Tag Archives: Jack Sim

Singapore’s ‘king of the throne’ receives royal endorsement

Singapore’s ‘king of the throne’ receives royal endorsement. Today Online, March 22, 2018.

SINGAPORE — For 20 years, Singaporean Jack Sim has been known as the “toilet man” for his efforts in improving sanitation around the world.


Singaporean Jack Sim received a ringing endorsement from the Queen of the United Kingdom, no less, who awarded him the Commonwealth Points of Light award. Photo: Jack Sim

On Thursday (March 22) evening, the founder of the World Toilet Organisation (WTO) received a ringing endorsement from Britain’s Queen Elizabeth II, no less, who awarded him the Commonwealth Points of Light award.

The award recognises outstanding volunteers everyday of the week whose service is making a difference in their communities and whose story can inspire others to have creative innovative solutions to social challenges in their own communities and beyond.

Mr Sim received the award — a personalised certificate signed by Queen Elizabeth II — from Deputy British High Commissioner to Singapore Alexandra McKenzie at the SG100 Foundation Anniversary Dinner at the Singapore Expo.

Read the complete article.

World Toilet Day podcast with Jack Sim, founder of the World Toilet Organization

World Toilet Day podcast with Jack Sim – Finding Impact, November 14, 2017.

Jack Sim, Founder of the World Toilet Organization (WTO) has been a successful businessman for all of his adult life. After achieving financial success in his 40s, he felt a strong desire to give back to humanity. findingimpactlogo250px

Jack found that toilets were often neglected and grew concerned that the topic was draped in embarrassment and taboo. In 1998, he established the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) whose mission was to raise the standards of public toilets in Singapore and around the world.

Jack soon realized that there were other organizations worldwide like RAS, however, they lacked the channels to collaborate and share ideas. As a result, in 2001, Jack founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO), eventually earning himself the nickname Mr. Toilet.

On this podcast, we will cover:

  • Jack’s interest in tackling a problem that most people felt uncomfortable talking about and how he began to shift this taboo.
  • The origins of World Toilet Day (November 19) and how to be opportunistic when seeking partnerships.
  • The importance of relinquishing credit as a leader and remaining humble. Jack talks about creating a negative space that champions can sign up to eradicate, rather than focusing on being recognized for individual efforts.
  • How to get almost anything for free! While you don’t have resources, you do have a reputation and a story that businesses may want to align with.
  • How to leverage your story to bring attention to your cause. “If you don’t publish, you perish” Academics need to write, ask them how you can help! Helps bring credibility to your cause too.
  • The importance of being mission driven and removing individuals from the equation. “You are not the important thing, the mission is the important thing.”

“Poo, Pee and be Happy” sculpture unveiled in Singapore for World Toilet Day

Mr. Toilet Jack Sim unveils sanitation sculpture in Singapore

Mr. Toilet Jack Sim unveils sanitation sculpture. Photo: Sunday Times, Singapore

A sculpture representing the World Toilet Day logo has been unveiled on Singapore’s Marina Barrage. Commissioned by the World Toilet Organization, the sculpture’s title “Evolution of Man: Poo Pee Happy” represents the evolution from cave man to civilised man, who enjoys clean sanitation.

World Toilet Day logo

World Toilet Day logo

The World Toilet Organization organised the unveiling ceremony together with PUB, Singapore’s water agency, and the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR).

World Toilet Day is the brainchild of “Mr Toilet” Jack Sim, co-founder of the World Toilet Organization. Celebrated each year since 2001 on 19 November, the day has now been officially recognised by the United Nations. An interview with Jack Sim in the wake of World Toilet day was broadcast on Channel News Asia.

Related web site: World Toilet Day

Source: “Poo Pee Happy” sculpture to remind S’poreans of global sanitation crisis, Channel News Asia, 16 Nov 2013 ; Linette Lai, ‘Poo Pee Happy’ sculpture unveiled at Marina Barrage to commemorate World Toilet Day, Sunday Times, 16 Nov 2013

Sanergy from Nairobi wins first Sarphati Sanitation Award

Becky Auerbach (Sanergy)

Becky Auerbach (Sanergy). Photo: Dick de Jong, H2O Communications, 2013

Sanergy won the first Sarphati Santation Award because in the past two years it has built 242 sanitation facilities run by 130 local entrepreneurs from Nairobi’s slums, who earn US$ 2,000 per year in income for their families while providing hygienic sanitation to 10,000+ residents. The Mayor of Amsterdam awarded a cash prize of 50.000 euros (US$  67,000) and a statue by famous artist Marte Röling to the winner, Becky Auerbach from Sanergy during the International Water Week (IWW) in Amsterdam. IDE Cambodia and Mr. Toilet, Jack Sim were the runners up.

The three nominees have in common that they provide remarkable sustainable business solutions “turning shit into gold”. They have shown that it is very well possible to address sanitation and public health issues in developing countries while making profit. Over the past years interest has increased for new ways to address the Millennium Development Goal (MDG) for sanitation.

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Q&A: Making Toilets Fashionable

Q&A: Making Toilets Fashionable | Source: IPS News, Dec 10, 2012 |
Fatima Asmal-Motala interviews JACK SIM, founder of the World Toilet Organisation

DURBAN, South Africa, Dec 10 2012 (IPS) – When the founder of the World Toilet Organisation Jack Sim turned 40, he literally began counting how many more days he had to live and felt a sense of urgency to do meaningful things with the remainder of his life.

Founder of the World Toilet Organisation Jack Sim says that on the African continent there has been some progress in terms of the community-led total sanitation approach. Courtesy: Meropa Communications

Founder of the World Toilet Organisation Jack Sim says that on the African continent there has been some progress in terms of the community-led total sanitation approach. Courtesy: Meropa Communications

“Can you imagine a person coming into this world and spending his life only helping himself? When this person dies, his life has had no meaning, so why did he bother coming here?” he asks.

A successful businessman, Sim turned his attention to an area which he felt was severely neglected.

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US actress helps raise awareness for World Toilet Organization

Fresh from a successful run on the US TV show Dancing with the Stars, comedic actress and host Niecy Nash is partnering with Clorox Toilet Products to kick-start a donation drive for the World Toilet Organization by distributing free subway tickets to Flushing, NY commuters, helping bring attention to those with access to “flushing”.

On June 23, 3010, for every commuter ticket Nash and the street team hands out, Clorox will contribute a like for like subway fare donation to the WTO, estimating it will provide more than 10,000 free rides totaling a donation of $22,500.

Jack Sim, WTO

Americans outside of the NYC-area can get involved by visiting OdetoTheCommode.com on Facebook to flush the Clorox virtual toilet, which will raise another $1 per flush for the WTO.

All the money will go to helping the nearly 40 percent of the world without access to sanitation, and make toilets affordable in parts of the world where toilets can cost nearly seven months salary.

From 7-10am, the Clorox street team will be handing out free subway passes at Flushing Station. Then at 10.30am, Niecy Nash and WTO Founder Jack Sim will hand out tickets in Grand Central Station’s Vanderbilt Hall.

There will also a Live Video Chat with Niecy Nash from 12:30 p.m. – 12:45 p.m. Eastern Time on June 24, 2010 at http://www.odetothecommode.com/

The World Toilet Organization (WTO) is a global non- profit organization committed to improving toilet and sanitation conditions worldwide. Founded in 2001, it now has 235 member organizations in 58 countries.

Source: Looking to the Stars, 21 Jun 2010

The ‘big squat’ to take a stand on sanitation – Jack Sim in Chennai

Jack Sim, founder, World Toilet Organization (the other WTO, as he puts it) was in Chennai [India] for an awareness drive ahead of World Toilet Day on November 19. “WTO is an advocacy group. We don’t actually build toilets; we partner with organisations across the world and share knowledge and experience,” says Sim.

He says many people have TVs and mobile phones but no toilets. “It’s about prioritising sanitation; 40% of the world has no access to proper toilets. Sanitation is about making people aware of the relationship between hygiene and health,” he says.

WTO which has over 200 partners worldwide, 42 of which are in India is one of the few organisations that focusses only on sanitation and toilets instead of water. “Everyone clubs water and sanitation, and 95% of the funds go towards water projects. But good sanitation is the first step towards clean water,” he says.

Sim started “the other WTO” in 2001 to disseminate serious facts with a sense of humour. The logo is a toilet seat shaped like a heart. “I thought the best way to break the toilet taboo was to use lots of puns.” But the name, which everyone thinks is “really bad at first” sticks in people’s minds. “That’s because every mother has told her child not to talk about the toilet. It’s not polite’. And here we are talking about the loo quite freely,” says Sim, who is often called Toilet Man.

And it’s not just about getting toilets installed. “You have to keep them clean too. So Sim has started the World Toilet College in Singapore that provides training in toilet maintenance and design. “I’m hoping we can open one in India too to train toilet cleaners like technicians.”

He believes people need to be given incentives to keep toilets clean. “For instance, for a city or a mall, tell them how many tourists or customers they’re losing because they have bad toilets. In a rural area or slum, get the community involved by making them paint the toilet, bright and colourful, so that they feel proud of it and keep it clean,” he says. “You need to create an emotional connect with the toilet. If you keep scolding people, it’s not going to work.”

This year, for World Toilet Day, WTO is planning a Big Squat. “We’re getting people all over the world to squat together in public places and take a picture. It’s a fun way to get the message across and make people laugh,” he says. World Toilet Day, according to him, provides the legitimacy for people to talk about toilets openly. “Toilets are like sex, everyone wants to discuss it, but is waiting for someone else to break the taboo.”

Source: Shalini Umachandran, Times of India, 11 Nov 2009

Interview of Jack Sim, World Toilet Organization

wtoIn Conversation with Jack Sim, World Toilet Organization, June 30, 2009 by Bernard Leong

In the book “The Power of Unreasonable People“, a definitive guide (by John Elkington and Pamela Hartigan) on the social entrepreneurship movement has mentioned a Singaporean social entrepreneur by the name of Jack Sim, who started the World Toilet Organization (WTO) and how his work provided a scaling solution for governments to set standards on sanitation.

Earning two prestigous global social entrepreneurship accolades: Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur and Ashoka Global Fellow, Jack has started a global clean toilet movement that help governments to shape sanitation policies. One success story is that the World Toilet Organization assisted the Chinese government in adopting the standards for lavatories before the Beijing Olympics last year. We have managed to get Jack to come on board for an interview, to tell us about the story behind World Toilet Organization and his views on the trends of social entrepreneurship in Singapore.

BL: Hi Jack, thank you for agreeing to an interview on SGE. First of all, tell us about your background and what are you working on before embarking on the World Toilet Organization (WTO)?
Jack Sim: I was a businessman since age 25 and at 40, I realized since our average life-span is 80, time is the currency of life and I need to use it meaningfully with a sense of urgency. Money becomes not an interesting pursuit anymore because I have to exchange time for money. It is better to exchange time for more meaningful impact for others.

BL: What inspired you to start the World Toilet Organization?
Jack Sim: In my search for meaning, I read one morning in the newspaper when PM Goh Chok Tong mentioned that we should measure our graciousness according to the cleanliness of our public toilets. I thought this is my calling and started Restroom Association of Singapore. After LianHe Zao Bao’s report, the public’s response was; “Somebody ought to have started this long ago.” They like it.

In 1999, I went to Tokyo for the Asia-Pacific Toilet Symposium and found 15 countries represented there. I wanted to bring that meeting to Singapore. Thailand and Vietnam also wanted to do the same. After my impromptu presentation about how the event will be organized and run like a swiss-watch, no traffic jams, global media coverage, professional management, great shopping, high impact, etc, both Vietnam and Thailand said: ” We are not presenting, we all going to Singapore.”

Next, I asked where is the world’s HQ for our movement. They said there was none. The Japanese host declined to lead because of language difficulty. So I offered to start World Toilet Organization in Singapore as a service platform and HQ. They agreed.

Later, the inaugural meeting became World Toilet Summit and our birthday 19 November became celebrated as World Toilet Day.

The first World Toilet Summit took the global media by storm and suddenly we are booked for 2002 in Seoul ( host Mayor of Suwon City/ Korea Clean Toilet Association), 2003 Taipei ( host Taipei Vice Mayor/ Taiwan Toilet Association), 2004 Beijing ( host Beijing Tourism Bureau). Later, 2005 Belfast Lord Mayor/ British Toilet Association, 2006 Moscow Mayor/ Russian Toilet Association, 2007 New Delhi President of India/ Sulabh International, 2008 Macao Asian Development Bank, and 2009 in Singapore this year.

It started as a hobby but got so addictive that I left my business operation to my managers and work full-time pro bono at WTO since 2005.

BL: What is the mission of the World Toilet Organization?
Jack Sim: We started as a clean toilet movement to improve design, cleaning and behavior. Later, we also extend to poverty, rural and slums toilets, sewerage, to meet the MDGs.

Through the massive media engagement globally, politicians and the global community found legitimacy to speak about toilets and we can attribute ourselves to the success in breaking the global taboo and bringing the issues to mainstream and center-stage attention.

Read More – SGentrepreneurs

Sanitation NOW 2008 magazine now available

Sanitation NOW 2008 is a “glossy” 20 page magazine on the global sanitation crisis, published by the Stockholm Environment Institute (SEI) and the EcoSanRes Programme. This is a special edition for 2008 UN International Year of Sanitation.

The magazine has features on school sanitation in Uganda and the Ukraine, Community-Led Total Sanitation, World Toilet Organization founder Jack Sim, and South Africa’s “Mr Clean Toilet Man”, Trevor Mulaudzi.

Download the magazine here

Sanitation NOW