share

Aurélie

According to Gérard Bauër, “Our voice is our second face.” Aurélie’s encourages us to slow down: it helps us think. It encourages us to question and revisit the foundation of our actions. It calls out our intelligence in order to avoid the temptation of doing things the way they’ve always been done and to instead search for things that make sense.

 

Discover this hand-drawn portrait and story of Aurélie’s life, a moment in time and simple sketch of an individual with multiple talents.

 

 

 

“The first time I heard about you I told myself: ‘Oh my gosh! She is mentally challenged!’”

 

Aurélie confesses to me as a friend would and completes her thought with a smile: “I have a voice that gives the impression that I’m a little slow. On the other hand, it’s pretty funny because I cannot write slowly!”

 

Aurélie’s face has something mature and youthful at the same time. Is there a picture of her that she particularly loves? “On my LinkedIn profile: the picture is not really clear, but my hair was well done, and I was smiling… It was taken at the ESSEC Business School, where I gave a presentation.

 

Surprisingly, it did not matter how many people attended the conference, I was not impressed. It’s probably because I don’t put myself at risk: I simply deliver the information. What do they like about my presentation? They tell me that I’m well-organized and that I speak plainly.”

 

Aurélie helps transform businesses and delivers workshops and presentations on Design Thinking. She also wrote a lot of books on this topic. “I already loved Design Thinking. But in 2010, it was love at first sight: I discovered there was a global approach to finding solutions that would put human beings at the core of everything.

 

Historically, the ambition of designers is to improve the world. William Morris did not only create nice objects during the Industrial Revolution, he was also interested in organizational structure in business.

 

Today, the term “Design Thinking” is so overused. Contrary to what Tim Brown says, everyone cannot be a design thinker; it is first and foremost a state of mind. If the state of mind isn’t there, it’s no good.”

 

Aurélie also wrote a book called D’un soleil à l’autre, which is inspired by her mother’s mental illness, and it is written for children that are experiencing a similar issue. “I wanted something heartwarming, happy, and bright, nothing too heavy. It’s meant to support a discussion. It’s something for a parent to read with their child. With a sick parent, you overdevelop your empathy, and you want to care for your sick parent. I wanted to put into words how these children are feeling so they can learn to think more about themselves.”

 

On receiving the “Reader’s Favorite” (“Coup de Cœur”) award from OCIRP Handicap at Radio France, Aurélie says “It was the first time that I felt uncomfortable in front of an audience. The lights were on me and I was suddenly in tears. I don’t remember what I said. I could barely speak. Everyone found this very touching. Meanwhile I said to myself: ‘I thought I got rid of the fear of public speaking, but in reality I did not get rid of it at all!’ And it was also very intimate, it was not about Design Thinking!

 

But it made me feel good. I was moved by everything because of how grateful I was for this award that came from a lot of people I didn’t know.

 

Why did I write this book? Because I needed to move on from my mother, to take care of my children. I also wanted to find meaning in what I went through by using it to help other children.

 

There is hardly anything available for children with bipolar parents, yet we all need parents that set boundaries for their children. When that is not the case, it’s really destabilizing. I learned that in some countries, psychiatrists ask to see the children when a parent comes in for an appointment.

 

One day, my grandmother, whom I love, said to me, ‘I took a look at these photos, you did not look miserable at all.’ She simply did not understand what I was going through. In any case, she was very important to me: she was always very happy, joking all the time, and extremely organized and loving. At ninety-eight years old, she still had her mischievous personality.

 

What do I want to do today? I want to learn to coach using applied neuroscience; I want to experiment with other projects in businesses and in education; and I plan on writing more books. Anyway, I want to explore. I want to be useful, always in line with my goals.

 

When we do meaningful things, it allows us to have meaningful experiences. And to make it meaningful, it must come from within you. It must be personal.” 

 

 

 

English Translation by Kelly Biv, Salem State University, Salem, Massachusetts USA

Other portraits