Last week during World Toilet Day, FLUSH was at the Toilet Board Coalition's Sanitation Economy Summit! The conference was in Pune, India - a city with pink public toilets, clean streets, and beautiful conference spaces.
We had a great time meeting more sanitation experts, making more toilet friends, and talking about future work across the globe. The Hindustan Times even wrote about our work while at the conference!
We also had a booth where we explained to attendees our edutainment classes like "The History of Toilets" and our efforts to de-stigmatize sanitation in the public and support sanitation efforts in other countries. We created a fun online toilet trivia quiz for our booth, in honor of World Toilet Day, which can be played here.
We shared the booth space with change:Water Labs and their incredible technology that dries out feces in a self-contained toilet, which helps reduce the emptying frequency. So cool!
Some of our key takeaways from the conference:
-Government for Business: Sanitation needs help from governments to get us engaged more with the private sector and their approaches and financing. This could help drive better, sustainable toilet solutions.
-Customers are Key: When we talk about toilet solutions, we should think of the people served as customers. Talking about them as customers puts us in a business mindset, which can push us to create more contextually-appropriate and sustainable solutions.
-Solution Talk: The sanitation world focuses heavily on the challenges, and the human need. That's great and all, but it may not be how to push change. Instead, we should start focusing more on solutions...especially when talking to each other!
-Eat Food from Compost: Those of us in sanitation need to embrace and advocate for reuse products from sanitation - like composted fertilizer - in our daily lives. In other words, we need to actively show that eating food from composted human waste is okay and not 'scary' to us. By eating it.
We look forward to attending the new Sanitation Economy Summit and continuing our relationships with new partners.