David Constantine MBE

David Constantine MBE Founder Director @ Freedom Through Design | Founder of Motivation Charitable Trust


Speaker Solutions

Keynote Speaker

David Constantine MBE 2024 Speech Titles David Constantine MBE 2024 Speech Titles

  • Embracing Disability
  • Importance & Value of Design
  • The Role of Charity in Changing People’s Lives

David Constantine's Biography

David Constantine MBE respected expert in the parallel worlds of disability and design, David Constantine is uniquely placed to help public, private and non-profit organisations embrace the opportunities presented by the fast growing ‘Purple’ economy, fundamentally changing how people feel, what they are able to do and what products and services they purchase or access.In the UK alone, some 12 million people have a recognised disability and this number is set to grow as average life expectancy continues to rise.The value of the ‘Purple Pound’ is currently £249 billion. The demand for products and services that better meet the needs of this increasingly sophisticated and astute audience is growing fast.Disability is no longer a fringe issue. It’s a mainstream opportunity to improve life for all, creating a fairer, more inclusive and diverse society. People of all ages and abilities can be better served with improved products and services designed to make life easier and better.  Other RolesDavid served for 18 years on the Boards of the Design Museum, the Arnolfini in Bristol and many other non-profit organisations. He has experience of working under a board as a founder and Executive Officer but also as a non executive director with governance responsibilities.Personal StoryDavid Constantine started his working life in agriculture and, following an accident aged 21 in 1982, became a quadriplegic wheelchair user. He switched paths to pursue a career in computing. Following a degree in Computer Studies & Accountancy & Finance at Oxford Polytechnic he joined IBM as a junior programmer.While working at IBM he spent time in the design department as part of his graduate training. It was here that he realised that ‘good design’ could have immense benefits for him, others like him and wider society.In 1988 he gave up his career at IBM to study for a Masters in Computer Related Design at the Royal College of Art, London. It was here that he teamed up with a fellow student Simon Gue and won a prize for designing a low-cost wheelchair for developing countries. Encouraged by the senior staff at the RCA, the pair teamed up with Richard Frost, a colleague from Oxford Polytechnic, and travelled to India and Bangladesh to test the relevance of their design.The trio formed Motivation, a UK charity and social enterprise and built it into one of the most respected design-led, non-governmental organisations providing appropriate mobility products in low income countries. They broke new ground setting up partnerships throughout Asia, Africa, Central America and Eastern Europe. Today Motivation works with international organisations to provide low-cost products, services and training to both the staff of local organisations and the users of the products. Some x00,000 users have gained their independence in a Motivation designed wheelchair.Over the last 30 years David has built a global reputation in the wheelchair and disability sector and was awarded an MBE in the Queen’s New Year’s Honours list in 2010 for services to disability.


Embracing Disability David can give your business a perspective on how to engage a wider customer base, earning valuable trust and recognition from all customer segments. By auditing your current levels of inclusiveness and working with you to shape new product and service solutions that recognise the needs of diverse users, your business will be more customer focused and attractive to a wider market audience.

Importance & Value of Design With a deep knowledge of the design process, for creating practical products and supporting services, David understands how good design can transform lives. By empowering people to do more, with greater levels of independence, good design enables those with disabilities to be fully included in daily life and in society as a whole. David can help you shape and initiate transformational design projects, overseeing and assessing the end results.

The Role of Charity in Changing People’s Lives There is much debate about the pros and cons of charity, particularly in the area of disability and international development. David has first-hand experience of watching how the sector has changed over the last 30 years and how good development can lead to positive inclusion and fulfilment. David can help non-profit organisations and CSR teams develop the right approach and avoid the pitfalls that lead to dependency and disempowerment.   

Take away benefits for an audience David has a wealth of experience presenting to live and virtual audiences. He illustrates his thought-provoking and moving talks with images and evidence drawn from his lived experience. He has travelled and worked extensively across the globe and can speak on a number of topics including disability, design, international development and photography. He has experience of speaking to audiences of 2 to 2000 people. Inspirational Motivating Learning of acceptanceLife-ChangingLearning that the story and passion is bigger than youOvercoming adversity Perseverance Why book David? David challenges your life's trajectory He encourages you to find your purpose Demonstrates how to keep going He explores the Serendipities of life Demonstrates the Importance of Teamwork, Collaboration and CommunicationDavid will leave you surprised, inspired and motivated


'I thought you judged the gig perfectly. Really enjoyable and stimulating.'Joe Smith - Director - Royal Geographical Society

'Really excellent talk, very powerful and well deserving of the standing ovation you got at the end.'Richard Frost - Mavrix Innovations

‘I highly enjoyed your TEDx talk!
You are a gifted presenter with an incredible story and mission. I particularly enjoyed hearing about the people whose lives your group has changed -- they're not just mobile, they are also able earn a living... and respect in their communities. ’Kristie Lu Stout Anchor/Correspondent, CNN International, Hong Kong

David Constantine MBE is ready to inspire your teams!
To invite this speaker:

microphone background
Send Plane Contact us
Contact us
Your form has been successfully submitted.