Jack Sim

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Jack Sim (2010).

Jack Sim (simplified Chinese: ; traditional Chinese: ; pinyin: Shěn Ruìhuá) is the founder of the Restroom Association of Singapore and World Toilet Organization. Formerly in the construction industry, he left to found the World Toilet Organization in 2001.[1] For "creating good will and bringing the subject into the open" and "mobilizing national support in providing on-the-ground expertise" he received the Schwab Foundation award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year, also in 2001.[2] He was elected a Fellow of Ashoka: Innovators for the Public in 2007, and as of Fall 2007 he was assisting in the United Nations plans for the International Year of Sanitation in 2008.[3]

Sim was named one of the Heroes of the Environment for 2008 by Time magazine.[4]

Jack broke the global taboo of toilet and sanitation by bringing it to global media centre-stage with his unique mix of humour and serious facts since 2001.

After attaining financial independence at age of 40 as a businessman, he decided to devote the rest of his life to social work.

Achievements in sanitation[edit]

He established the Restroom Association of Singapore (RAS) in 1998, which addresses the state of dirty public toilets in designs, building codes and poorly trained cleaners.

World Toilet Organization[edit]

Realising the need for a global body on the subject, Jack created the World Toilet Organization (WTO) in 2001 as a global network and service platform for toilet associations, academia, government, UN agencies and toilet stakeholders to learn from one another and leverage media and corporate support that in turn influenced governments to promote sound sanitation and public health policies.

Since its inception, WTO organised twelve World Toilet Summits and two World Toilet Expo and Forum straddling Singapore, Seoul, Taipei, Beijing, Belfast, Moscow, New Delhi, Macau, Shanghai, Bangkok, Philadelphia, Durban (South Africa), Hainan China and Solo Indnesia. Today, WTO is a growing network of 235 organisations in 58 countries.

World Toilet Day[edit]

Main article: World Toilet Day

World Toilet Organization declared its founding day 19 November in 2001, as World Toilet Day and this is now celebrated worldwide each year towards improving the state of toilets and sanitation globally. In 2013, all 193 countries of he UN General Assembly unanimously adopted 19 November as the official UN World Toilet Day. It has an annual outreach of nearly 3 billions annually.


In 2005, Jack founded the World Toilet College to provide high quality training in Toilet Design, Maintenance, Cleanliness and Ecological Sanitation Technologies. The college is a joint venture with the Singapore Polytechnic. World Toilet College is now also at Rishikesh India in partnership with Global Interfaith Wash Alliance.

The same year 2005, he successfully lobbied for potty parity and changed the Singapore's building codes to have more cubicles in ladies restrooms so they never have to queue up for the restrooms. US Congress passed a similar law in 2010.

In 2007, Jack was part of a group of people and organizations who founded the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA) composed of key players for sanitation. He heads the SuSanA working group on "Public awareness raising".[5][6]

The same year, he became the first Singaporean elected as an Ashoka Global Fellow.[citation needed]

Asian Development bank named him an ADB Water Champion.[citation needed]

In 2008, Jack was appointed a Council Member to the World Economic Forum's Global Agenda Council for Water Security and the GAC for Social Entrepreneurship.[citation needed]

WTO had a commitment with President Clinton at the Clinton Global Initiatives to promote market-based sanitation in 2008 and another in 2011 to launch the BOP HUB, a global business platform for the poverty marketplace.[citation needed]

He has now developed a SaniShop franchise model to teach the poor how to produce and how to sell small affordable sanitation systems below U$40 per family with the support of Index Award, Rockefeller, Unilever and Singapore Economic Development Board.

In 2008, he was named Time Magazine's Hero of the Environment.

In 2010, he joins the board of World Entrepreneurship Forum (under patronage of past French President Nicolas Sarkozy) and heads its Base of Pyramid Entrepreneurship (BOP) drive to bring trade to poverty sector as a sustainable way out of poverty.

He founded BOP HUB in 2011, a global trade platform designing business to end poverty through hybrid cross-sectors collaborations.

On 23 January 2012, his film "Meet Mr Toilet" premiered at Sundance Film Festival.

In 2014, the Prime Minister of Samoa bestowed him the Honorary Ma'tai title of Tuifalevao a high chieftain title for his work in sanitation globally.

Other works[edit]

Jack Sim has been a guest lecturer at Yale University, Illinois University, NUS, NTU, SMU, LKYSPP and currently teaching at the Tote Board-LKYSPP Executive Course on Social Branding.

His new ventures also include BOP (Bottom of the Pyramid) Hub in Singapore as a global trade centre for the 4 billion poverty marketplaces.

In his free time, he designs and builds public arts sculptures and mobilises volunteers to build a 10 acres Kampung Temasek, an eco-village in Malaysia.


Jack has a Post-Graduate Diploma in Msc International Marketing at Strahclyde University. In 2013 at age 56, he graduated with Master in Public Administration at Lee Kuan Yew School of Public Policy. He is now Adjunct Associate Professor at National University of Singapore and Social-Entrepreneur-in-Residence INSEAD.


  • 2001: Social Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by Schwab Foundation of Switzerland
  • 2004: Green Plan Award 2012 awarded by Singapore's National Environment Agency
  • 2006: Social Entrepreneur of the Year awarded by Schwab Foundation of Switzerland
  • 2008: Hero of the Environment awarded by Time magazine
  • 2009: CNA Asian of The Year
  • 2011: Asian of the Year awarded by Reader's Digest magazine


  1. ^ "Singaporean Fights For Better Toilets Around the World," Voice of America 27 October 2007.[1]
  2. ^ Schwab Foundation Website
  3. ^ "World Toilet Czar Finds Beauty in Times Square," The New York Times 21 November 2007.[2]
  4. ^ Beech, Hannah (24 September 2008). "Jack Sim". Time. Retrieved 31 October 2009. 
  5. ^ "Working Group 9, Sanitation as a business and public awareness". Sustainable Sanitation Alliance. Retrieved 22 August 2015. 
  6. ^ Gröber, K., McCreary, C., Kappauf, L., Panzerbieter, T., Rück, J. (2012). Public awareness raising and sanitation marketing - Factsheet of Working Group 9b. Sustainable Sanitation Alliance (SuSanA)

External links[edit]