David Auerbach

Ashoka Fellow
Fellow Since 2013


This profile was prepared when David Auerbach was elected to the Ashoka Fellowship in 2013.
The New Idea
David has created the first high-quality toilet that can fit in the small available spaces of dense slum communities and has brought down the cost and time of construction of a toilet to a fraction of what traditional toilets require. Furthermore, he has integrated water saving and waste collection technologies into the toilet unit to reduce the operational costs and incentivize the adoption of the idea.

But the technology is only the starting point. David taps into the social fabric of the slum settlement to spread the idea. Through a franchise model in which local entrepreneurs own and operate profitable, branded Fresh Life toilets, David creates economic opportunity that is community owned, incentivized, and sustained. In addition, he is creating a robust waste management system that relies on appropriate technologies run by a trained and professional workforce that is reliable and consistent in cleaning out the waste at each toilet. In this way, David creates jobs and further reinforces a sense of community ownership which, in turn, significantly increases access to hygienic toilets in the slums.

Furthermore, by showing that human waste can be transformed into highly valuable and in-demand resources such as energy and organic fertilizer, Sanergy is creating incentives for others to provide sanitation and waste management services in slum settlements and hard-to-reach areas.
The Problem
The Strategy
The Person

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