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Syinc Blog

Here we muse about creativity & innovation, and document (some of) the work we're doing about it in Singapore.

think&drink7: The day we tackled some of the shittiest issues on Earth

austin

Or a night at the friendly Pigeonhole with WTO founder, Mr. Jack Sim.

That’s right. WTO.

The World Toilet Organisation.

Jack told us about his childhood, about talking too much in class and getting caned on stage. He thanks his education experience for not making him too comfortable – having no other opportunity after leaving school, he went into business.

So, “good things come from bad things too”. He went on to start 16 companies over his adult life. One of them was the Restroom Association of Singapore and the WTO, organisations doing us all very very big and dirty services by campaigning for cleaner public toilets - and soon placed him on the international social entrepreneurship map.

By self-admission, he wants “everything” in life. In a poignant moment, he mused: there's no need to live life as a scoreboard (contrary to what our system teaches all good Singaporeans). He also saw no point in “buying chocolate coloured Louis Vuitton bags to one-up each other”? He’d rather do something that he likes with other … chocolate coloured stuff.

That white shirt he’s wearing in the photos? He bought it because it reminded him of toilet tiles.

Jack Sim "the shirt"

And why would he not? He shared a golden insight relevant to so many people in Corporate Singapore: why trade dollars for minutes – especially after you’re already satisfied. Why be a prostitute selling your body for money to your boss or company?

Jack talks about enjoying every moment in his life – including on the toilet. And whether his business, his wife (he thanks her for “forgiving him for what he is”, to his upcoming Toilet film and toilet museum under the WTO, he clearly likes what he is doing. And he advises us to do the same.

After all, in his words, “if you can't shit, life has no meaning.”