Bill Tippett Memorial

Announcing the death of Bill Tippett, Ketso Founder

We are saddened to announce the death of Dr. Bill Tippett, co-founder of Ketso. He died peacefully on Sept. 25, 2014 having battled heart disease for several years. He was still inventing and making prototypes until the end. We are grateful for Bill's ingenuity and energy. You can download the order of service and more pictures of Bill here. Pictures from the service can be seen here.

There is a wonderful obituary in the Guardian's 'Other Lives', which you can read here.

A fitting meorial for BIll

Instead of flowers, we are asking for donations to send Ketso kits to small organisations from underprivileged communities and areas of the world. Contact joanne @ for more information.

In the last few months, Bill had started making up Ketso kits from former rental materials for organisations with extremely limited financial resources. We will use these memorial donations to send kits to such organisations (e.g. covering the postage and cost of kits and assembly), and are also asking for nominations for organisations from Bill's friends, family and Ketso customers. Before we send a kit, we will ask the organisations to say how they would like to use them (to make sure they would use them!).

Bill was keen to support ways of getting more kits in use in the developing world, and was delighted by the examples we have started to collect of how Ketso is being used, such as with Ugandan coffee growers. He had seen the need for something like a fund to make Ketso available that would be in a similar vein to the drive to provide computers in schools in the developing world. This is a tiny start, but a very fitting way to remember Bill and to say thanks for his hard work, innovation and dedication to Ketso over the last 10 years of his 'retirement'.

The first such organisations, which Bill knew of, are:

  • A group of slum dwellers in Bangladesh, who have used Ketso to design eco toilets with a good friend of ours, and would like to have kits for ongoing use
  • An orphanage school in Uganda, where a colleague of ours is visiting in a few months and will be looking at creative thinking and sustainability and innovative new ways of teaching
  • A colleague of Joanne in South Africa, who is doing permaculture work related to gender in South African prisons
  • A former PhD student of Joanne's, who is carrying on his father's work supporting indigenous San Bushmen in Botswana (at two projects that Bill visited)