Dick Simon is an entrepreneur, social enterprise philanthropist and catalyst for change. After September 11, 2001, Simon left the for-profit real-estate development world to co-found and chair the Peace Action Network (PAN) of YPO, a network of over 29,000 CEOs in more than 135 countries. By convening top business leaders, senior policy makers, religious figures and other experts, PAN leverages personal and business relationships, resources, and expertise to address conflict resolution on local and global levels. Simon’s work has earned him recognitions including YPO’s Global Humanitarian, Best of the Best and New Frontier Forum Awards. In addition, Simon received the Making a Difference Award from Harvard Business School (where he received his MBA) and was one of Real Leaders Magazine‘s 100 Visionary Leaders.
Drawing on his work with PAN facilitating communication between business leaders on opposite sides of geopolitical and religious divides, Simon launched the kNOw THEM Initiative to raise awareness about the most dangerous four-letter word in the English language, THEM, which marginalises, dehumanises and creates conflict. The Initiative includes print and social media campaigns and public lectures, as well as educational curricular materials.Currently, Simon has been involved with organisations pursuing FDA and European Medical Association clinical trials of psychedelic medicines as treatments for mental health issues (PTSD, depression). He is working to shift public perspective and reduce stigmatisation (THEMification) related to the use of these medicines and is also working with researchers studying psychedelic treatments for a wide range of indications as well as their possible use in conflict resolution.