CV John Hutchinson

8 Kenmore Rd Cape Town 8001 South Africa

Executive Summary

John is an admitted Advocate of the High Court of South Africa, a registered professional engineer and an accredited mediator and arbitrator. His career has spanned technology, manufacturing, entrepreneurship, the practice of law and alternative dispute resolution.

John has mediated extensively, assisting to resolve disputes in both commercial and non-commercial contexts, including the workplace, family disputes and in harassment and domestic violence settings. In family, co-parenting and divorce mediation an affinity with human elements and behavioural dynamics is important, and John focusses on developing this. He finds assisting parties to engage constructively, enabling them to manage their own outcomes without being held hostage to antagonism, is both challenging and rewarding.

Currently he participates in, and administrates, a group of mediators doing pro bono court-referred mediations in family, domestic violence and harassment matters.


Personal Statement

I have a passion to make a positive difference.

Key Skills

  • Professional Engineer.
  • Advocate of the High Court of South Africa.
  • Accredited and experienced mediator and facilitator.
  • Comfortable in multi-disciplinary and multi-cultural environments at all levels.
  • An understanding of influences on entrepreneurial, negotiation and management behaviour.
  • A good listener, an understanding of human nature, and an empathic disposition.
  • A quick thinker with good interpersonal affinity, engineering, legal and commercial skills


Professional History

Engineer Barlow Rand Group

(1978 – 1982)

  • General skills development.

Lecturer, Cape Peninsula University of Technology

(1982 – 1987)

  • Taught a range of subjects to junior and senior students in a fertile environment.

Mediator, IMSSA (Independent Mediation Service of South Africa)

(1988 – 1996)

  • Training and appointment as an accredited mediator
  • Workforce facilitation and preventing of conflict.
  • Mediation of industrial and labour disputes
  • Community mediation and dispute resolution training.

Jutastat Pty (Ltd)

(1988– 1990)

  • Establishment and initial management of the successful start-up company, Jutastat.
  • Jutastat pioneered the publication of South African Statutes and Law Reports in electronic format.

Manufacturing and Human Resource Development

(1990 – 1995)

Established several factories in the Western Cape for local manufacturing, and trained and employed workers.

  • From green-field sites, established factories to manufacture consumer products.
  • Train workers, establish supervisors and leaders, training in conflict resolution.
  • Grow workforces from largely unskilled labourers to skilled employees.

Freeplay Energy Pty (Ltd)

(1995 – 2019)

As Technical Director of the company that developed the wind-up radio, led a multicultural-cultural team responsible for technology development, and the creation of products that make a positive difference to people living in remote communities.

  • Facilitating a partnership between five organisations representing different disabilities, and training their constituents to participate in a workforce. (Disability Employment Concerns)
  • Training ex-offenders to participate effectively in a manufacturing environment (NICRO).
  • Build a product and human capital development team.
  • Oversee the design and development of world-renowned alternative energy products.
  • Company contracts.
  • Received the Index Design Award, the biggest design prize in the world.

Power-free Education and Technology, NFP Company, (PET)

(2010 – 2016)

  • On the back of the Index Award, set up a not-for-profit company to manufacture and distribute medical products for use in low resource settings.
  • Oversite of local, UK and India manufacturers.
  • Management of PET, sales and support.
  • Engagement with, and eventual cession of IP to Philips.

Solarship Inc/Peace and Freedom Training and Services.

(2011– 2017)

  • CTO and operations management in a public/private partnership that develops solar-power-assisted aerial vehicles to provide internet connectivity, and the transport of humanitarian aid to remote communities in Africa.

Private Mediation, Facilitation and Lecturing


  • Engagement in mediation and facilitation.
  • Magistrates’ courts pro bono interventions in family, neighbourhood and domestic violence matters.
  • Lecturing to post graduate students.


Project Maji


  • Consultant, and technical mentor to this non-profit social enterprise; a water NGO.
  • Project Maji exists to empower and transform lives by providing sustainable, effective and solar powered water solutions to rural communities across sub-Saharan Africa. By 2025 Project Maji aims to serve 1 million people in rural communities suffering from water poverty with a sustainable supply of safe water, using smart technologies.

For the children’s sake


  • Organiser and administrator of “for the children’s sake”. This is a voluntary organisation of legal and mental health professionals who mediate court-referred matters pro bono providing workable, enforceable, therapeutic parenting solutions, and the restorative resolution of harassment, neighbourhood disputes and domestic violence matters.


Tertiary Education and Qualifications 

University of Cape Town


  • Batchelor of Engineering (BSc Mechanical Engineering).


University of Cape Town


  • Masters in Business Administration (MBA)

University of South Africa


  • Batchelor of Laws Degree (LLB) 

IMSSA (Independent Mediation Service of South Africa)


  • Accredited mediator

Advocate of the High Court of South Africa


  • Admitted as an advocate.

Engineering Council of South Africa


  • Registration as Professional Engineer Pr Eng.

Mediation and Arbitration Training

  • Independent Mediation Service of South Africa.
  • University of Cape Town, Faculty of Law, Commercial and Court Aligned Mediation.
  • University of Pretoria, Faculty of Law, Domestic Arbitration.
  • Conflict Dynamics. Commercial Mediation.
  • Family Mediators Association of the Cape (FAMAC). Family Mediation, Law & Mental Health



Boards and Accreditation

  • DiSAC (The South African Dispute Settlement Accreditation Council)
  • AFSA (Appointment to the General Commercial Panel)
  • FAMAC and NABFAM Family Mediation
  • Conflict Dynamics Direct (Commercial Mediation Panel)
  • Mediation in Motion (Commercial and Court Annexed Mediation Panel)
  • Engineering Council of South Africa (Professional Engineer) 


  • A strong social conscience.
  • Conflict prevention and dispute resolution.
  • Mentoring of enterprises and start-ups.
  • A goal to make a positive difference to people’s lives.