François joins the UK team heading up all things growth related. As a starter, he’ll be looking into where we grow, how we grow and what our member experience is when joining Nextdoor. He brings a wealth of experience and some pretty good taste in chocolate too. Welcome François!
Tell us about your neighbourhood…
I live in Stoke Newington (also known as “Stokey”). We moved there about a year and-a-half ago, right before my son, Miles, was born. There are a lot of young families, nice parks, great restaurants, lots of local activities, and a strong sense of community. Residents try to preserve this community by supporting local businesses and avoiding having too many chain stores or chain restaurants around. There also isn’t a tube stop nearby, but there is an Overground station, which is, in my opinion, a great way to get into the city.
Where did you grow up?
I come from Dottignies, a tiny village in Belgium, about 15 minutes from the border with France. I lived there for the first 18 years of my life and had a great time there. My closest friends are still my friends from home, and I try to visit as often as I can (the St. Pancras to Lille Eurostar train is perfect for that purpose).
One of the key reasons I love it there is the strong sense of community. Back then I was involved in the youth group, sports clubs and a student association. I knew all my neighbours and most of the people in the village very well. People knew me, I helped people, people helped me. It’s something I missed after leaving Dottignes at 18 years old.
What made you want to work at Nextdoor?
Since I left my village, I have lived in 6 different countries and over 20 different flats.
Because of all these changes, and the size of the cities I have lived in, I never managed to get the same sense of closeness and community from when I was growing up. So when I was asked to join Nextdoor, I was very excited! I could work on making my own neighbourhood – and the world – a bit more like my village and give people the same experience I had.
What has been your favourite moment so far?
It was incredible to visit the Nextdoor headquarters in San Francisco and see how much influence Nextdoor can have in people’s lives. More people know about and use Nextdoor in the US than in Europe (for now…). Seeing the activity on the platform was really inspiring and brought to life the impact it has on communities.