The number of US philanthropists with a passion for sanitation has now doubled. Following in the footsteps of Bill Gates who launched Reinventing the Toilet, “Chief Toilet Hacker” John Kluge aims to provide 1 million toilets in the developing world. To kick-start this endeavour, Eirene, a company that Kluge co-founded with fellow toilet hacker, Michael TS Lindenmayer, is launching a global Sanitation Hackathon in December 2012.
For the Sanitation Hackathon, Eirene is teaming up with the World Bank’s Water Practice and ICT unit and the Water and Sanitation Program (WSP), which hosted the successful Water Hackathon in October 2011. Other partners supporting this initiative include the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, Gensler, IDEO.org and Columbia University.
We have dug into the problem at the most local level and have asked some of the greatest global minds to also tackle the issue as well. These toilet hackers come from all kinds of backgrounds. Engineers, material scientists all the way to street artists, micro-entrepreneurs and inventors of all stripes are all becoming toilet hackers
Forbes has identified John Kluge (29) as one of “philanthropy’s up-and-coming faces”. He is the adopted son of John Kluge Sr., “once the richest man in America, and is is committed to ensuring 95% of his late father’s assets go towards philanthropy”. His company Eirene focuses on tackling problems like sanitation that affect at least 1 billion people. Kluge is also a resident fellow at the EastWest Institute and a memnber of UNICEF USA’s Next Generation Steering Committee.