The flush toilet hasn’t changed much since it was invented in 1596 by Sir John Harington. (Yes, the inventor of “The John” was named John. See also: Thomas Crapper.) Sure, there have been other advancements – waste treatment plants, underground sewers, septic systems – but these complicated, expensive, and hard-to-manage technologies don’t do much good in developing countries where 950 million people still have to defecate outdoors.
The foundation focuses on accelerating innovations in non-sewered sanitation technology and service delivery, particularly in densely populated areas of South Asia and sub-Saharan Africa.
Learn more about the history of the Reinvent the Toilet Challenge and the foundation’s collaborations with global innovators, development banks, corporate partners, sanitation utilities, and governments.