clean water

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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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