John Flanner MBE

BDF Associate

John Flanner MBE is an award-winning motivational speaker and author who delivers an engaging, powerful and humorous account of how he conquered fear and blindness to achieve outstanding success in his personal and professional life.

John developed Leber’s Optic Atrophy (a hereditary condition from which there is no cure) at the tender age of nineteen when he was forced to face the reality of being permanently blind.

Since then he has gone on to be awarded an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List in 2014 and the National Civil Service Outstanding Achievement Award for his services to Equality and Diversity in 2006.

The National Civil Service Diversity Awards recognise the outstanding achievements of ordinary civil servants who have made a major contribution to the development of greater diversity and equality in the Civil Service.

John was given the Outstanding Achievement Award after he single-handedly pioneered a series of transformational talks based on his life-story and successful book, ‘Fear, Fun and Faith’, that he has delivered to thousands of people nationwide.

The judges were inspired by John’s ability and courage to overcome obstacles, learn to cope effectively with his disability and be committed to his day job, while undertaking a ‘one man’ mission to educate and engage people in diversity issues.

John’s disarming, honest, and mesmerizing account of his experiences leaves positively charged business environments, and challenges misconceptions about diversity and what it takes to get ahead!

John has delivered his personal brand of passion, humour, and encouragement to many business people, the Cabinet Office and the Treasury.  However, as well as being a highly sought after motivational speaker, John has also held regular slots on BBC Radio and has appeared in a ‘Fly on the Wall’ documentary on Central Television.

Through his motivational speaking business, John delivers three keynote talks separately or together in a two-hour session with your team.  John changes thinking and attitudes as managers become more aware of the need to ensure those with a disability are working to their greatest strengths, and helps your team to break out of deep ruts and achieve their full potential. 

The talks are entitled: ‘Break Out’, ‘An Incredible Journey’, and ‘Fear, Fun and Faith’.  For more information contact John on: 07717 283116, email:, or visit the website:

“I guarantee if John is able to deliver a talk at your event or Company then the impact in terms of positive energy will be instant and amazing.” Rob Bishop, Assistant Programme Editor, Aston Villa Football club