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World Water Day: Global Water Challenge and Ashoka's Changemakers Tap Local Solutions to the Water Crisis

Submitted by: Ashoka: Innovators for the Public

Categories: Environment, Philanthropy & Corporate Contributions

Posted: Mar 20, 2008 – 08:24 AM EST


Online Competition Galvanizes Innovations

WASHINGTON, March 20 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Global Water Challenge (GWC) and Ashoka's Changemakers invite everyone to join "Tapping Local Innovation: Unclogging the Water and Sanitation Crisis," an online competition to discover and support entrepreneurs with groundbreaking approaches to the world's water and sanitation challenges. Also today, director of Oscar-winning films, Elizabeth and Elizabeth: The Golden Age, Shekhar Kapur launches a blog on Changemakers.net inspired by his latest film, Paani ("Water"), which will examine the daily struggle for water in the slums of Mumbai.

"In celebration of World Water Day, we join today all social innovators from around the world who are making access to clean drinking water and sanitation a reality," said Ashoka's Changemakers Executive Director, Charlie Brown.

Innovators must submit their entries by March 26, 2008. The GWC is pleased to announce that upon the close of the competition, selected entries will be invited to submit proposals for funding consideration. With a gift from The Coca-Cola Company, US$1 million in grants is available from GWC to implement innovative entrepreneurial approaches that further its mission of universal access to water and sanitation.

More than 100 innovations have already poured in from 35 countries. For example, in Sudan, an innovator has launched a bartering system to exchange a local natural resource for water treatment equipment that radically reduces waterborne diseases. A Nigerian entrepreneur creates cheap, clean, and sustainable energy from human waste. Anyone can review entries and get involved through open online discussions.

"We have both the resources and the will to live in a world in which everyone can drink clean water and use a safe toilet," said Paul Faeth, Executive Director of GWC. "This competition is showing the impact that social entrepreneurs working in the farthest corners of the world can have."

Global Water Challenge is a coalition of leading organizations, which have joined forces to catalyze transformational change in the water and sanitation sector. www.globalwaterchallenge.org

Ashoka's Changemakers is building an "open source" online community that competes to surface the best social solutions to the world's most pressing issues. To date, Changemakers has attracted more than 2,000 solutions from more than 125 countries. www.changemakers.net.

For more information, please contact:

Tito Llantada Ashoka's Changemakers
Phone: (703) 600-8257


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