Jack Sim, Founder of World Toilet Organization (WTO), has been a successful businessman since age 24. Having achieved financial success in his 40s, Jack felt the need to change his direction in life and give back to humanity – he wanted to live his life according to the motto “Live a useful life”. Jack soon left his business and embarked on a journey that saw him being the voice for those who cannot speak out and fighting for the dignity, rights and health for the vulnerable and poor worldwide.
Jack discovered that toilets were often neglected and grew concerned that the topic was often shrouded in embarrassment and apathy; talking toilets was taboo! Jack felt this led to the neglect of restrooms island wide. 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.
Through RAS, Jack’s vision was to put Singapore on the “world map” by taking the initiative to provide clean public toilets. As Jack began his work in Singapore, he realized there were other existing toilet associations operating in other countries.
It soon became clear that there were no channels available to bring these organisations together to share information, resources and facilitate change. There was a lack of synergy. As a result, in 2001, Jack founded the World Toilet Organization (WTO) and four years later, the World Toilet College (WTC) in 2005.
In 2004, Jack was awarded the Singapore Green Plan Award 2012 by Singapore’s National Environment Agency (NEA) for his contribution to Environment. In 2006, Jack was invited to launch The German Toilet Organisation in Berlin. He is also a founding member of American Restroom Association.
In 2007, Jack became one of the key members to convene the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) comprised of over 130 organisations active in the sanitation sector. Jack is also an Ashoka Global Fellow and in 2008 was named Hero of the Environment by Time Magazine. Jack also sits in the World Economic Forum’s Global Agenda Councils (GAC) for Water Security and also the GAC for Social Entrepreneurship.
He graduated with a Masters in Public Administration from the Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy in 2013. He was shortlisted for the Sarphati Sanitation Award in November 2013.