Read more about our mission and mandate based on where we’ve been and where we’re headed.
According to the World Health Organization, ~4 billion people lack access to safely managed sanitation, which is a reality that disproportionately hinders the livelihoods of women, girls and other marginalized groups globally.
Everybody and every body poops, but not every person, community, or organization in the world has somewhere to safely and hygienically get poop and pathogens away from people.
The vision of the Wish for WASH (W4W) Collective, of which Wish for WASH Thinks Inc is a part of as the nonproft operational arm, is to disrupt the water, sanitation and hygeine (WASH) sector by creating a more diverse pipeline of people, products, and programs in the WASH sector by bringing innovation to sanitation.
The mission of the Wish for WASH Collective is to catalyze sustainable and equitable solutions that align with the United Nations’ (UN) Sustainable Development Goal 6 targets and that function at the intersection of innovation and inclusion because
Our Theory of Change
Equitable and innovative pipelines of people, products and programs in the WASH sector will help to improve WASH outcomes as defined by the UN’s SDG 6 goals. We do this by:
Building Human Centered Designers and Social Innovators in the Sanitation Economy through project leadership and multidisciplinary collaborations across sectors and generations, while embracing a “fail forward” ethos.
Fostering empathy in this new pipeline of leadership in the WASH and Global Health sectors through Meaningful Youth Engagement and Gender Equality and Social Inclusion (GESI) that are central in all of our work.
Creating a multiplier effect via our ‘training-of-the-trainers’ and peer-to-peer leadership inspired model.
Becoming a platform for knowledge sharing, thought leadership, professional development and networking in the Global Health, WASH and Social Innovation spaces.
We are a Think and Do Tank.
Learning-based Iteration and Progress
We don’t always know what we don’t know – BUT we are responsible to adapt and grow as we DO know more. We recognize that we – and the lived and learned knowledge that we hold – are not exhaustive. We are not married to a product (or service), but we are married to the process of iteration and progressive growth in all of our work.
Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion
Our strength comes from “multiple knowledges” from both lived and learnt expertise. We seek to value the knowledge of all people with diverse personal and professional identities. We have an ‘equity’ approach to our work, which means that we strategically strive to amplify the voices of historically underrepresented voices towards a future with equal voices.
Human Centered Problem Solving
We seek to design ‘with’ not ‘for’ our project partners and stakeholders; we have built a model of co-creation. We involve the end-user of the product or service from the project’s onset and iterate the project to best meet their needs and aspirations.
Empowerment via a Multiplier Effect
While we increase the pipeline of diverse voices in the WASH, global health and social innovation sectors, our work is rooted in empowerment. We enable our W4W team members, regardless of age, experience or title, to ‘own’ their own successes and ‘own’ their own failures. We work to build a team of human centered designers and design thinkers who are agents of change in the social impact space and beyond. Our members can then train and educate others to become agents of change as well.
Ingenuity and Innovation
Staying true to the design thinking process, we teach, encourage and foster a community that is rooted in ingenuity and innovation. We support the mantra ‘work with what you’ve got’ and for our members to be creative, ethical, and good stewards of available resources when innovating, researching, educating, and piloting.
Where we Started
Wish for WASH’s story began as a Georgia Tech Senior Design team project that created the SafiChoo toilet concept.
This concept won First Place and People’s Choice at the 2014 Georgia Tech InVenture Prize Competitionthe largest undergraduate invention competition in the United States.
The original senior design team used the competition winnings to pilot the patented SafiChoo 1.0 toilet in the Kakuma refugee camp with the Norwegian Refugee Council in Kenya, under the auspices of Sanivation.
Based on the learnings captured through this pilot, the W4W team redesigned the toilet concept using human centered design methodologies (a type of design thinking).
We have since evolved into a community of 160+ multigenerational and multidisciplinary passioneers and 11+ partner organizations currently spanning 11 states and 2 countries.
Over time, we have collectively reached 100,000+ people globally with our innovative WASH-related research, design and education products, programs and projects.
As of January 2020, the Wish for WASH Collective comprises two sister organizations-Wish for WASH LLC (or Wish for WASH Holdings) and Wish for WASH Thinks, Inc.
Wish for WASH Thinks Inc is a US-filed nonprofit organization with an official 501c3 status as of March 2021, and it is the operational arm of the collective where all of the collective’s research, design, and educational projects will be housed.