SIGN UP FOR UPDATES

Get the latest stories and announcements from CWL in your inbox.

Thank you for subscribing. We’ve sent an email to . Please click the link in that message to confirm your subscription.

close lightbox
close lightbox
search icon search icon

Lindsay Stradley, David Auerbach, and Ani Vallabhaneni understand what it means to innovate at the edges while keeping an eye to wholesale systems change. They understand that some systems are so complex, colossal, and dysfunctional that moral innovation is required. This is the kind of experimentation aimed at solving problems in ways that put our shared humanity at the center, starting where you can, usually at the margins, while relentlessly insisting on sustainability and scale.

These co-founders chose an especially wicked problem: inadequate sanitation. One in three people on Earth lack access to a proper toilet. The lack of toilets is a public health crisis, yet governments the world over have failed to provide proper sanitation to their most vulnerable citizens. The large majority of all public sanitation funding goes to the top 20% of income earners. Meanwhile less than 6% is set aside for the bottom quintile of the planet’s population who live without sewage, often relying on dirty, dangerous, and overflowing pit latrines or open defecation.

Sanergy’s co-founders pursued a business model based on the principles of the circular economy: reduce and reuse waste and improve resource productivity. They would build a network of toilets operated profitably by local residents who had a strong stake in the community. They would collect the waste daily, convert it into fertilizer, and they would sell it to farmers — a system that would “turn waste to gold.” Of course, changing the status quo is easier said than done.

 

Click the link below to access full article:

A Lesson in Systems Change

Join the community

Meaningful transformation can only be created when we work together. There’s room for everyone within CWL’s charge for change – as both members and allies to our mission. Find out how you fit within Connected Women Leaders’ goals.

Learn More