Solver Stories: How Three Sanitation Solutions Can Help Billions of People

By Michael Watkins

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An ideation Challenge, run by humanitarian organization WorldVision, attempted to find solutions to the lack of sanitation facilities around the world. It’s an issue currently endured by some 2.3 billion people globally and leads to avoidable deaths that number hundreds of thousands of people a year.  

 Supported by SeaFreightLabs, the Challenge ran for three months, attracting 525 Solvers from 82 different countries. These solvers existed outside of WorldVision’s internal network and so provided novel insights and resolutions to this issue.   

The three awarded solvers enjoyed an equal split of the $15,000 advertised award. Two of them don’t hold a day-to-day position in the sanitation or waste management industry. As well as this, their suggestions have gone some way to addressing the need for improved sanitation facilities around the world. 

leo_prakashLeo Prakash

Leo Prakash, a Senior Manager at India’s largest power generation utility NTPC, submitted a solution that uses locally sourced materials to build a properly designed toilet. 

Mario_Alejandro_RosatoMario Alejandro Rosato

Mario Alejandro Rosato, a CEO of an Italian-based Biogas and Renewable Energy firm – Sustainable Technologies SRL – delivered a proposal for a superstructure capable of working in 20 different combinations, allowing it to meet the local needs and cultural acceptance of the widest range of users. 

Gagan Sharma’s proposal contained an innovative design for an innovative design for waste management separation in order to make a toilet more usable. 

WorldVision felt there was no one submission of the three that ultimately won out: all three were worthy of the prize. So, they separated the award equally, giving each Solver £5,000. Having recognised that utilizing these solutions together allowed them to deliver change to the broadest range of people.  

With the Challenge having ended last year, these ideas are currently in an implementation phase and undergoing field testing at present. The success of this Challenge has prompted WorldVision to run further Challenges on our Open Innovation platform. For more details on those Challenges, and how to get involved, please click here. 

Read the full Solver Stories blog series

Solver stories: How three sanitation solutions can help billions of people

Solver stories: Protecting hundreds of millions of people by retrofitting foundations

Solver stories: Saving millions of lives through disinfecting water

Solver stories: How Open Innovation delivered sustainability to a global industry

Solver stories: Open Innovation brings clean safe water to 750m+ people worldwide

Solver stories: A solution to hundreds of millions of malaria infections

Solver stories: The teen that unlocked a new future in education

Solver stories: Creating a cure for the incurable

Solver stories: From hardship to heroics

By Michael Watkins

Michael is Wazoku's Product and Brand Marketing lead. Away from the office, he's our resident film buff, so if you want some recommendations for a night in front of Netflix or a trip to your local cinema, get in touch with him!