About 2.5 billion people use unsafe toilets or defecate in the open. Poor sanitation causes severe diarrhea, which kills 1.5 million children each year. Smart investments in sanitation can reduce disease, increase family incomes, keep girls in school, help preserve the environment, and enhance human dignity.
In July 2011, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation announced an initiative to reinvent the toilet, along with $265 million in grants spread across a variety of efforts to spur greater innovation in sanitation.
The California Institute of Technology received the first prize of $100,000 for a solar-powered toilet design and generates energy in the form of hydrogen and electricity. Loughborough University won the $60,000 second-place prize for a toilet that produces charcoal, minerals and clean water by product. The $40,000 third place prize went to the University of Toronto for developing a toilet that turns human waste into clean water and other clean resources.
Brian Wang is a Futurist Thought Leader and a popular Science blogger with 1 million readers per month. His blog Nextbigfuture.com is ranked #1 Science News Blog. It covers many disruptive technology and trends including Space, Robotics, Artificial Intelligence, Medicine, Anti-aging Biotechnology, and Nanotechnology.
Known for identifying cutting edge technologies, he is currently a Co-Founder of a startup and fundraiser for high potential early-stage companies. He is the Head of Research for Allocations for deep technology investments and an Angel Investor at Space Angels.
A frequent speaker at corporations, he has been a TEDx speaker, a Singularity University speaker and guest at numerous interviews for radio and podcasts. He is open to public speaking and advising engagements.