Meet the Migrator: Q & A with Tim Shilstone, Headmaster of School of Dreams

Header image by Eraj Asadi

This year at Gratitude Migration, we’re proud to present The School of Dreams; a series of inspirational, Ted-style short talks by visionaries and leaders who will teach us all how to live our dreams and make them come true. We sat down with Tim Shilstone, Headmaster of School of Dreams to find out what to expect at this remarkable little corner of hELLO Beach.

Tim, What’s your story and how did it lead you to creating The School of Dreams?

It starts with following my own path: It began with my career at a tech startup soon after college. Most would say I was doing a fantastic job. I felt otherwise. I was unhappy. Dis-eased. I found myself questioning the purpose of my work, the thing we dedicated almost all of our time and energy towards. What was the greater mission behind this company? Is this what I believe in? Is this what I'd like to do with my limited time here? The answer? A resounding no. So I left my job and embarked on a journey of self exploration and transformation.

My dream was to cultivate environments that spark inspiration and creativity. I wanted to throw the most amazing music and art based events in New York City. I had no experience in this line of work but I chose to dive in head first into the world of event curation and production. Of course there were many road bumps, but the obstacles we heavily outweighed by the successes.

Within the first year of my new life I had the privileged of producing Bushwick Open Studios launch party (sponsored by Tumblr) in 2015, and TEDxBushwicks 2016's conference. Attendance at my personal events rivaled the size of small cities (1,500+ people). A pivotal moment for me was when Absolut Vodka recognized me as one of Americas top 100 influencers in the music art and tech space. Things were going well. I was living my dream.

 Image courtesy of Tim Shilstone

Image courtesy of Tim Shilstone

At that time, nearly every week a friend would reach out asking for assistance. For guidance on their journey. I made the time to sit down with everyone who asked, sharing my perspective of how they too could be living out their dreams. Soon after I left New York to set off on a three week trip across the country. A radical disconnection from my routine. An invaluable space to assess my life and where I was going. 

I came back from this voyage with clarity. A realization. I needed a shift. I no longer wanted to curate my events, but rather wanted to focus all my time and energy helping others on their journeys. From this moment on I chose to again, rewrite my life, and  begin a new chapter assisting others transition into the life of their dreams.

I believe we can be exactly who we'd like to be. I believe we can be the architects that create the lives of our dreams...

 Photo by Eraj Asadi

Photo by Eraj Asadi

What's your vision for School of Dreams at Gratitude Migration?

The School of Dreams is meant to be a platform for people who have made their dreams a reality to share their story, in all vulnerabilities, the challenges, the REAL story, with the intention to inspire others to take action on their dreams. My only ask is for the people speaking to be open, honest, and authentic when talking about what it took to make their dreams a reality.

I hope that by sharing these stories in all of their honesty attendees will better realize that starting a project with the potential for positive global impact is not something reserved for the elite, not something out of your grasp, but rather something you can manifest if you so choose.

 (See Lineup here)

What are the benefits of taking time away from music or socializing at a festival for a lecture or workshop?

Not only might you walk away inspired, you may find a person that can help you with your idea, or even find a project that you can help with. This is mean to be a meeting place for people that are passionate about making the world a better place. 

 Image by Eraj Asadi

Image by Eraj Asadi

Who are you most excited to see at School of Dreams?

My good friends Michael Weiss (lead for the next Worlds Fair USA) , and Jordan Lejuwaan (Founder of Both of these guys are fierce dreamers who are working on some amazing projects that are helping introduce the world to our future...

Any tips for people who are up for coming out to see a speaker or lecture?

Come ready to find fuel to your fire...

 Image by Eraj Asadi

Image by Eraj Asadi