SDG06 – Clean Water and Sanitation

These social entrepreneurs are accomplishing Sustainable Development Goal 6, Clean Water and Sanitation: Ensure access to water and sanitation for all

Making a Sustainable Difference, with Sasha Kramer, SOIL

SOIL is working in Haiti to design, test, and implement social business models to increase access to sanitation services. When the business model is right, anything can be a valuable asset, even human waste. SOIL uses a business model that provides sanitation services, improves soil fertility, and creates livelihoods in Haiti. SOIL collects human waste and transforms it into compost that can be safely used in agriculture. Ecologist Sasha Kramer of SOIL describes her work this way. “We are taking human waste, something that is one of the largest factors in public health issues in the world. And, we are transforming it into something that I, as ecologist thinks is…

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Science and Our Relationship with Nature, with Bonnie Keeler, The Natural Capital Project

The Natural Capital Project is developing practical tools and approaches to account for nature’s contributions to society. As Bonnie Keeler grew up in Eagan, MN, she loved to explore Minnesota’s natural wonders with her family. “My mom was a master at relationships,” Bonnie recalls. “One of the things she taught me was, how people are at the center of everything. Every problem is essentially a problem of relationships. Science can take us part of the way there, in terms of providing the appropriate knowledge base. But when it comes down to actually making change, that’s all about relationships.” Today, Bonnie is a lead scientist with The Natural Capital Project. The…

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Clean Water, Powered by Gravity, with May Sharif, AguaClara

AguaClara designs gravity-powered water treatment plants for low-income communities around the world. According to May Sharif, Founder and Managing Director of AguaClara, “More than one in ten people around the world don’t have access to clean drinking water on tap.” When people don’t have access to clean drinking water, adults lose time at work and children miss school. They suffer from illness and or even death. “Up to two million people die each year due to waterborne disease,” May explains. “Most of them are children under five.” By providing access to clean drinking water, people prosper and children learn. Conventional water treatment plants typically do not last more than two…

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Schools Partnering with Schools for Clean Water, with Patty Hall, H2O for Life

H2O For Life provides a service learning opportunity to schools to raise awareness and take action in the global water crisis. Patty Hall says that it was never her intention to be a nonprofit leader. She has always been passionate about education. Even as a child, she knew that she wanted to be a teacher. Patty journey to social entrepreneurship began with her mother. “My mom was a huge Tarzan buff when I was a child,” she explains. Her mother had always wanted to visit Africa but had never found the time. After Patty’s father passed away, Patty decided to take her mother on the trip of her dreams. She…

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143, Kathy Ku and John Kye, SPOUTS of Water | Safe Drinking Water for all Ugandans

SPOUTS of Water is a social venture, based in Uganda, that is providing access to safe drinking water. In 2010, Kathy Ku spent time in Uganda, where she experienced first-hand the problems with the lack of access to safe drinking water. About 30% of the population of Uganda, around 10 million people do not have access to safe drinking water. And about 60% of the population boils their water to try to purify it. Waterborne illness is the number one killer of children under 5 in Uganda, and sickens millions of Ugandans. The responsibility of securing drinking water falls disproportionally on women and children, reducing their ability to participate in…

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142, Gidon Bromberg, EcoPeace Middle East | Connecting Environmental Protection and Peace in the Middle East

EcoPeace Middle East uses environmental protection as a means of peacebuilding and peacebuilding as a means of environmental protection. In 1993, the Oslo Peace Accord was signed by the government of Israel and the Palestine Liberation Organization (PLO). It attempted to create a framework that would eventually lead to the resolution of the Israeli–Palestinian conflict. At the time, it appeared that a permanent peace in the Middle East was imminent. In light of the coming peace, developers rushed in. “There were 50,000 new hotel rooms being proposed around the Dead Sea,” says Gidon Bromberg of EcoPeace Middle East. At the time, Gidon was a student at American University in Washington,…

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014, Steele Lorenz, MyRain | Saving Water Resources through Business Innovation

MyRain distributes efficient irrigation equipment to smallholder farmers in India. It is not an innovation of technology; drip irrigation has existed and been a proven technology for many years. By using drip irrigation, you can increase crop yield by 50% to 100% and decrease water consumed between 20% and 50% when compared with flood irrigation. Increasing yields can drastically improve the quality of life for smallholder farmers. Globally, 70% of freshwater is used for agricultural purposes. It has been estimated that by 2050 the world population will be around 9 billion. With the emerging global middle class, the demand for food will double. This places tremendous pressure on our freshwater…

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014, Steele Lorenz, MyRain | Saving Water Resources through Business Innovation

013, Jim Smith, MadiDrop | From Academic Researcher to Founder

When I say “early stage entrepreneur,” whom do you picture? A hungry young person in a hoodie, eating Raman noodles and cranking out code? While this might be the prototype, more and more social entrepreneurs are looking more like Jim Smith. Jim is an academic and a scientist. He spends most days in deep research and in the classroom at the University of Virginia. However, thorough a series of synchronous events, Jim was jarred into the world of hands-on entrepreneurship in some of the most underserved communities of the world. Jim Smith is an advisor and serves on the board of PureMadi, where they developed a sustainable, ceramic water filter….

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013, Jim Smith, MadiDrop | From Academic Researcher to Founder

007, Isabel Medem, X-Runner Venture | Toilets as a Social Enterprise

In this interview leading to World Toilet Day on November 19, Isabel Medem talks about her work in hygienic sanitation in Lima, Peru. X-Runner Venture is a social enterprise that brings toilets to the residents of informal housing. Lima is the second driest capitals on earth. In the informal housing, many people resort to pit latrines which spread disease. Because the pit latrines are dug near the houses, they can cause the ground on which the houses are built to become unstable. Some people try to delay using the pit latrines, which can cause further health problems. After university, Isabel worked in microfinance in Africa. Later, when living in Berlin,…

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007, Isabel Medem, X-Runner Venture | Toilets as a Social Enterprise

006, David Auerbach, Sanergy | Aspirational Branding of a Toilet

November 19 is World Toilet Day. Why? Because globally, about 2.4 billion people, about one-third of the world’s population, do not have access to a basic toilet. Sanitation-related illnesses kill over a thousand children per day. This problem is compounded by the concentration of informal housing in urban setting. This week we are bringing you two stories of hygienic sanitation, starting with David Auerbach and Sanergy. David’s mother was a psychologist and social worker. His father was an economist. It seems to him, that he has always been thinking of social justice. When David was a teacher in rural China, he saw first-hand a lack of hygienic sanitation. In 2010,…

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006, David Auerbach, Sanergy | Aspirational Branding of a Toilet