Rural – Jersey Country Life Magazine


John Blashford Snell,shows the Jersey flag in Mongolia

WHAT do flip flops have to do with leadership skills?

Explorer, author and expedition leader Colonel John Blashford-Snell CBE Revealed the answer as part of a Zoom conversation on 24th April 2021.

He was speaking on the closing day of The Great United Festival, a six-week-long online event, which brought together people of all ages who were sharing their experiences and their wisdom to explore how to create ‘a harmonious, sustainable and fulfilling way of life for all’.

John’s 30-minute presentation was called ‘The Wake of Drake’ referring to a series of expeditions which inspired young participants from all over the world to think differently and develop the skills to become global leaders.

He was talking about leadership and questioning whether the long list of qualities usually associated with the world’s greatest leaders are really necessary.

‘There are only two real essential qualities,’ said John, ‘the ability to communicate and the ability to inspire.’

He introduced festival goers to ‘The Flipflop Project’ which tells the story of Ben Morrison who was so appalled by the amounts of plastic, especially flip flops, littering the beautiful beaches in East Africa that he began to research alternative uses for used plastic.

He worked with others to build a traditional sailing dhow entirely from waste plastic and covered the hull with colourful flip flops thus creating a positive example of how single-use plastic could have a second life. Then Ben sailed the boat over 500km from Lamu, Kenya to Zanzibar, Tanzania, to inspire people around the world to fight plastic pollution.

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