethiopia’s Blue Nile. 

In 2006, he became the CEO of Right to Sight, an International NGO tackling needless blindness, and worked on developing sustainable eye care projects across Africa and India. 

Most recently, he was Managing Partner of Leaders’ Quest. In 2010, he found himself in a Zen monastery in Tamil Nadu where he had a series of powerful awakening experiences which have carved his path ever since. These experiences gave him the insight that this growth and personal transformation is open to all.

Simon shares his journey:

  • How privileged he feels to have grown up in a humble and deeply loving family
  • How he tried University but found that it wasn’t the right path for him and so after less than 1 year he left University to explore his own path. This led him to a year in London sofa surfing and finding his way, whilst at the same time his family wished he would continue university


  • A door then opened for him and he got a job and within a 18months he was helping to build health and fitness clubs and he came up with an idea on how to grow the business and at 23 he found himself starting his 1st business as an entrepreneur


  • The business was turning over £1million in his first year as a successful dot com entrepreneur to losing everything within 8-9yrs – with offices in lots of different places in the world – experiencing and growing people – helping them to shine


  • In 2001 the tech bubble crashed and so Simon found himself losing everything that he had built, he had to confront the challenging of failure and so he travelled around thanking the teams before then heading off to Spain to deal with the trauma he felt, mugged within the first few days it felt like he had to lose everything 


  • He learnt Spanish in a place called Carpe Diem and had to learn to walk into life, fortunately in a place that is beautiful and connects you into life, having learnt Spanish he decided to head off to criss-cross South America for 18 months 


  • In La Paz a chance encounter led him to meet an incredible explorer, and this led him to supporting expeditions across the world for 4yrs, including in the Amazon and discovering a T-Rex metatarsal bone in the Gobi Desert


  • An opportunity to support an incredible NGO appeared and Simon became the CEO of Right to Sight where he spent the next 4.5yrs working with doctors and communities to bring sustainable healthcare to people across India and Africa 


  • He then realised that he needed to return home as he had been on walk about for a long time, so he resigned and then found himself in a Zen campus (monastery) in India where he had the opportunity to learn from a wonderful Zen Master


  • To 9 years as Managing Partner at Leaders’ Quest and his latest venture Sarsen, which explores the intersection of technology, consciousness, and energy


  • Sarsen - consciousness, energy and technology create tipping points


Darren reveals Simon’s contributions to MOE that includes: 

  • Being a founding Trustee of MOE Foundation 


  • The “two-door” contribution (free and paying) framework and model that MOE uses were inspired by the Right to Sight model originating in India and then Africa 


  • Maturity, Loving leadership (Love in Action), expressing Love and Intimacy as a Man 


  • The importance of Contribution in life. Return on Contribution an alternative way of measuring the returns we get from investments in life that goes beyond financial returns alone


Darren & Simon discuss some of the philosophies and tools Simon finds useful:

  • Reflection, Zen Mindfulness, multiple doorways in, the importance of emergence and flow that emerge from 15-45mins of mindfulness that creates space 


  • The 5 Tibetans and Qi Gong


  • Micro Daily Ripple Habits – deep personal practices that help shape you and your daily habits 


  • Dynamic Meditation – Mindful walks 


  • Start from Love and Heart – ask yourself ‘what can I contribute’ and be amazed at what flows in life when living from a place of contribution 

Mentioned in this episode:

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