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20 questions with… John Fleetwood



John Fleetwood answers 20 questions on life, sustainability and everything.

John Fleetwood is also a former financial adviser and was a co-founder of the Cochabamba Project (the UK Society that funds ArBolivia) in 2009. Aside from his role within ArBolivia, he provides research on CSR issues to financial institutions engaged in promoting socially responsible investments and is the founder of

We want the world to be as blue and green tomorrow as it was yesterday. What’s your mission?

To be the person I was designed to be, to experience life in all its fullness and to help make the world a better place

When you were a child, what did you want to be when you grew up?

A weather man – I still take a keen interest in the weather.

How would your friends describe you?

Probably as a bit of a nutcase for my feats of endurance in the hills.

What was your ‘road to Damascus moment’ in terms of sustainability?

Doing a geography degree and looking at the bigger picture and the impact of man

Who or what inspires you?

Anyone that is wholehearted and committed to serving others.  I was inspired by Satish Kumar’s book on walking across the world without any money.  As a Christian, I’m also inspired by Jesus.

Describe your perfect day.

Pink sunrise above a sea of clouds, back for a buffet breakfast with the family looking out at the sea, good book, snorkelling in a warm sea, game of tennis, homemade produce for lunch, more of the same after lunch, run before dinner to see the sunset on top of a rocky spire, candlelit dinner with my wife  looking over the ocean, theatre performance after dinner.

What do you see when you look out your window at home?

200 year old slate roofs on a mill cottage, a wooded gorge containing the River sprint and the fields leading up to the Eastern fells.

What do you like spending your money on?

Outdoor kit, camera gear, youth hostels, books, maps and quality bread

What’s your favourite holiday destination?

Sea and mountains combined – West coast of Scotland, Norway

What’s your favourite book?

The bible.  Its a much misunderstood book which only unfolds after considering the context and the book as a whole.  But if we are applying Desert Island Discs rules, I’d take a Dickens novel – maybe Pickwick Papers.

What’s your favourite film?

I’m not the sort of person to watch a film umpteen times over, but I think the film that left the biggest impact was ‘Hubble’ – the 3D was incredible and you are left reaching out for the stars.

You’re elected prime minister with a thumping majority. What’s the first thing you do?

I guess elect a cabinet, but after that seek to channel more money into productive infrastructure.

If you were stuck on a desert island, which famous person would you like to be stuck with and why?

Brian Cox – he’d tell me all about the stars which I could explore in my mind’s eye when we were bored on a little desert island.

What was the best piece of advice you have ever been given? And the worst?

Be content with who you are.  Play it safe – life is too short for that.

What’s your biggest regret?

Not taking risks earlier in life.

What one thing would you encourage readers to do to make their life more sustainable?

Consume less.

What’s the one idea that you think could change the world for the better?

Love your neighbour as yourself.

What’s your favourite quote?

TS Eliot – “We shall not cease from exploration, and the end of all our exploring will be to arrive where we started and know the place for the first time.”

What would you like to be doing five years from now?

Same as now but more time doing creative things.

And the bonus questions: how would you like to be remembered? – what will they carve on your gravestone?

Someone who made the most of what they’d be given for good.

To read other 20 questions with, click here.


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