Architect, business owner, father, husband and founder of One Heart Foundation; as a highly productive man Dean Landy is happy to be called many things, but just don’t call him busy.
Making a difference in the world in our lifetime is one thing most of us aspire to, but one which many of us fail to actually achieve. Dean Landy is a man on a mission. He plans to make a difference, to leave a legacy and to encourage others to find time in their busy lives for a greater purpose.
Dean is an architect by trade and is the partner of ClarkeHopkinsClarke, a successful, award-winning architecture firm in Melbourne. But while he lends his hand to shaping the living spaces of those fortunate enough to engage in his expertise, there’s one project that he’s been designing and shaping that is much closer to his heart.
With a desire to make a difference to children in need, Dean started One Heart Foundation, an organisation that builds homes, schools, skills training centres and farms in Kenya to create an environmentally, financially and socially sustainable community model that can be easily replicated around the world.
Since its inception in 2007, One Heart Foundation has changed the lives of 75 poverty stricken Kenyan children in need who would have continued living on the streets and most likely found themselves and in an early grave.
According to Dean, One Heart Foundation is just merely the foundations that have been set for a broader vision to help mend hearts all over the world. Through his work, he hopes to inspire fellow colleagues to be a part of something much bigger.
In Kenya we are now creating a sustainable village where we care for 75 children and provide high quality education in the region to start to break the poverty cycle. Soon we will start to scale this sustainable model up to reach more children in need.
“However an interconnecting element in all of this, is that I want to inspire and work with my peers, those in a professional capacity, to be able to help them find a bigger purpose in life beyond just their career. To help them understand the benefits of having a bigger vision for their lives and about being generous and considering others,” he says.
Dean’s contagious vision rubbed off on fellow entrepreneurs who he ventured into the Amazon Jungle with for Unstoppables’ Ideas Gone Wild event in February. He says the experience was empowering and motivating in terms of his vision for One Heart Foundation.
“The network and environment while in Brazil allows you to open your mind even more to the possibilities of what we can create and who can benefit from it. Since returning I have been able to continue to work with many from the team and together we are now seeing One Heart go to a whole new level.
“Another insight has been around the way we can stretch ourselves to become more – not just have more but to be more. We need to look how we can be the best we can be in every area of our lives. We can’t just exist to make money, we all know that will lead to an empty unfilled life.
“To me, my profession as an architect, my passion as the founder and director of One Heart Foundation, and my personal life, faith and family are all intertwined and all focused on enjoying life now, but also building a legacy for my kids, community and the thousands of orphaned, abandoned and abused children whose lives will be transformed by the work of One Heart.”
With a clear vision focused on creating better lives for others, Dean says he’s grateful he found his passion and purpose early on in life.
“I believe truly successful people are successful on various levels. I know that there is definitely a greater level of fulfilment, engagement and personal drive in my life and career when my ‘day job’, community work, social justice causes and personal motivation to help others all align,” he says.
With a mindset geared around connecting to something “bigger than yourself”, Dean recognises the pressures of everyday life and the ability to get caught up in everything. He believes it’s the too-busy mindset that’s disarming people from working towards a bigger vision, and in turn, stopping them from creating a life that will leave a legacy.
I know we are all stupidly busy nowadays – we all are. I get it and am right in the middle of it as a partner of a large architectural practice with a young, growing family. But I’m not going to let that be an excuse for me to achieve nothing in my life other than build my own nest.
“If we start to put things in place now into our daily activities we can build this gradually overtime – we can live our legacy right now. I don’t want to use being busy as an excuse, and be the person who looks back in 30 years’ time and doesn’t feel like I have achieved anything meaningful.”