John Khoo, On Purpose Fellow

jon-khoo-twitterI believe that purpose is innate – it’s a seed that’s already sitting in all of us.Unfortunately people don’t always have the opportunity to grow that seed into a career. I feel very fortunate to have had that opportunity to do so.
My story is about a guy that likes to solve problems. That had a careerwhere he was probably solving the wrong problems, and is now solvingproblems that actually matter.
While still working as a lawyer, I did a marine conservation trip with a socialenterprise, working on surveying the coral reefs, counting fish, working withthe local community, getting to know what it’s like to be a fisherman on theislands. And it was out there that I decided that maybe I wanted to changemy job, change my skills for a better purpose. And I did.
When I got through the application stage at On Purpose, I’ve taken a holiday to Senegal, and whilst out there, whilst waiting for the tide, I’ve found myself with the other surfers helping the fishermen bring in a seine net.Now a seine fishing net is like a 300 m long net that you cast from land, and we brought the net in, and we only caught 6 fish, and the fishermen were very grateful and offered us the fish – and we said “God no, you have no catch, and you’re offering the fish” – and they insisted, which was a nightmare situation, so we accepted to eat them as a whole group, with their families. Now it was a serendipitous moment when the following week I’ve learned about Interface’s Net-Works programme – which recycles discarded fishing nets into carpets – and got involved with it.

John Khoo, On Purpose Fellow

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