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John was born, educated and still lives in the county of Shropshire. He served for 10 years as an Army officer and has spent the last 24 years creating a highly regarded reputation in ethical purpose, corporate social responsibility, philanthropy and mass public campaigning. John says the most significant non-technological development in business and society this century will be purpose.  John O’Brien’s book The Power of Purpose details proven rationale, techniques and messages of how businesses of all sizes and scales can create long-standing sustainable success.

John operates a mixed portfolio

This includes acting as part time EMEA Managing Partner at ONE HUNDRED, Omnicom’s ethical purpose consortium consisting of nine of Omnicom’s leading global agencies. John is also a bestselling business author and recognized campaigner with over thirty years experience leading initiatives covering over twenty countries.

John is a senior advisor to business, high net-worth individuals, charities and governments on the interface between business and society, related strategies and communication. During the last ten years he has played a leading role in developing much of the language and thinking around ethical, sustainable purpose in the UK. He is a sought after speaker and commentator on the subject.

John’s professional background is varied, starting with a few early years in banking followed by a decade as a British Army Infantry officer, serving in theatres around the world, retiring as a Captain in 1994. His training and operational experience in creating clarity from complex, often chaotic and dangerous situations, acted as a key grounding for his future career and brings wide experience to bear for clients.

Ethical Purpose Business Expert


  • "Truth Be Told" by Kogan Page 2021: Addressing the risk of 'purpose-wash' and placing human truth based thinking at the core of marketing and communications.
  • "The Power of Purpose" business bestseller by Pearson 2017: Amazon top 10 and WH Smith top 3 business charts: Shortlisted UK Business Book of the Year 2018. Forbes leaders top 15 business reads 2018.

30 Years of Transformational Leadership

Working with over half the FTSE 100, HNW and royal figures; Governments, NGO’s and Family Offices.

Mass Mobilisation Campaigning and Philanthropy

Mass mobilisation campaigns expert: including the 2012 Jubilee Hour - recognised as the largest volunteer project since World War 2 with 2.7 million mobilised and World War 1. Trustee, Patron and Ambassador for a variety of causes and initiatives.

Royal Initiatives

10 years at The Prince of Wales's Responsible Business Network, BITC; MD of The Prince's Personal Programmes. Former trustee of The Prince of Wales's 'INTBAU'​, part of The Prince's Foundation and His Royal Highnesses Special Representative on a variety of other initiatives including Youth United & Industrial Cadets 2010 - 2016. Chairman The Prince's Pakistan Recovery Fund.