Autobiography of a Silicon Valley Savior ⛔️💪🏻🌍

Mark Henson: The Winner. The last man standing looks over his field of glory, death and destruction.

My Story: Confessions of a White Dude Who Tried to Save the World

The Eye of The Beholder

Stage I Winning [Games & Sports]

We are products of our ecology and our times; inheriting systems, stories, traumas, privileges. I am not a child of the 60’s, the Black Panther Movement, or first generation immigrants. I am a child of the 90’s — upper class, secular, segregated, suburban, achievement culture of Westchester, NY. My beloved parents were MBA’s who worked on Wall Street. Much was invested to ensure my childhood was safe, secure and fun. I grew up with some greater than average pressure to succeed in a fairly narrow sense (material well being and social status). I was repeatedly told I was special, I was different, I could be whatever I wanted to: professional athlete, the President, CEO. I was good. Smart. Hard working. Fast. Elementary school teachers told my parents I needed to slow down, avoid careless mistakes, be less hard on myself. I was also kinda quiet, weird, awkward and timid. My high school tennis coach once had to tell me “don’t be afraid to win.”

Sell sell sell! Is the investor-in-fleece style that old?

Stage II Winning [Academics & Good Life]

I was a straight A student. My favorite unit in elementary school was the one on European Explorers: those brave men who discovered exotic new worlds through epic adventures. I spent my teenage summers at tennis and golf camp, and later at college prep programs. Other hobbies included visiting luxury car dealers and hotels, stopping by the trophy store, and playing that talking globe game. I wanted my mom to paint a scene of me sitting on a Ferrari, which was my first email address (FerrariA50, after my dad wouldn’t let me create PimpinX50). I prided myself on number of passport stamps, living in one of the most expensive zip codes in the country and having a sense of familiarity with most of the locations on the list, and befriending kids of owning class families. The mere association with those who had wealth and status raised my self esteem and became part of my identity, a la Sushi12. My family had a lot, but I envied those around us who had much more, and was socialized into seeing that as the orienting goal in life. Three generations of successful upward mobility burdened me to reach even higher, financially and socially. But to what end? And why? *cue world’s tiniest violin*

MTV Cribs: a documentary TV program that features tours of the private homes of the rich and famous.
Drunkenly walking off an early am flight to Spain during study abroad

Stage III Winning [Social Life]

I did a lot of achieving and jumping through hoops amidst a growing existential angst and disorienting sense of privilege, craving something More than the hallow rituals and vacuous options on the menu. Like pushing 140 MPH in my dad’s BMW. I burnt out of academic achievement after taking the SAT’s for the third time in pursuit of a perfect score, just in time to apply and get accepted to UPenn/Wharton through pressure and indifference and legacy connections, signifying that the business elite status quo chose me as an ideal human to uphold and enrich it.

Brother Dunn on a Saturday afternoon. Photo taken shortly before Occupy protestors came to campus, and I silently stood on the side of the Wharton people, including a fraternity brother who started a “Get a job!” chant.

Stage IV Winning [Entrepreneurship]

I found most of the b-school curriculum awfully boring and was close to ditching the business thing altogether for something like anthropology or philosophy, but sucked it up for the Wharton degree and in my junior/senior year got bitten by the entrepreneurial bug. I suddenly came alive on campus, networking and hustling as I sunk a genuine passion into an empowering and visionary project. Steve Jobs became my personal hero. One week before graduation, while doing community service for a disciplinary infraction, I had a curious hangover thought say: “I am the next Steve Jobs.” I joked to somebody I lusted after that I wanted to get his quote on changing the world tattooed on my body. She told me that’s what she liked about me. If any of her friends were going to make a dent in the world, it was me.

Me supporting financial inclusion in Indonesia in 2014

Stage V Winning [Self Actualization]

We joyfully jammed on the hardware path until it became a clear dead end. It was a nebulous spring of running out of money, throwing Hail Mary’s, co-founders departing. Then out of nowhere, we were miraculously given a new lease on life by a generous fan and set out to find a new CEO to lead the organization. At the time, I had little interest in being a leader of a great company, having worked with a string of uninspiring leaders, while feeling unqualified with persistent insecurities around activities like public speaking. I didn’t see myself as extra special or destined to greatness. Rather, kind of indifferent, disempowered and stuck.

It was now up to me, to redesign the home screen of the planet to protect and promote human flourishing, and scale that to five billion smartphone users, as soon as possible.

A switch had been turned on. I was no longer afraid to win. Put me in coach, I’m ready to LIVE.

The first humane startup and smartphone interface.

Stage VI Winning [Saving The World]

It was in these moments of clarity and spaciousness from “the matrix” that divine information (or “downloads”) reliably streamed through. Those sublime moments were nectar for my Soul. The visions would even come during mundane moments like sitting next to a creek, or having a conversation on the dance floor. I recorded, clung to and followed as many of these insights and visions as possible, translating thoughts into To-Do’s with perfected agility and without question. I didn’t really seek these altered states out — the invitations just kept coming and I trusted that trying on more of the human experience = better for Andrew and Andrew’s projects, and that there was no limit on the returns of personal work. Peak experiences made me come alive. So I made them my way of life.

My first live TV interview on Fox 29 Philadelphia
Team Humanity: super heroes x super computers
Golden God kissing the sky at Burning Man 2018. “The very medicine intended to get rid of our selfish attachments can actually create even more virulent versions of the selves we were so desperate to transcend in the first place.” — Jamie Wheal, Recapture The Rapture
DoubleBlind: When Acid Makes You Feel Like Jesus. Perhaps the only reason I didn’t think I was the Messiah was because I didn’t even really know what that was, having never learned about Jesus or scripture (have you ever read Genesis? Talk about words creating worlds). But even if I didn’t grow up in a Christian context, I inherited its narratives through forced assimilation into Western culture. And thus was prone to replicate its tendencies without awareness of them. We live amidst a strange convergence of Western ideas of trying to be God = a sin, and Eastern ideas of humans have the potential to become like Gods.

Stage VII Winning [XXL Saving The World]

After putting Siempo on hold, I took some time to consider my next steps and decided that 2020 would be a year of slowing down and being present for life, maybe getting a little politically active with a new party I had been connecting with. One thing led to another and I quickly found myself involved with One Nation (now the Independent National Union) with its charismatic leadership, a mytho-poetic theory of change, endorsements from respected intellectuals and celebrated activists, and a central focus on systems change and healing. The organization emanated “saving the world” energy and drew me in like a tractor beam. I wanted to learn from them. I told people it was the next Google. I wanted to hang out in this new corner of the cool kids club, that seemed like my ticket to all the things Siempo had not fulfilled.

Pierre Teilhard de Chardin was a French Jesuit priest, scientist, paleontologist, theologian, philosopher and teacher.
That was a look for me in Feb 2020. I love this photo. I felt like a rockstar that season. Looking back, it represents a relatively unmoored time in my life.
Source: CBR

Stage VIII W̶i̶n̶n̶i̶n̶g̶ Being [Humbling]

As the dust of the One Nation experience settled and I found myself climbing down from my high horse into a place of transition once again, I started to notice my natural inclination to GO GO GO on big new ideas, say “Yes” to all the catch ups and online events, work on too many projects at once, and pour all of myself into something. I wondered where these habits stemmed from. What lessons had I learned from the last few years that I did not want to repeat?

Painting by Fidel Garcia. As I stumbled out of my latest attempt to save the world, I realized that something needed to shift. I had to find ground. I no longer wanted to win anymore. 50+ countries x as many peak experiences later and I STILL didn’t feel whole or in right relationship.

Stage IX Being [Homecoming]

It had been a wild few years. What the heck happened? What can I glean from those experiences? Where do I go from here? I’m extremely grateful for my friends Belinda, Peter and the Hestia community for birthing the Hestia Winter Incubator program just in time, so perfectly aligned with my intentions for the winter to integrate my 2020, my Saturn Return, seven years since I began “my journey” in India, and 30 years of life. The day I arrived, I had a feeling I would eventually write about this savior topic. In retreating to the mountains to write and study and unravel, I’d also reconnect with Judaism, ancestry, enchantment of nature, and education reform. In stillness I began to see the experiences of the last few years through a different lens, receive their lessons, bring things back into balance (constant social connectivity, information intake, religious note taking, disembodiment), and practice new ways of being. I went to my room to think about what I had done. It was self-directed TIME OUT / rehab from the craziness of all I had been through. Homecoming upon homecoming.

In taking a break from a lifestyle of peak experiences, I found medicine in land, community, home, body, stillness, writing.

Stage X Being [Positioning]

Today, I’m still in awe of the cornucopia of efforts working to create a more beautiful and regenerative world, and pleased to hear that many crews are integrating valuable lessons along the way. In my seeking to be a bridge between worlds, I don’t want to let go of all the magic and beauty and community of the last chapter; I still want to play in those sandboxes, I’m just getting more clear on my role in it all:

I don’t want or need to start or lead or work on “the next big thing.” I don’t want to be rich. I want richness of life. I don’t want to win. I want to be in right relationship.

I aim to learn, mentor, write, weave, facilitate, make art. To serve and savor > save. To better understand how I am situated and what I am positioned to change.

I want to collaborate with those at the intersections of education, justice, spirituality, technology, business. I want to create educational, healing and integration experiences, for leaders, in nature.

Let’s play!

Teresa West Carter: Higher Perspective

“It’s all stories! What’s left when you die? The stories you told that keep being told, and the stories people tell about you.” –Lewis Mehl-Madrona

I want to conclude by saying a special thank you you to those who had the courage to call me out for following the wrong things. Please forgive me for not listening. Forgive me for not showing up. Forgive me for trying to change you. Forgive me for making you uncomfortable. Forgive me for my arrogance. Forgive me for being a dick. Forgive me for not forgiving you. I’m sorry. I forgive you. Thank you. I love you.

It’s not up to you to finish the work,
But you’re not free to cast it aside —
And neither am I, so please remind me when I forget
That it’s not up to me,
And it’s not up to you,
But it sure as hell is on us.

Sarah D. Beller — It’s Not On You (Lo Alecha Song)
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Regenerative Tech | Business | Culture | Life. Co-founder @getsiempo, Digital Wellness Collective, @Wharton Wisdom.

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Andrew Murray Dunn

Andrew Murray Dunn

Regenerative Tech | Business | Culture | Life. Co-founder @getsiempo, Digital Wellness Collective, @Wharton Wisdom.