Simon Trace is the Chief Executive of Practical Action http://practicalaction.org/ (formerly the Intermediate Technology Development Group, founded by E.F. Schumacher in 1965). He has nearly thirty years’ experience in international development and took up his current post with Practical Action in 2005. A Chartered Civil Engineer with an MA in the Anthropology of Development from the School of Oriental and African Studies, his career has focused on the practice of technology in sustainable development. Prior to joining Practical Action he spent 20 years working for the NGO WaterAid, firstly on soil and water management, drinking water and sanitation in South Asia and then on a series of posts at its headquarters, including six years as International Operations Director. He has worked across East, West and Southern Africa, South Asia and Latin America.
Simon Trace states: “Practical Action has worked to help poor people in the developing world use technology to fight poverty for the past 46 years. We know how access to technology can transform lives. Access to electricity can bring light to a home, but it can also make it possible to store vaccines in rural health posts for the first time or power machine tools to create new livelihoods. New technical knowledge can help farmers transform food production. A clean water supply or a smokefree stove in the home can save lives. As CEO of Practical Action I wholeheartedly welcome the introduction of the Siemens Stiftung’s “empowering people. Award” for technologies for basic needs and am very proud to be associated with it as a member of the judging panel. I hope the establishment of the award will encourage more organisations to innovate in the use of technology in the developing world and I vey much look forward to reviewing the first year’s entries.”