WCS-013: Mike Simmons shares the sky with others

Mike SimmonsMike Simmons is bridging cultural divides around the world through the shared love of astronomy with Astronomers Without Borders.

About Mike Simmons:

Mike Simmons has been an amateur astronomer for 40 years and loves sharing the sky with others. He has an impressive background as a leader and founder in multiple organizations promoting astronomy. Seeing astronomy as a universal interest that transcends cultural differences, Mike founded Astronomers Without Borders in 2006 with the objective to foster lasting bonds, goodwill and friendships around the world.

Personal Mantra:

Being open to whatever happens to come along and being interested in checking new things out is what’s important, because you never know where those will lead.

One of his greatest challenges:

Astronomers Without Borders became very popular very quickly and this presented unique problems.

What is your most successful strategy for finding funding:

Mike shares how he created partnerships with commercial groups and his plans for a crowd-funding campaign with IndieGogo.

When he knows the work he is doing is making a difference:

It’s those little personal responses he gets from people around the world that let him know he’s reaching people.

Practical Advice:

As you go along, it’s important to understand the resources that you have, to take stock of those. It’s important to know what you’re good at and what you don’t do well so you can fill that in. It’s important to know where your supporters are and to find out how to fit  those resources in.

Personal Practice That Keeps him Going on the Tough Days

Hard work on something he cares about and then breaking free to be in the moment, exercise and getting outside.

Tools or Technology:

IndieGogo for financing

Skype for video conferencing

Google Hangouts for public events

Nomination for Upcoming World Changer Sessions Guest:

Anousheh Ansari – First Female Private Space Explorer& First Space Ambassador

Ron Garan – Astronaut and social entrepreneur; Fragile Oasis, USAID

How to get in touch:

Website: AstronomersWithoutBorders.org

Email: mikes@astronomerswithoutborders.org