Meet Katie Redfern, eXXpedition Virtual Voyage: Fiji crew member. As part of our Ambassador Spotlight Series we wanted to share Katie’s Superpower Story.
CAN YOU TELL ME A BIT ABOUT YOURSELF?
I’m Katie Redfern and I’m the founder of Meaningful Recruitment. I’m a careers adviser, recruitment consultant and professional coach, and most recently, an author. I work with lots of amazing individuals and organisations that are striving to make a positive social impact in our world. I provide career coaching to help them achieve their aspirations and run campaigns to help organisations find the talent to help them achieve their visions and solutions that will benefit our communities and our planet.
‘Working Meaningfully – Your fast-track guide to a career that lights you up.’ This eBook aims to bring Katie’s much sought after career coaching to a new audience, making her expert career guidance more affordable and accessible than ever before.
HOW DID YOU END UP SAILING WITH EXXPEDITION?
The plastic crisis comes up time and time again with my clients. When I first saw Emily Penn talking about the Round the World voyages on TV it lit up something inside me. It’s so aligned with what I do and I really wanted to get involved. After I applied, I interviewed Emily on a podcast series. Hearing more about the mission made me want to be one of the successful applicants even more and I was overjoyed when I was accepted as one of the crew. I was supposed to be going on eXXpedition Leg 12 Fiji to Vanuatu but it was unfortunately cancelled when the pandemic hit. Nevertheless, I still wanted to be part of this amazing mission so when eXXpedition offered me a place on Virtual Voyage: Fiji I was 100% in.
WHAT DID YOU LEARN ABOUT YOURSELF DURING THE VOYAGE?
It really reminded me of some old characteristics which I’d perhaps forgotten. It reminded me that I’m massively adaptable and that I like to make the best of any opportunity that comes my way. When the at-sea voyage was cancelled I didn’t let it get me down. Instead, it made me more determined. I thought, how can I still do this? How can I get to know these amazing women even though we can’t meet physically in person? The amount of positive energy that came out of it was off the scale. So for me, what did I learn about myself? Adaptability and making the best of the opportunity that we had. And that created so much positive action.
“We can all play a part in solving the plastic pollution crisis.”
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE YOUR SUPERPOWER AND HOW HAS IT HELPED YOU MAKE AN IMPACT?
My superpower is communication and determination. After the virtual voyage I delivered school talks to almost 6,000 school children and teachers across London and the South East area of the UK. I’d already created the connections with the schools as part of my build up to going on the voyage and I kept that going. I worked with primary and secondary schools and adapted my talk to each one. For the primary schools I tried to make it fun by making the pupils plastic detectives. They absolutely loved it and I got wonderful feedback.
In addition to speaking to school children and teachers, I also spoke to my local MP, my clients (industry-based individuals) as well as the government, and I took part in a sustainability conference with NatWest. There were some incredible entrepreneurs at the conference, all striving to make their businesses more sustainable and sharing learning. I want to use my superpowers to help get the message out there and remind people that we can all play a part in solving the plastic pollution crisis in our ocean.
“I felt like a magnet. I was attracting new connections to my business and striking up great collaborations with like-minded people.”
HOW HAS THE VOYAGE INFLUENCED YOUR WORK SINCE YOU RETURNED HOME?
It’s made me incredibly busy! When I wasn’t running my business, I was delivering school talks all over the place and I absolutely loved it. I wanted to share my message far and wide and inspire people. I felt like a magnet. I was attracting new connections to my business and striking up great collaborations with like-minded people. I have lots of exciting things in the pipeline and the opportunities just keep coming as my message gets out there. It’s given me back so much energy.
WHAT ARE YOU MOST PROUD TO HAVE ACHIEVED?
It’s got to be speaking to nearly 6,000 school children and teachers. It’s a phenomenal achievement and it still blows me away. I never in a million years thought that I could reach so many people and create that kind of effect. Children are our future and we need to support them. I’m a parent of two and so I feel very proud of myself for having done that. It’s part of my legacy now. If I hadn’t joined the virtual voyage, I would never have done that.
WHAT ARE YOUR PLANS GOING FORWARD?
I’ve just been offered a really exciting opportunity to be a board trustee of a charity called the Small Steps Project which is a humanitarian organisation and UK registered charity supporting children and their families who live on rubbish dumps. I’ll be working with the charity to help the families and decision makers to find sustainable solutions to enable children to take small steps on and off the rubbish dumps and into education.
IF YOU COULD GIVE ONE MESSAGE TO THE WORLD, WHAT WOULD IT BE?
My message is very clear and inspired by my own ability to speak to almost 6,000 school children and teachers and it is this: I’d like everyone to remember that they are not just a drop in the ocean, we are all the waves of change that are needed and we need to get on and create those waves of change right now. We can’t wait. And I know it’s possible because I did it!