David Constantine


David Constantine MBE has dedicated his professional life to empowering disabled people in developing countries. He’s Founder Director of Motivation – a charity and social enterprise that designs and provides wheelchairs, services and training for disabled people in the developing world.

David uses a wheelchair to get around after breaking his neck aged 21. While studying product design at the Royal College of Art he entered a competition with course mate Simon Gue to design a wheelchair for use in developing countries that’s robust enough to tackle rugged terrain but could be made from affordable local materials. Their design won and with the prize money they travelled to Bangladesh to test the wheelchair and set up production. Together, with third founder Richard Frost, they set up Motivation.

For nearly 30 years, Motivation has provided low cost wheelchairs to over 100 countries, changing the lives of tens of thousands of people, enabling them to attend school, work, and get around in their communities.

David is a hugely influential advocate for disabled people, speaking at events and advising on global health and political initiatives. He’s been an International Disability and Development Consortium board member and a member of the International Society of Wheelchair Professionals’ Advocacy Working Group. He currently sits on the Royal College of Art Alumni Board and the BBC’s Charity Appeals Advisory Committee.

David was awarded an MBE in 2010 in recognition of his work. Appointed a Deputy Lieutenant for the County and City of Bristol in 2014, he’s received numerous honorary degrees, academic accolades and awards. In 2016 Motivation’s Rough Terrain wheelchair was honoured in the London Design Museum’s permanent exhibition.

“I’m glad I’ve been able to use the opportunities that’ve been put in front of me to help people in low-income countries to become more mobile and more included in society.”