U.S. Department of State and Partners Solicit Creative Waste Management Solutions – April 3, 2012
The U.S. Department of State and partners from the LAUNCH: Beyond Waste Forum announce a challenge to identify ten game-changing innovations with the potential to transform current waste management systems and practices. LAUNCH: Beyond Waste seeks transformational solutions to the problem of waste through disruptive innovation, behavioral change, systems design, as well as improved policy and stewardship.
The challenge, which will be open from April 1 to May 15, 2012, asks creative minds to formulate innovative ideas for minimizing waste or transforming it into new products. As the global population increases and consumption trends continue to rise, the importance of sustainable materials management practices cannot be ignored. Safe and environmentally-sound management of waste is essential to conserving natural resources and preventing pollution, improving the health and well-being of global citizens and the environment and helping to prevent conflicts that can stem from resource inequality and poverty.
On Feb. 2 BCLC and the World Business Council on Sustainable Development (WBCSD) hosted a forum about innovating in the WASH sector (Water, Sanitation and Hygiene).
Here are five key conclusions:
1. The technology needed to meet the access issues that millions of people face around the world currently doesn’t exist.
2. It is imperative to use business skills sets and knowledge to move toward long-term, country-owned, systematic approaches to WASH programs (verses project-by-project implementation).
3. Increased emphasis on transparency and unlikely partnership-building should continue to be at the forefront of practitioner agendas.
4. TODAY we all need to be thinking about how we are going to cope with population growth in urban communities and how this will affect WASH programs 10- 15 years from now.
5. Social issues and challenges should be integrated into the curriculum of MBA programs around the country.
Open innovation platform OpenIDEO, in partnership with Water and Sanitation for the Urban Poor (WSUP) and Unilever, has launched a challenge to address urban sanitation issues through the design of latrines and waste management services.
The OpenIDEO challenge is running in parallel with an on-the-ground IDEO team working in Kumasi, Ghana, who will be addressing the same issues. This is the first time that IDEO has used the OpenIDEO platform in conjunction with a traditional project structure.
The OpenIDEO process starts with Inspiration, moves to Concepting and ends with Evaluation. The two month long challenge began on 17 November 2010 and ends on 6 January 2011 when the winners will be announced. So far nearly 70 inspirational ideas have been posted ranging from Oxfam’s manual desludging pump for septic tanks to the X-Runner module squat toilets, and from artwork to make toilets more appealing for children to the “No toilet, No Bride” campaign in India.
The “most applauded” idea at the moment is BioCentre concept implemented in Kenya.
Read the full challenge brief and start adding your own inspirations on the OpenIDEO web site.