World Toilet Summit 2017

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Keynote Speakers

The World Toilet Summit will feature a dynamic mix of keynote speakers from across the globe.  All speakers will be announced over the coming weeks, but we are pleased to announce the first speaker:

Jack Sim, Founder, World Toilet Organization (Mr Toilet) 
Tuesday 21 November, 4.30pm – 5.00pm

Jack Sim is the founder of BoP HUB and World Toilet Organization and a leading global advocate for sanitation. Formerly in the construction industry, he founded the World Toilet Organization in 2001, after attaining financial independence at age of 40, and deciding to devote the rest of his life to social work. In 2001 World Toilet Organization (WTO) declared its founding day 19 November as World Toilet day. In 2013, 19 November was designated as UN World Toilet Day - the day is now celebrated globally each year as a day raise awareness of the need for action to end the sanitation crisis. 

For ‘creating good will and bringing the subject into the open’ and ‘mobilizing national support in providing on-the-ground expertise’ Jack Sim received the Schwab Foundation award for Social Entrepreneur of the Year in 2001. In 2007, Jack became one of the key members to convene the Sustainable Sanitation Alliance composed of key players for sanitation. He is an Ashoka Global Fellow, and was named one of the Heroes of the Environment for 2008 by Time Magazine. 

Widely known as Mr. Toilet, Jack broke the global taboo around toilets and sanitation by bringing it to centre-stage with his unique mix of humour and serious facts.

Video: Jack Sim's TED Talk

Rosie WheenRosie Wheen, CEO, WaterAid Australia 
‘What does the WaterAid 2017 “State of the World’s Toilets” report reveal? ’ 
Monday 20 November, 9.30am

Using the new JMP figures, the WaterAid 2017 World Toilet Day report will look at the state of the world’s toilets.  It will include the impact this has on women and girls throughout their lives.  The report will have five ‘top ten’ lists on access to sanitation and the prevalence of open defecation, alongside case studies of women at different stages of their lives in a range of countries.  This year’s State of the World’s Toilets report shows 2.3 billion are still without access to basic sanitation. By examining where in the world is hardest to find a toilet, and where there has been the most progress, we can start to understand the massive challenges that exist around reaching everyone, everywhere with a decent, private toilet, as well as some of the innovative ideas being put in place to accomplish this.  Studies also show that a lack of good sanitation affects women disproportionately throughout their lives – education, adolescence and menstrual hygiene, pregnancy, childbirth, menopause and old age, including for those with disabilities. Better health, education and gender equality cannot be achieved without ensuring the sanitation needs of women and girls are met and Rosie will also address this issue.

Professor John ThwaitesProfessor John Thwaites, Chair, Melbourne Water, Climateworks Australia, Monash Sustainable Development Institute
Monday 20 November, 11.00am 

John will give a keynote address on the movement to SDG#6 of ensuring availability and sustainable management of water and sanitation for all at 11.00am, Monday 20 November.

Bruce GordonBruce Gordon, World Health Organization
‘WHO/UNICEF Joint Monitoring Program SDG Baseline Report: Implications for Policy & Practice’ 
Monday 20 November, 11.30am – 12.00pm

Bruce Gordon is the Coordinator of Water, Sanitation, Hygiene and Health at the World Health Organization. He oversees a global portfolio of water and health-related work ranging from development of norms on drinking-water and wastewater/sanitation to global monitoring of access to WASH and burden of disease. Prior to joining the water unit at WHO in 2004, he contributed to the Organization’s work on sustainable development with a focus on children's health and environment. He has an academic background in biochemistry and environmental management.  
Find out more about what Bruce is doing in this video.

Dr Nina Hall, Lecturer in Environmental Health, School Of Public Health, The University Of Queensland
Wendy Anders, Senior Policy Advisor, National Aboriginal And Torres Strait Islander Women's Alliance (Natsiwa)

‘‘Barriers and Solutions to Indigenous Health and Hygiene In Remote Communities: A Case Study of Menstrual Hygiene Management’’ 
Monday 20 November, 4.00 – 4.30pm

Dr Nina Lansbury HallDr Nina Lansbury Hall is a researcher on environmental health within The University of Queensland’s School of Public Health. She conducts research and teaching on responses to complex issues around the sustainable and integrated development, management and use of water resources with social, environmental and economic considerations. Her current research at UQ examines the implementation challenges and opportunities for the UN Sustainable Development Goals, and sustainable provision and evaluation of water, sanitation and hygiene in development, including in Australia’s remote Aboriginal communities. Previously, Nina was a senior research scientist at CSIRO.

Wendy AndersWendy Anders is the Senior Policy Advisor and Projects Manager of the National Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women’s Alliance, which was established by the Department of the Prime Minister and Cabinet in 2009 to empower Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander Women to have a strong and effective voice in the domestic and international policy advocacy process. Previously, Wendy spent ten years as a senior lecturer at the Institute of Koorie Education, Deakin University. Wendy is from the Arrente nation.

Rose George, Author & Journalist 
‘The Big Necessity: Waste to Resource’
Rose George is an author and journalist. Her second book was The Big Necessity: Adventures in the World of Human Waste/The Unmentionable World of Human Waste and Why it Matters, published by Portobello (UK) and Metropolitan (US). Rose’s two TED talks, on sanitation and seafaring, have had nearly 3 million views. She writes frequently for the Guardian, New Statesman, Scientific American, Rotarian and many others, and enjoys doing book reviews for anyone who asks. She has been war correspondent in Kosovo for Condé Nast Traveler magazine (for one day); reported on an alternative World Cup final in Bhutan between Bhutan and Montserrat (Bhutan won); and attended Saddam Hussein’s birthday party, twice. She has worked as a sanitation consultant for UNICEF India, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, WSSCC and WASH United. Rose received a congratulatory first-class honours BA in modern languages from the University of Oxford in 1992, and an MA in international politics in 1994 from the University of Pennsylvania. She speaks fluent French and Italian and lives mostly in Yorkshire. Rose is currently working on her fourth book.

Video: One of Rose's TED Talks
Nicholas Mancus, Chair, Operations Team, Water And Sanitation Rotarian Action Group
Tuesday 21 November, 9.30am, 

The Water & Sanitation Rotarian Action Group (WASRAG) was formed in 2007 by a group of Rotarians, recognized by Rotary International, and focused on WASH projects. Since then it has facilitated many hundreds of projects – helping clubs find partners, ensuring sustainability, stressing the importance of a needs-driven approach, and developing best practices. They encourage a holistic, integrated approach in which water is not the end in itself, but is rather the means to a better life and livelihood in the community. Most importantly, WASRAG links water and sanitation to improved hygiene, better health, and empowerment of the community – especially women, irrigation and agriculture, education and literacy and, ultimately, child mortality.