The Craziest Thing We Can Do is Nothing
Tyler Riewer is Creative Director at charity: water, a $100M nonprofit organization that uses data and storytelling to connect donors to their impact and dream up new ways to think about sustainability in the water sector. As of today, charity: water has funded 91,414 projects to bring clean and safe water to 14,762,215 people. Riewer leads a team of designers and storytellers, and travels the globe capturing stories about local partners. He studied Advertising and Journalism at Nebraska and started his career at marketing agencies Archrival and Grady Britton.
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[00:00:00.068](bright upbeat music)
[00:00:06.930]Today you are part
[00:00:08.130]of an important conversation about our shared future.
[00:00:11.608]The Ian Thompson Forum on World Issues
[00:00:14.190]explores a diversity of viewpoints
[00:00:16.380]on international and public policy issues
[00:00:18.960]to promote understanding and encourage debate
[00:00:21.780]across the university and the state of Nebraska.
[00:00:25.200]Since its inception in 1988,
[00:00:28.140]hundreds of distinguished speakers have challenged
[00:00:30.780]and inspired us making this forum
[00:00:34.380]one of the preeminent speakers series in higher education.
[00:00:39.450]It all started when Ian Jack Thompson
[00:00:42.840]imagined a forum on global issues
[00:00:45.330]that would increase Nebraskan's understanding of cultures
[00:00:48.360]and events from around the world.
[00:00:50.790]Jack's perspective was influenced by his travels,
[00:00:54.180]his role in helping to found the United Nations,
[00:00:56.970]and his work at the Carnegie Endowment
[00:00:59.610]for International Peace.
[00:01:02.100]As President of the Cooper Foundation in Lincoln,
[00:01:05.130]Jack pledged substantial funding to the Forum
[00:01:08.310]and the University of Nebraska and Lead Center
[00:01:10.980]for Performing Arts agreed to co-sponsor.
[00:01:14.640]Later, Jack and his wife Katie,
[00:01:16.860]created the Thompson Family Fund
[00:01:19.440]to support the forum and other programs.
[00:01:22.590]Today, major support is provided
[00:01:25.830]by the Cooper Foundation Lead Center for Performing Arts
[00:01:30.000]and University of Nebraska Lincoln.
[00:01:32.850]We hope this talk sparks an exciting conversation among you.
[00:01:39.480]And now, on with a show.
[00:01:42.379](bright upbeat music)
[00:01:47.280]Good evening, and welcome to the Ian Thompson Forum
[00:01:50.460]on World Issues.
[00:01:52.350]I'm Shari Vail,
[00:01:53.460]Chair of the Ian Thompson Forum Program Committee
[00:01:56.550]and Dean of the College of Journalism
[00:01:58.290]and Mass Communications
[00:01:59.880]at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
[00:02:02.370]I'm excited to be with you here tonight
[00:02:04.440]for our third forum event with Tyler Riewer.
[00:02:08.100]I'm happy to see all of you here in the Lead Center,
[00:02:11.310]and welcome all of you who are watching online.
[00:02:16.140]the Thompson Forum has brought us critical thinkers,
[00:02:20.520]and leaders who are shaping our global society
[00:02:23.880]to discuss issues that affect us all.
[00:02:27.210]We are grateful to the Cooper Foundation,
[00:02:29.520]which provides the major funding for the Forum
[00:02:32.400]to the late Jack Thompson who conceived of this series
[00:02:35.580]and to the Thompson family for their continued support.
[00:02:39.630]We would also like to acknowledge the Lead Center
[00:02:41.820]for Performing Arts for their support,
[00:02:44.430]the University Honors Program
[00:02:46.140]for their partnership on today's event.
[00:02:48.660]And finally, thank you to our media sponsors,
[00:02:51.090]KZUN and 90.3 KRNU.
[00:02:55.830]This season's theme, "Creativity to Solve Global Challenges"
[00:02:59.970]illuminates the discussion about how we as individuals
[00:03:03.900]and a society can utilize our creativity in unexpected ways
[00:03:08.970]to solve both everyday and complex problems.
[00:03:13.080]It invites us to imagine a future beyond our reality
[00:03:17.130]and to lean into solving challenges creatively
[00:03:21.000]rather than with the same methodologies.
[00:03:24.150]Our speakers are inspirational in many ways,
[00:03:27.450]solving global challenges with sometimes simple solutions
[00:03:31.680]that dramatically change lives.
[00:03:34.530]These stories encourage us to realize the importance
[00:03:37.800]of creative, inventive thinking, and problem solving,
[00:03:42.270]and entice us to employ those methods in our own lives.
[00:03:46.590]Tonight we have the privilege of hearing from Tyler Riewer,
[00:03:49.860]who has worked at the heart of creative problem solving
[00:03:52.500]for global challenges.
[00:03:54.420]His talk, "The Craziest Thing We Can Do is Nothing"
[00:03:58.650]will focus on innovation around clean water usability
[00:04:04.020]We have been having a fantastic time with Tyler,
[00:04:06.360]who has graciously been spending time in classes
[00:04:09.150]and other activities with our students and faculty today
[00:04:14.340]His presence is stirring up creative juices
[00:04:16.710]and innovative thinking across our campus
[00:04:19.230]and into our community in the high schools.
[00:04:22.230]And we greatly appreciate the opportunity
[00:04:24.240]for students to learn from someone
[00:04:26.474]with such deep insights around data
[00:04:29.640]and impactful storytelling.
[00:04:32.580]Following Tyler's talk,
[00:04:34.200]we will have a short Q and A where you can participate
[00:04:37.560]by texting ENT918 to 22333,
[00:04:43.620]or by going to pollev.com/ent918
[00:04:49.710]on a computer or browser.
[00:04:52.320]The Ian Thompson Forum
[00:04:54.240]would also like to formally acknowledge
[00:04:56.460]the indigenous tribal nations
[00:04:58.440]as the original stewards of our land
[00:05:01.380]and recognize that we reside on the past, present,
[00:05:04.800]and future homelands of the Pawnee, Ponca, Otoe-Missouria,
[00:05:09.900]Omaha, Dakota, Lakota, Kaw, Cheyenne,
[00:05:13.800]and Arapaho Peoples,
[00:05:15.870]as well as those of the relocated Ho-Chunk, Sac and Fox,
[00:05:20.280]and Iowa Peoples.
[00:05:22.530]Through our acknowledgement,
[00:05:24.120]we work to develop positive ongoing relationships
[00:05:28.170]with our indigenous tribal nations
[00:05:30.330]and the rich tribal diversity in the state of Nebraska.
[00:05:35.400]Now I have the honor of introducing this evening speaker.
[00:05:40.800]Tyler Riewer is the Creative Director at Charity: Water,
[00:05:44.430]which brings clean and safe drinking water to people in need
[00:05:47.730]around the world.
[00:05:49.290]He travels the globe to meet people in need
[00:05:53.880]and the people who Charity: Water serves,
[00:05:56.280]collecting stories about the transformational impact
[00:05:59.370]of clean water and dreaming up new ways
[00:06:02.160]to share those stories with the world.
[00:06:05.040]Since joining the organization in 2013,
[00:06:08.100]Tyler has been a driving force behind Charity:Water,
[00:06:11.640]his creative campaigns.
[00:06:13.410]He also hosts Charity:Water's exclusive video series,
[00:06:16.890]the Journey for which he travels to different countries
[00:06:20.160]to show members
[00:06:21.120]of the organization's monthly giving program the spring,
[00:06:24.990]an up close look at Charity:Waters work on the ground.
[00:06:28.950]Prior to joining Charity:Water,
[00:06:30.930]Tyler spent nine years working in advertising
[00:06:33.780]where he created content for brands like Red Bull, Nike,
[00:06:37.470]and A and E.
[00:06:39.360]A native Nebraskan,
[00:06:40.890]Tyler earned his degree in advertising
[00:06:44.835]from the College of Journalism and Mass Communications
[00:06:46.710]at the University of Nebraska Lincoln.
[00:06:49.170]Please join me in welcoming Tyler Riewer.
[00:06:57.900]Thank you, thank you.
[00:07:00.660]Oh my gosh,
[00:07:05.640]you guys know I'm not opening for Jerry Seinfeld, right?
[00:07:08.820]It's just me tonight.
[00:07:10.770]This is what you get.
[00:07:11.850]This an incredible group.
[00:07:12.750]Before I start it, I wanna say two things.
[00:07:14.580]One, this is such a powerful and surreal experience for me
[00:07:19.410]getting to come back and speak to college students
[00:07:22.680]who are literally sitting in seats that I once sat in.
[00:07:26.280]I remember being in this room maybe almost two decades ago,
[00:07:30.600]watching George Carlin on this stage.
[00:07:32.670]Many of you probably don't know who that is,
[00:07:35.361]but thinking, I just never imagined
[00:07:38.820]that I would be the one up here
[00:07:41.670]getting to speak with all of you.
[00:07:43.260]I think it is only true because of the network,
[00:07:46.710]the foundation of people who have supported me in my journey
[00:07:50.760]and in my education, in my careers,
[00:07:53.970]professors and coworkers and classmates
[00:07:56.430]and family and friends.
[00:07:57.537]And I know many of you are in the room tonight.
[00:07:59.460]So thank you for that.
[00:08:01.110]And I hope you are as proud and as excited for this as I am.
[00:08:05.760]Number two, if you are in the room and I don't know you,
[00:08:08.760]that's maybe more impressive.
[00:08:11.340]The fact that you chose to be here on a random Monday,
[00:08:14.850]listening to a total stranger talking about the water crisis
[00:08:18.300]of all thing is really remarkable.
[00:08:21.840]It says a lot about you too.
[00:08:23.670]So we're best friends.
[00:08:25.290]I love you and thank you for being here.
[00:08:29.310]Dean Vail, thank you for that introduction.
[00:08:31.470]As she mentioned, my name is Tyler Riewer.
[00:08:32.877]I'm the Creative Director at Charity:Water.
[00:08:34.560]I've been at Charity:Water for about 10 years.
[00:08:37.200]I lead a team of writers and designers
[00:08:39.619]who are thinking about storytelling
[00:08:42.090]in ways that we can connect our existing supporters
[00:08:45.750]with their impact around the world
[00:08:48.150]in places that feel very far away and very foreign.
[00:08:52.050]And then also thinking about how we can inspire new donors
[00:08:55.200]or supporters to take action.
[00:08:57.930]Prior to that, of course,
[00:08:59.970]at the university and worked in advertising here in town
[00:09:04.590]at our tribal, just down the road,
[00:09:06.720]and then spent some time on the West coast
[00:09:08.220]working in advertising as well.
[00:09:09.240]But if you can think of my life and two bubbles
[00:09:12.690]of a Venn diagram,
[00:09:13.650]one in this for-profit advertising space
[00:09:15.720]and one in the storytelling non-profit space,
[00:09:18.660]that little swath in the middle is really the inspiration
[00:09:22.560]for this conversation tonight.
[00:09:24.900]And I want to use Charity:Water specifically as an example.
[00:09:28.770]And I'm gonna start with the problem
[00:09:30.750]that we are working to solve.
[00:09:33.510]Right now in this very moment,
[00:09:35.670]it is about 6:41 a.m in Eastern India,
[00:09:42.180]and women and girls are probably walking in dusk light
[00:09:47.370]to a nearby pond outside of their community
[00:09:51.030]with these big metal urns
[00:09:52.230]that they're gonna use
[00:09:53.063]to collect greenish gray colored water for their families,
[00:09:57.180]water that they can use for drinking, for cooking,
[00:10:01.110]for washing some clothes.
[00:10:03.690]But this pond is the same place
[00:10:05.610]that many people in the community
[00:10:07.020]are gonna come later to bathe or to go to the bathroom.
[00:10:11.760]This problem is not unique to India.
[00:10:14.070]In a few hours,
[00:10:15.300]women in Madagascar are gonna leave their communities
[00:10:17.670]and walk to nearby riverbeds
[00:10:20.040]and dig down into the sand
[00:10:21.330]with their bare hands a couple of feet
[00:10:23.820]so that a small amount of water might pool at the surface.
[00:10:28.260]Women in Uganda are gonna wake up
[00:10:29.940]and they're gonna put their babies on their backs
[00:10:31.650]and they're gonna go to swamps nearby.
[00:10:34.830]Women in Ethiopia will likely be fending off livestock
[00:10:38.880]because water is so scarce that any existing source
[00:10:42.690]is in competition.
[00:10:45.000]Water is life and everybody is looking for a piece.
[00:10:50.010]And then by the time you go to bed tonight,
[00:10:51.510]when you lay your head on your pillow,
[00:10:53.970]women in these air will be arriving
[00:10:55.911]at thousand year old holes in the ground like this one,
[00:11:00.030]and collecting water by rope with their bare hands,
[00:11:04.140]pulling one bucket up out of the earth
[00:11:06.930]at a time that they can take home
[00:11:09.570]and give to their families to use throughout the day.
[00:11:13.500]All of this is for water that is often hosting leeches
[00:11:19.680]and worms and frogs.
[00:11:20.940]It's water that has to be filtered through cloth
[00:11:24.330]to remove bits of debris.
[00:11:27.000]And that's the stuff that you can see.
[00:11:28.440]The stuff that you can't see is even worse.
[00:11:30.270]It's invisible bacteria that causes stomach problems,
[00:11:34.770]diarrhea, dehydration, it steals the lives of children.
[00:11:39.930]It sends families to the health clinic
[00:11:41.580]for medicine that they can't afford.
[00:11:45.060]On top of all of this, it is backbreaking work.
[00:11:48.480]Again, it is women and children
[00:11:49.980]who are primarily responsible
[00:11:51.600]for collecting water around the world.
[00:11:54.090]And they are spending hours every single day walking
[00:11:57.390]with 40 pounds of water,
[00:11:58.890]maybe more on their back or on their forehead
[00:12:01.830]or on their head.
[00:12:05.130]This would be a crisis if it was one million people,
[00:12:08.610]but it is not one million people to 771 million people.
[00:12:15.420]I can try to put that into perspective
[00:12:17.490]by telling you that it's twice the population
[00:12:19.470]of the United States.
[00:12:21.720]And if you really just try to think
[00:12:22.980]about every place you've been, every place you've lived,
[00:12:25.710]every place you've vacation,
[00:12:26.940]it's Omaha, Lincoln kneeling, Norfolk, Denver, Kansas City,
[00:12:30.960]Chicago, but all these places together and then double it.
[00:12:34.740]That's the number of people
[00:12:35.880]who don't have access to life's most basic need.
[00:12:39.000]More relatable terms,
[00:12:41.636]it's enough to fill Memorial Stadium 8,566 times.
[00:12:48.330]I really liked this comparison, so I kept going.
[00:12:51.577]It would take 1200 football seasons,
[00:12:55.620]assuming seven home games a season,
[00:12:57.690]we could get a little flexible.
[00:12:59.250]I did some math to fill the stadium that many times.
[00:13:03.180]And if we go one step further,
[00:13:06.210]building on our consecutive sellout streak,
[00:13:08.788]which was 389 or 390 this past weekend,
[00:13:13.800]it would be through the year 3,190.
[00:13:20.670]It's one in 10 people on the planet,
[00:13:22.560]one in 10 humans who don't have this basic right.
[00:13:28.350]And in a time where technology
[00:13:32.130]is just rapidly advancing, right?
[00:13:34.110]We have driverless vehicles,
[00:13:36.210]we've got infinite computing power in the palm of our hand.
[00:13:39.300]We're looking for water on Mars,
[00:13:43.230]and we haven't figured out how
[00:13:45.570]to give one 10th of our planet access
[00:13:48.540]to life's most basic need.
[00:13:50.190]So that's the problem that we are working to solve.
[00:13:52.260]That is Charity:Water's mission.
[00:13:54.300]We are on a mission to bring clean and safe drinking water
[00:13:55.980]to every single person on the planet.
[00:13:58.770]And the good news is we know how to do it.
[00:14:01.890]We have built a network of local partners around the world
[00:14:06.540]who are experts at providing clean water
[00:14:09.690]to their own people.
[00:14:11.730]They're providing sustainable solutions,
[00:14:14.250]the solutions that are the most appropriate
[00:14:16.140]for the challenges that they're facing.
[00:14:18.870]And they're thinking about sustainability.
[00:14:20.340]How do these projects last in the future?
[00:14:22.050]How do we make sure that people are taken care of?
[00:14:24.870]It's important because the problem is different everywhere
[00:14:28.920]in a place like Ethiopia,
[00:14:31.200]I mentioned that access to water can be hard to find.
[00:14:34.800]Water is available, it's just deep under the earth.
[00:14:37.860]So it's a matter of bringing in a drilling rig
[00:14:39.480]that can drill hundreds of feet down into the earth
[00:14:42.510]and bring water up to the surface at a simple hand pump
[00:14:45.540]that anybody can come use
[00:14:46.860]and collect as much clean water as they need.
[00:14:50.280]In a place like Nepal, the challenge is very different,
[00:14:53.400]really mountainous terrain.
[00:14:55.410]And sometimes the problem
[00:14:56.700]is that your potential clean water source,
[00:14:59.580]a small spring might be at the bottom of a mountain
[00:15:03.180]or the top of a mountain,
[00:15:04.589]and everybody lives across the mountain.
[00:15:07.530]And here our partners are using solar power
[00:15:10.680]to take that spring source at the bottom of my mountain,
[00:15:14.430]pump it all the way up to the top into some holding tanks,
[00:15:17.250]and then redistribute it down
[00:15:19.320]to tap stands like this one at a household level.
[00:15:21.540]So every single person living on that mountain
[00:15:24.300]has clean water right outside their home.
[00:15:27.930]In places like the Thaw Desert in India, Northwestern India,
[00:15:33.090]water does not exist.
[00:15:34.950]This is a place where people are dependent on rainy season,
[00:15:37.950]and they will dig holes outside their own houses
[00:15:40.786]where they can collect a little bit of rainy water.
[00:15:44.340]They will pay for tanker trucks to come into the community
[00:15:47.220]and pump contaminated water into these hand dug holes.
[00:15:52.920]And that will be what they have to rely on.
[00:15:54.870]Our partner there is providing what is called a Tonka.
[00:15:57.600]It is a concrete cistern,
[00:15:59.430]this giant concrete vessel that lives in the ground
[00:16:02.610]next to your house and safely collects
[00:16:05.250]and stores the rainwater
[00:16:06.420]during this monsoon season or a rainy season
[00:16:09.270]so that your family can have access to safe drinking water
[00:16:12.990]throughout the entire year.
[00:16:15.810]And then just one more example for you in Cambodia,
[00:16:17.970]the issue is not a lack of water, water's everywhere.
[00:16:20.700]It's just a matter of turning that dirty water
[00:16:23.580]into clean water.
[00:16:25.320]And our partner here is providing a really simple solution.
[00:16:29.340]It reminds me of a high school science fair.
[00:16:31.800]It's called a biosand filter,
[00:16:33.060]but it's a concrete box that's full of layers of gravel
[00:16:38.663]And as you pour dirty water in,
[00:16:40.749]you start to build up this little layer of microbacteria
[00:16:43.890]that eat other bacteria.
[00:16:46.020]So you can pour filthy rusk colored water
[00:16:48.450]into the top of this thing and crystal clear,
[00:16:51.510]99.9% bacteria free water comes out the bottom.
[00:16:56.760]So all over the world,
[00:16:58.140]we are empowering these local teams
[00:16:59.490]who are not just thinking about these brilliant
[00:17:02.250]and unique solutions,
[00:17:04.020]but also thinking about sanitation and hygiene.
[00:17:07.740]We know that if you are not washing your hands
[00:17:11.250]and you're not using a latrine,
[00:17:13.440]your health is not gonna improve
[00:17:15.930]just with the addition of clean water in your life.
[00:17:18.780]Our partners are really focused on behavior change
[00:17:21.960]'cause you're talking to people
[00:17:23.220]who've spent their whole life going to the bathroom outside,
[00:17:26.460]never washing their hands,
[00:17:27.480]not understanding the priority of the implications of it.
[00:17:31.170]So this takes education, it takes time to explain the value,
[00:17:35.610]really to teach people.
[00:17:37.620]They're also thinking about how do we empower the community
[00:17:40.560]to take ownership over the project when we're gone,
[00:17:43.530]how do we make them responsible for cleaning it,
[00:17:46.320]for maintaining it,
[00:17:47.340]for doing preventative maintenance or small repairs
[00:17:50.310]if something were to happen to it,
[00:17:53.790]for saving money so that we can pay for those minor repairs
[00:17:56.730]if and when the time comes.
[00:17:59.310]It's just an incredibly dedicated group of people
[00:18:03.060]who are just changing the way that we're thinking
[00:18:05.160]about the future in terms of water, sanitation and hygiene.
[00:18:08.940]In Cambodia, our partner is so committed
[00:18:12.240]to seeing this solution be sustainable,
[00:18:15.360]that they will revisit your community four times
[00:18:18.720]over the course of two years
[00:18:19.950]after you've received your solution,
[00:18:21.570]after you get your biosand filter
[00:18:23.580]to check the water flow rate,
[00:18:25.080]to make sure you know how to clean it,
[00:18:26.520]that you're taking care of it,
[00:18:27.990]that your questions are answered,
[00:18:29.970]so that they can move away two years later
[00:18:32.520]and know that it's not an issue.
[00:18:35.100]We have partners in Nepal who will embed a staff person
[00:18:37.830]in a community for a year
[00:18:39.750]so that they can be there to talk about sanitation
[00:18:42.150]and hygiene and answer questions
[00:18:43.710]and help promote better behavior.
[00:18:45.840]So the really thoughtful approach,
[00:18:48.360]this is not the norm, this is a scary statistic,
[00:18:53.130]especially if you work in the water sector.
[00:18:55.410]But the estimate is the 36% of hand pumps
[00:18:59.670]in Sub-Saharan Africa are broken.
[00:19:02.580]And this is not ill will on anybody's part.
[00:19:06.240]It's organizations, small organizations, local churches,
[00:19:09.630]people who came in with good intentions and said,
[00:19:11.730]we wanna provide this solution,
[00:19:14.160]but had no vision for what would happen in the future.
[00:19:17.610]Who takes care of it?
[00:19:19.080]Who do you call if something goes wrong?
[00:19:21.480]So all over Sub-Saharan Africa,
[00:19:23.250]you have projects that have been abandoned,
[00:19:25.920]communities who have been counted as served,
[00:19:28.380]who are not part of that 771 million people number
[00:19:32.670]who have returned to the swamps
[00:19:34.680]and the rivers that you saw before.
[00:19:37.650]Charity:Water as a fundraising organization
[00:19:39.900]has a little bit of an opportunity.
[00:19:42.270]Here, we want to empower our partners
[00:19:45.120]to go be successful in providing a water solution.
[00:19:47.580]We also have a chance to challenge the sector
[00:19:51.360]to think differently about accountability
[00:19:53.970]or integrity or sustainability.
[00:19:57.420]About eight years ago,
[00:19:59.610]we reached out to Google about a grant
[00:20:02.430]and received about a five million donation from them,
[00:20:05.610]excuse me, to invest in remote sensor technology.
[00:20:08.550]This technology did not exist.
[00:20:10.320]They gave us the money to experiment
[00:20:12.780]and see if we can make this a reality,
[00:20:14.250]but the vision was a small box
[00:20:16.980]that can live in the body of a well,
[00:20:19.470]that's transmitting data.
[00:20:20.940]So it's battery powered, it's weather resistant,
[00:20:23.700]it's really durable, it's food grade quality,
[00:20:26.010]it's indestructible, has to be about $200.
[00:20:29.610]It's not an easy feat.
[00:20:31.805]And we have spent years working on this.
[00:20:35.370]And the beauty is this thing is collecting data.
[00:20:39.390]It can essentially notify our local partner
[00:20:42.090]if something changes, if a well breaks,
[00:20:45.000]our partner can dispatch a mechanic
[00:20:46.620]so the the people who lose access to water
[00:20:49.080]can immediately get water back.
[00:20:52.590]The really fun part is with that data,
[00:20:55.470]we're starting to see patterns
[00:20:57.660]so we can predict when a well is gonna break.
[00:21:00.540]We start to see overuse or diminishing water flow,
[00:21:04.320]and we can send a mechanic
[00:21:05.520]to check it out before it even breaks.
[00:21:08.610]So we're making progress in this.
[00:21:10.620]And then we can turn around and use this data
[00:21:14.250]as a form of proof for our supporters, right?
[00:21:16.800]One extra way that they can dig in
[00:21:18.690]and see how much water is flowing,
[00:21:20.730]how much water is being collected at the source,
[00:21:23.190]what times of day is water being used.
[00:21:27.930]So a lot of exciting stuff happening
[00:21:31.043]in the water side of the business.
[00:21:32.130]And we are a young organization.
[00:21:33.780]We've been around for 16 years.
[00:21:35.640]I am truly proud to say
[00:21:37.680]that we have served 15.5 million people.
[00:21:42.450]As of today,
[00:21:43.680]it's 111,000 water projects in 29 countries
[00:21:48.390]around the world.
[00:21:52.202]But it looks a little wimpy
[00:21:54.090]next to the 771 million people number.
[00:21:59.190]That's 2% of the problem.
[00:22:01.680]And we desperately want to go faster.
[00:22:04.560]We know how to go faster.
[00:22:06.630]We can scale every aspect of our work,
[00:22:09.600]and we're not the only ones working to solve this.
[00:22:11.580]So there are other water organizations around the world,
[00:22:14.760]some here in the room tonight
[00:22:16.980]who are helping to solve this problem.
[00:22:20.460]But there is another crisis that we face.
[00:22:26.640]About three weeks ago,
[00:22:27.660]I was in Nepal with the Charity:Water team
[00:22:32.070]and collecting stories about the impact of clean water.
[00:22:35.190]And we are in a really remote part of western Nepal.
[00:22:38.610]This incredibly mountainous community infrastructure
[00:22:43.020]The roads that we're using are not roads.
[00:22:45.180]It's hard to get anywhere and it's absolutely beautiful,
[00:22:50.070]but it's hard to imagine living in a place like this.
[00:22:53.190]And this is a community
[00:22:54.480]that doesn't have access to clean water.
[00:22:56.220]So we're talking to women and girls in particular
[00:22:58.140]about what that life looks like.
[00:23:01.080]We're meeting families
[00:23:02.670]who are walking to a local source, a natural spring.
[00:23:07.470]It's relatively clean water
[00:23:08.730]except it's flowing out of this like mosque covered rock.
[00:23:13.170]It looks like a scene from Indiana Jones.
[00:23:16.860]I think the harder part is the walk to get there.
[00:23:20.250]You're going elevation,
[00:23:22.200]that's maybe the height of three football fields,
[00:23:25.680]these narrow, slippery paths.
[00:23:27.990]And the women and children that we were talking to
[00:23:30.780]are making several trips a day,
[00:23:31.980]but they're also doing it in the middle of the night.
[00:23:34.140]They're getting up at three in the morning
[00:23:36.330]so that they can take care of all of the water duties
[00:23:39.120]before they start their chores for the day.
[00:23:41.250]So the people we talked to said
[00:23:43.165]we're spending four hours a day collecting water
[00:23:46.800]in a dry season.
[00:23:48.240]When that source is running really low,
[00:23:50.640]we might have to wait in line, we might spend eight hours.
[00:23:54.240]So it almost becomes a job.
[00:23:56.160]And it means that life is pretty simple.
[00:23:59.160]You have your chores,
[00:24:00.060]you have your water collection responsibility.
[00:24:03.030]You're doing a little bit of farming to feed your family,
[00:24:06.240]but it feels not that there's not technology,
[00:24:08.850]there's like some solar panels
[00:24:10.620]that are powering little radios and small lights.
[00:24:13.170]And every once in a while you'll see a TV
[00:24:14.640]in somebody's house,
[00:24:16.710]but it feels very far removed from the life that I lead
[00:24:20.520]or it did until I found out that everybody is on TikTok.
[00:24:27.630]This was a shocking moment
[00:24:29.670]that came at the end of an interview
[00:24:31.170]where an 18 year old girl named Samila said,
[00:24:33.817]"Hey, we should stay in touch on TikTok."
[00:24:35.790]And I thought, one, what?
[00:24:37.650]You have TikTok two, you have a smartphone.
[00:24:40.800]How is this happening?
[00:24:42.810]We got in the car on the way home,
[00:24:44.010]and this is all we could talk about.
[00:24:45.390]How do we live in a world where TikTok
[00:24:49.410]is reaching remote communities
[00:24:51.930]ahead of life's most basic need?
[00:24:54.540]What is wrong with us?
[00:24:57.810]This is not the first time
[00:24:59.100]I've experienced something like this.
[00:25:00.120]I was in Ethiopia,
[00:25:01.110]another really remote community
[00:25:03.390]that didn't have access to clean water,
[00:25:05.820]and they broke out a case of Coca-Cola.
[00:25:09.210]I thought, "Where the heck did you buy Coca-Cola?
[00:25:12.450]How are you having access to Coca-Cola
[00:25:14.490]and not clean drinking water?
[00:25:15.780]This is insane."
[00:25:18.390]I think it's relatively simple to me.
[00:25:21.780]We live in a world where many people
[00:25:24.840]are okay with prioritizing profit over people.
[00:25:29.610]It's an issue of prioritization,
[00:25:31.560]and it applies to all of us.
[00:25:32.610]It's not just big corporations.
[00:25:33.870]We get to choose how we spend our time and what we watch
[00:25:36.240]and what we pay attention to.
[00:25:39.000]It's just easier not to care.
[00:25:42.510]It's easier to not know.
[00:25:43.740]We would rather not know.
[00:25:46.260]I think the reality
[00:25:47.100]is the easiest thing we can do is nothing.
[00:25:52.650]You add in the fact that there's so much brokenness
[00:25:55.230]in the world right now.
[00:25:57.240]We almost become paralyzed by the amount of need.
[00:25:59.760]You've got famine and war,
[00:26:03.150]and droughts and climate crisis and refugee crisis
[00:26:06.120]and social justice crisis.
[00:26:09.360]So many things that you could care about that are competing
[00:26:12.210]for your attention or for your help.
[00:26:16.230]On top of that,
[00:26:17.063]we've never had more ways to distract ourselves.
[00:26:20.250]We have millions of options of other things
[00:26:22.410]that we could do,
[00:26:24.000]other places we could spend our time.
[00:26:27.180]And it becomes really easy to choose
[00:26:31.080]to watch British Bakeoff at the end of the day
[00:26:33.750]instead of learning more, caring more.
[00:26:39.000]I think it's a crisis of priority.
[00:26:44.970]So when I was thinking about this talk tonight,
[00:26:47.040]I felt like we couldn't talk
[00:26:48.570]about Charity:Water's creative approach
[00:26:53.010]to solving the water crisis
[00:26:54.900]in terms of research and development
[00:26:57.660]around remote sensors alone, right?
[00:27:00.270]To solve this problem for us,
[00:27:01.710]it's really about building trust and building connection
[00:27:06.930]and getting people to pay attention, getting people to care.
[00:27:12.930]This is actually the vision of the organization.
[00:27:14.910]When we began, we said, we want to do this differently.
[00:27:18.360]What does it look like to reinvent charity?
[00:27:21.090]To find a different way to connect people to the impact,
[00:27:24.030]to make it feel personal, to be transparent in new ways?
[00:27:30.390]How do we inspire a generation of young people
[00:27:32.820]to not just believe in generosity,
[00:27:35.580]but expect it from the world around them,
[00:27:37.890]from the businesses that they support
[00:27:39.750]and the companies that they work for?
[00:27:43.440]We knew this going in, and this is an old stat,
[00:27:45.930]I don't know what it is today,
[00:27:46.770]but 42% of Americans at the time didn't trust charity,
[00:27:50.610]and 70% of Americans didn't believe
[00:27:53.460]that charities were using the money wisely.
[00:27:57.390]So that was the initial problem that we set out to solve.
[00:28:00.510]We made two really foundational decisions in the beginning.
[00:28:03.120]One was that we would put 100% of public donations
[00:28:06.510]toward the water crisis.
[00:28:09.390]That means we would go find
[00:28:10.980]a separate group of private donors
[00:28:13.710]to support our operating cost,
[00:28:15.060]to pay for salaries and trips to the field and printer paper
[00:28:18.420]and WiFi and anything else
[00:28:20.880]so that we could maintain this promise on the other side.
[00:28:23.400]That 100% of donations will always help bring water
[00:28:28.830]to people who need it.
[00:28:31.380]The other promise
[00:28:32.550]was that we would prove every single project.
[00:28:35.100]This gets a lot harder to scale
[00:28:36.810]when you get to 111,000 projects,
[00:28:39.690]but we still do this today.
[00:28:41.400]On our website,
[00:28:42.930]we have a map with photos and GPS coordinates
[00:28:46.770]of every single project.
[00:28:48.870]And so if you fund a project,
[00:28:50.430]you can go see what your impact looks like.
[00:28:53.040]If there's sensor data, your data is within here,
[00:28:55.710]but you know that you have actually contributed
[00:28:58.981]a water project in a community that needed it.
[00:29:04.650]However, it's not just about trust, right?
[00:29:07.440]The trust piece doesn't matter
[00:29:10.020]if you're not paying attention.
[00:29:11.730]And that's another big challenge for my team in particular,
[00:29:14.460]is thinking about how do we get you to care?
[00:29:17.460]How do we get you to stop in your tracks?
[00:29:19.620]And pause and think about this for a second.
[00:29:22.350]For us, it's about ads that make you take pause, right?
[00:29:27.900]That tell a story, even if it's as simple as water changes,
[00:29:31.350]everything challenges your perspective a little bit.
[00:29:35.310]Years ago, we filmed a public service announcement
[00:29:38.490]with Jennifer Conley,
[00:29:39.360]where she and her family leave their Manhattan home
[00:29:42.900]with a Jerry can and make this long trip up to Central Park
[00:29:47.490]to collect dirty water from the pond.
[00:29:51.000]Just an effort to make real for people
[00:29:53.370]what it would look like
[00:29:54.570]if we didn't have water that came out of a sink
[00:29:57.632]or a refrigerator.
[00:29:59.820]We've created virtual reality films
[00:30:02.250]that we've taken on tours around the country.
[00:30:06.480]In malls, this is a one in New York City down in Tribeca.
[00:30:10.830]But essentially we set up these pods
[00:30:12.690]where anybody could come watch this virtual reality film
[00:30:15.720]and unlock a donation from a donor.
[00:30:18.300]So we're almost incentivizing you to pay attention to care,
[00:30:23.160]to watch this and learn more.
[00:30:25.710]And then unlocking clean water for thousands of people.
[00:30:29.400]We've tried bigger stunts,
[00:30:31.500]setting up water walks where people can come,
[00:30:34.500]experience what it's like to pick up 40 or 80 pounds
[00:30:37.410]of water and walk a short distance just to try
[00:30:40.470]to understand truly what women and children
[00:30:43.530]are doing every day.
[00:30:44.730]We've done this in Times Square.
[00:30:46.470]We've done it at big events and trade shows.
[00:30:50.460]This year we launched a mobile game,
[00:30:54.360]we partnered with a company called Frosty Pop
[00:30:57.600]to create a game called, "This is a True Story."
[00:31:00.210]And it is one woman's morning journey from her home
[00:31:05.100]to her water source to collect dirty water.
[00:31:07.257]And it's filled with these mini games
[00:31:09.360]and it's really clever and creative,
[00:31:12.480]but it's about a 45 minute experience,
[00:31:15.000]and it is meant to match the walk that many women makes.
[00:31:18.510]You're going through this painfully long game experience,
[00:31:22.620]but also getting to get a sense of,
[00:31:24.390]oh, I understand how much time this really is,
[00:31:29.160]and it's called, "This is a True Story"
[00:31:30.600]because it's rooted in the reality
[00:31:33.360]that we've seen a lot of the narrative
[00:31:34.920]and the quotes in the game come from the people
[00:31:37.950]that we've met around the world.
[00:31:41.340]One more example here, one of my favorites.
[00:31:43.380]This was a few years ago at a gala.
[00:31:45.870]We thought, we're gonna have 400 people together
[00:31:47.850]at the Metropolitan Museum of Art.
[00:31:49.890]Let's try to find a way to give them an experience
[00:31:52.770]that feels different than any gala
[00:31:54.060]that they've ever been to.
[00:31:54.960]What if they could arrive
[00:31:56.670]and every single person
[00:31:57.870]could be connected with a different story?
[00:32:00.960]And that's what we set out to do.
[00:32:01.860]We spent two weeks in Ethiopia and interviewed 407 people,
[00:32:05.730]everybody over the age of four,
[00:32:08.160]and put together all these different stories
[00:32:10.860]and then put 'em on iPads around the room.
[00:32:12.360]So you arrived and there was an iPad waiting for you.
[00:32:15.900]Dean Veil is here on behalf of a donne.
[00:32:18.420]We tried to be really thoughtful about connecting couples
[00:32:21.960]that we knew were gonna be at the event
[00:32:23.580]with couples that we met in this community in Ethiopia,
[00:32:26.340]expecting mothers with expecting mothers,
[00:32:28.980]and make this experience feel really real.
[00:32:33.180]And then we gave everybody a chance to donate $30
[00:32:35.760]to bring clean water to that person in real time.
[00:32:39.000]And then surprised them.
[00:32:40.020]In anticipation of their generosity,
[00:32:41.730]we sent a drilling rig into a tote and had a team waiting
[00:32:46.560]so that both sides of this party
[00:32:49.260]could witness this celebration,
[00:32:51.540]this incredible moment together.
[00:32:54.270]We thought, how can we waste an opportunity
[00:32:57.180]to use this content?
[00:32:58.800]We have to find other ways to make this personal for people.
[00:33:02.130]These stories are so rich and compelling, and we said,
[00:33:05.227]"What if we made a quiz,
[00:33:07.350]a really simple quiz and put it on our website
[00:33:09.780]and gave anybody a chance
[00:33:11.040]to find someone like them in this community?"
[00:33:13.950]I think this is still live today
[00:33:16.920]if you're interested in checking it out.
[00:33:18.660]But there are three simple questions.
[00:33:20.100]One, how old are you?
[00:33:21.600]'Cause we wanna put you somebody near your age.
[00:33:25.140]How do you like to spend your free time,
[00:33:26.700]choose all the things that apply,
[00:33:29.430]and then what is the most important thing to you
[00:33:32.100]in your life?
[00:33:33.960]And then we literally connect you
[00:33:35.250]with the one person in this community
[00:33:37.350]based on this group of 400,
[00:33:39.810]whose life is most similar to yours.
[00:33:42.180]So you get the perspective of what it would look like
[00:33:45.136]to live in this community without access to clean water.
[00:33:47.640]And the powerful part, the feedback that we got was not oh,
[00:33:52.500]so cool to be connected to a unique story.
[00:33:54.660]It was the shock in how similar we are,
[00:33:59.070]how much our lives are the same.
[00:34:01.740]You have young kids who remind me of my young kids
[00:34:04.770]or my young cousins,
[00:34:05.700]people that I know who wanna be engineers.
[00:34:10.770]You have moms who are worrying about their children's future
[00:34:14.760]in the same way that we are,
[00:34:17.070]a widow who is recently found new love,
[00:34:21.690]someone who just had a business idea
[00:34:24.180]that they're gonna try to get off the ground.
[00:34:28.140]I think the powerful takeaway
[00:34:30.120]for that project in particular
[00:34:32.820]is that that sense of relatability
[00:34:35.190]eliminates the distance in between.
[00:34:37.920]We can take this thing that is so far away
[00:34:39.780]and seemingly so foreign and make it feel close
[00:34:42.840]and so much more important.
[00:34:46.770]The other side of this,
[00:34:48.900]you can't just inspire people to care.
[00:34:51.150]You also have to find ways to give people space
[00:34:55.650]to take action.
[00:34:56.490]And the more personal that can be,
[00:34:59.790]the stronger the experience.
[00:35:01.740]And we've spent a lot of time
[00:35:03.000]thinking about how do we innovate in this space.
[00:35:06.450]One of my favorite things that we're doing
[00:35:08.970]is a monthly giving program
[00:35:10.170]that we treat like a subscription program.
[00:35:12.870]You have a lot of nonprofits who say,
[00:35:15.037]"Yeah, just make it an extra button on the donation page.
[00:35:18.450]Make mine a recurring gift."
[00:35:20.700]And it feels passive.
[00:35:22.170]Or monthly giving programs where nobody ever talks to you
[00:35:25.050]because they don't wanna remind you
[00:35:26.220]that you're giving every month.
[00:35:27.420]We said, "No, we wanna create a subscription
[00:35:31.470]that's working toward the world you believe in.
[00:35:33.630]If you believe in this thing with us,
[00:35:36.030]come put your thumbprint on a piece of paper and say,
[00:35:38.970]'I believe that this matters.'
[00:35:41.100]And then join this community of people
[00:35:43.110]who are gonna keep giving every single month
[00:35:45.900]until we solve this problem.
[00:35:48.510]So that on that day,
[00:35:50.130]when we get to celebrate everybody on the planet
[00:35:53.010]having access to clean water, I get to stand up and say,
[00:35:55.897]"I've been a part of that since 2016."
[00:36:00.120]As a subscription product,
[00:36:01.410]we're trying to create value through content,
[00:36:05.070]connecting people to sort of these behind the scene moments
[00:36:08.610]and our team and our partner teams
[00:36:10.200]that make you feel like you're part of Charity:Water
[00:36:12.840]as an organization,
[00:36:13.920]we're providing storytelling.
[00:36:16.380]Dean Veil mentioned the journey,
[00:36:17.730]which is a series that we make
[00:36:19.140]where we take you to different countries,
[00:36:21.300]not just to talk about the need and the impact of our work,
[00:36:24.540]but to introduce you to the people that you're serving,
[00:36:27.840]introduce you to a different culture, a different lifestyle.
[00:36:30.390]And again, bridge the gap to some of the things
[00:36:33.210]that make us all the same.
[00:36:36.420]We found more specific ways
[00:36:39.120]to engage with niche communities.
[00:36:42.300]This was from last year,
[00:36:43.680]but this is a trust that we launched for Bitcoin fans.
[00:36:48.780]Maybe you know some Bitcoin fans,
[00:36:50.370]and this is relatable to you,
[00:36:52.290]but Bitcoin holders believe it's called hurdle,
[00:36:56.640]but it's hold on for dear life.
[00:36:57.960]So the theory is the value Bitcoin is only gonna go up.
[00:37:01.170]Charity:Water is an organization.
[00:37:02.490]When we receive a crypto donation,
[00:37:04.980]we instantly convert it to cash
[00:37:07.260]to eliminate any risk of loss,
[00:37:08.880]and then we invest that money in the work that we're doing.
[00:37:12.600]Bitcoin holders had come to us and said,
[00:37:14.257]"I wanna give, but it's gonna be worth more money later."
[00:37:18.180]And we said, "Well, how about we believe what you believe?
[00:37:21.630]We'll create this trust and we'll all hold on together.
[00:37:26.280]We'll hold on until 2025
[00:37:28.200]and we'll see how much this money grows
[00:37:31.260]and we can reevaluate,
[00:37:32.280]maybe we keep holding, maybe we sell it."
[00:37:35.010]So we got a Bitcoin community really excited
[00:37:37.350]about giving in a different way
[00:37:38.550]because it felt like something that nobody else was doing.
[00:37:42.750]We've done the same in the streamer community,
[00:37:44.940]finding people who are playing games
[00:37:47.610]or doing video content, raising money online and said,
[00:37:51.787]"How do we create a campaign
[00:37:52.980]that is built specifically for them
[00:37:54.690]that is going to give them the space
[00:37:56.280]to take ownership over a story?"
[00:37:58.650]Take Charity:Water out of the story,
[00:38:01.290]make it about our partners in Zimbabwe.
[00:38:04.050]So you have dozens of streamers
[00:38:06.420]who are talking about our work in Zimbabwe
[00:38:09.930]like they're responsible for it,
[00:38:11.640]but you transfer ownership of the story when you do that.
[00:38:16.050]This past weekend was the New York City marathon.
[00:38:18.960]We had a small community of people
[00:38:20.280]who are raising money and raising awareness,
[00:38:22.260]sporting these amazing, yellow shirts that I'm loving.
[00:38:25.710]But it is really about finding ways
[00:38:28.470]to give people action within the part of their lives
[00:38:33.690]that are already important to them, right?
[00:38:35.700]You tie this purpose together.
[00:38:38.640]We think about it with brand partnerships.
[00:38:40.530]For a long time,
[00:38:42.000]the thought was a brand partner
[00:38:44.280]is a company who's gonna come in
[00:38:45.630]and drop a million dollar donation.
[00:38:48.570]I think there's so much more opportunity
[00:38:50.280]for us to connect with an Aveda and say,
[00:38:53.167]"How do we build a product together
[00:38:56.460]that represents clean water?"
[00:38:59.220]Clean water is the number one ingredient
[00:39:00.780]in most of their products.
[00:39:02.730]It's a perfect narrative.
[00:39:03.810]And now in addition to this product
[00:39:05.700]raising money for Charity Water,
[00:39:06.840]it's also spreading the word and we're building an audience
[00:39:10.290]through their audience.
[00:39:12.270]We've done the same with Away, their Luggage company,
[00:39:15.750]co-branding, a beautiful bag that was inspired
[00:39:18.540]by the textiles and the people that we met in Mali,
[00:39:22.170]in Western Africa.
[00:39:25.980]And then we recently launched a new project
[00:39:28.620]called "The Drop,"
[00:39:30.300]which is about taking small businesses
[00:39:32.820]and creating really small batches of products,
[00:39:37.170]co-branded products, limited edition,
[00:39:39.780]and trying to build a little bit of hype
[00:39:41.850]around these countdowns
[00:39:43.350]and people trying to get access to it.
[00:39:46.452]So gin, sunglasses, socks, whatever it is.
[00:39:48.630]But it gives the non-evaders,
[00:39:50.400]the smaller brands of the world,
[00:39:51.750]a way to partake in these co-branded project.
[00:39:56.400]This keeps going down the line to entrepreneurs,
[00:39:59.820]people who maybe aren't official businesses,
[00:40:01.890]but Jen out in Bend, Oregon is taking these coffee sacks
[00:40:06.720]from her local coffee shop
[00:40:08.160]and repurposing them into tote bags and selling them
[00:40:11.550]and sending a portion of proceeds to Charity:Water.
[00:40:14.490]But she's made Charity:Water part of her story.
[00:40:17.040]Kayla, a friend of the organization,
[00:40:19.830]a baker in North Dakota,
[00:40:22.140]is using her company and giving portions of her proceeds
[00:40:27.690]They get younger and younger.
[00:40:29.310]Josiah started a recycling business
[00:40:31.950]where he moves around town collecting cans
[00:40:34.080]from his neighbors,
[00:40:35.610]takes all that money in and sends a small portion
[00:40:40.200]Cassette started selling paintings at the age of four.
[00:40:44.580]She loved to paint and she said,
[00:40:45.787]"How do I do this in a way that's gonna be meaningful?"
[00:40:49.350]And her family talked about water
[00:40:50.850]and she decided
[00:40:51.750]that that's how she would support Charity:Water.
[00:40:53.790]London is using her YouTube channel,
[00:40:57.150]talking to 470 something followers about the water crisis.
[00:41:02.610]Mattie committed to a summer of selling Lemonade,
[00:41:06.300]rain or shine, brought in local music talent,
[00:41:09.870]was out there every weekend raising money for Charity:Water.
[00:41:13.650]I think the powerful piece here
[00:41:15.630]is when we find a way to make that story powerful
[00:41:19.890]or relevant to other people, to give them ownership over it,
[00:41:23.610]it becomes contagious.
[00:41:25.800]Not just to their own communities
[00:41:28.380]and the people around them, but to everybody.
[00:41:31.230]And I'll give you one last story here.
[00:41:33.750]There was one of my favorite moments
[00:41:36.360]in my time at Charity:Water,
[00:41:37.710]this little girl named Nora
[00:41:39.960]sent in an envelope to the organization.
[00:41:43.110]This little note that said,
[00:41:43.957]"I saw your video in my dad's phone.
[00:41:45.720]I don't want people to die from dirty water,"
[00:41:48.390]and included a donation, well beyond a donation.
[00:41:51.480]She included a drawing of herself
[00:41:53.010]delivering a basket of money,
[00:41:55.110]a first grade photo, which was very thoughtful.
[00:41:58.410]And then her donation, which was a $5 bill, a $2 bill,
[00:42:03.330]a $1 bill, a dime and a nickel, was $8.15.
[00:42:09.270]We get cute donations in the mail all the time,
[00:42:11.700]but there was a moment where we were like,
[00:42:13.417]"Why did she include the nickel?"
[00:42:15.660]There had to be a moment where she thought,
[00:42:18.397]"Do they need the nickel?
[00:42:20.730]I think they need the nickel."
[00:42:23.190]And we felt like we had to go meet Nora
[00:42:25.950]and ask her questions and hear her story.
[00:42:28.920]So we did, I had the privilege of going down
[00:42:31.770]and shooting this video with her.
[00:42:33.900]I'm gonna play for you real quick.
[00:42:38.190]Dear Charity:Water, I saw your video on my dad's iPhone.
[00:42:43.530]I decided to give some of my money I have earned
[00:42:47.280]to give clean water to people who need clean water.
[00:42:50.760]I do not want people to die because of water.
[00:42:54.037]Love, Nora Shauna Jackson, age six, first grade.
[00:42:59.520]Nora doesn't see differences in people.
[00:43:01.920]And from a very early age,
[00:43:05.370]she's been very social and wants to be in on the action.
[00:43:09.750]Nora's full of life and full of love.
[00:43:13.320]She wants to help people and animals,
[00:43:17.190]and she also wants to live life to the fullest.
[00:43:22.110]So this is the guy that works with Charity:Water
[00:43:25.800]that I saw in the video.
[00:43:26.880]And then this is me and I'm holding a basket full of money.
[00:43:31.020]And then these are cups, and then this is water.
[00:43:34.813]I think it was my brother actually shared on Facebook
[00:43:37.560]the video that tells the story,
[00:43:41.070]of the founder and his story
[00:43:43.950]and why he started Charity:Water
[00:43:45.360]and what makes Charity:Water different.
[00:43:47.850]She was really affected by seeing the little girls
[00:43:50.910]carrying the cans and especially she was affected
[00:43:54.480]by the thought that women were breaking their backs,
[00:43:57.990]getting dirty water.
[00:43:59.520]I think it's really bad to live with bad water.
[00:44:06.060]Charity:Water has been traveling around the whole world
[00:44:08.760]to make wells and give people access to clean water.
[00:44:20.820]When I heard that we could maybe donate some of our money,
[00:44:23.550]I wanted to donate some of my money.
[00:44:25.350]So one night I actually made that decision sitting in my bed
[00:44:29.730]before I fell asleep.
[00:44:30.630]And I was like, "Should I,
[00:44:32.280]or should I keep my money or should I give some away?"
[00:44:35.640]So then I was like, "I think I should give some away."
[00:44:38.070]And the following morning,
[00:44:39.720]Nora came out breakfast and had her little wallet with her,
[00:44:44.580]and she pulled out money and set it on the counter.
[00:44:49.230]And she said, "This is what I wanna give to Charity:Water."
[00:44:58.236]If everybody gave $8.15,
[00:45:01.890]there would probably be more than 1000 wells
[00:45:07.110]in India, Ethiopia.
[00:45:10.838]A small act can mean the world to someone else.
[00:45:14.730]I gave $8.15 because I wanted people to stop dying.
[00:45:33.870]What if you gave $8.15 too?
[00:45:45.120]So, excuse me,
[00:45:46.350]we turned around and shared Nora's story
[00:45:48.990]on World Water Day that year
[00:45:51.720]and simply ask people
[00:45:53.100]to believe the thing that Nora believed,
[00:45:56.880]which is that $8.15 would matter.
[00:46:01.590]And we said, if everybody can give $8.15,
[00:46:04.710]let's show Nora how far this donation can go
[00:46:08.610]and how big it really can be.
[00:46:11.280]It was the most one time donations we've ever received
[00:46:15.840]in a day.
[00:46:17.201]We broke all kinds of records.
[00:46:18.263]It was twice as many donations.
[00:46:19.590]3,600 people gave, like Nora,
[00:46:22.710]and we had this pre-filled donation form on the page
[00:46:26.190]inviting you to give $8.15.
[00:46:28.140]People were changing this donation form to $80.15,
[00:46:35.310]One woman gave $15,000, and just sent a note that said,
[00:46:38.827]"I am so inspired by this young girl's heart."
[00:46:48.030]When I started at Charity:Water almost a decade ago,
[00:46:51.810]the water crisis,
[00:46:53.040]the number of people without access to clean water
[00:46:55.500]was 1.1 billion.
[00:46:57.930]So please hear me say that the world is getting better,
[00:47:01.890]that we can do this in our lifetime,
[00:47:05.310]but we get to choose how quickly we get there.
[00:47:12.150]Right now in Nepal, gosh, I'm not good at the math,
[00:47:15.810]I wanna say it's maybe 6:15 in the morning.
[00:47:20.160]And a woman named Bal Kumari just got outta bed
[00:47:25.260]after decades of getting up at three in the morning
[00:47:30.000]and making multiple trips in the dark
[00:47:31.860]to go collect water for her family.
[00:47:34.650]She now has clean water right at home.
[00:47:38.220]She was quite proud of the fact
[00:47:39.780]that she gets to sleep in every single day.
[00:47:43.950]In Madagascar, a woman named Anna Reene this morning,
[00:47:48.330]is not worrying about where she's gonna get her water
[00:47:52.350]or how much she's gonna have or how she's gonna use it.
[00:47:54.870]She's worried about how many customers
[00:47:56.880]are gonna show up at a restaurant.
[00:47:59.730]Anna Reene got access to clean water years ago
[00:48:02.730]and took her time, that extra time
[00:48:06.690]and started putting her money into a business
[00:48:10.113]that has grown into a restaurant.
[00:48:11.940]She feeds people in the community.
[00:48:13.650]She has the most popular donuts in her community,
[00:48:16.590]and I tasted them, I approved.
[00:48:21.090]In Ethiopia, there are kids who are studying for an exam
[00:48:26.100]that will get them into secondary school
[00:48:28.650]so that they can go on to college
[00:48:30.690]and have experiences like many of you are having right now.
[00:48:36.510]This could be the reality
[00:48:38.970]for every single person on the planet.
[00:48:41.910]Millions of women and kids
[00:48:45.570]getting to choose how they spend their time
[00:48:49.140]and who they become.
[00:48:51.900]The impact of clean water is foundational, right?
[00:48:55.680]It begins instantly with better health and more time.
[00:49:00.030]You use that time to create new opportunities.
[00:49:02.700]You go to school, you earn some income.
[00:49:05.340]As people start to earn income and spend more money,
[00:49:08.130]the local economy improves.
[00:49:11.100]People start coming out of their way
[00:49:12.750]to visit your community.
[00:49:13.950]You start building shops around the community.
[00:49:17.220]All this traffic creates demand for better roads.
[00:49:20.310]Suddenly, your infrastructure's improving.
[00:49:23.040]Better roads mean
[00:49:24.775]that you can bring better building materials in
[00:49:26.910]and your homes get better.
[00:49:29.100]Suddenly you have electricity, WiFi, maybe TikTok,
[00:49:33.630]but the impact is transformational and exponential.
[00:49:39.540]And this is our opportunity in our lifetime.
[00:49:45.116]We can be a part of the group of people
[00:49:48.900]who literally in this problem,
[00:49:50.640]we can write this wrong and make this whole thing go away.
[00:49:58.770]But it means that we have to care.
[00:50:02.730]It means that we have to prioritize generosity and kindness
[00:50:08.820]and finding ways to make it part of our lives.
[00:50:15.660]I hope you leave here tonight,
[00:50:19.083]feeling inspired to help us solve the water crisis.
[00:50:23.310]But more than anything, more importantly,
[00:50:25.440]I would hope that you leave here tonight
[00:50:27.000]feeling like you have to help solve the other crisis,
[00:50:30.810]this crisis of priority.
[00:50:32.460]Because if we cannot fix that,
[00:50:34.800]we can't solve any of these other problems.
[00:50:38.820]I think Nora would agree that the craziest thing
[00:50:43.710]that we can do is absolutely nothing.
[00:50:48.870]Thank you, guys.
[00:51:06.060]Thank you, Tyler,
[00:51:07.080]for sharing your creative solutions
[00:51:09.150]to solving global challenges and for harnessing the passion
[00:51:13.499]of wanting to make a difference
[00:51:16.050]for everyone at Charity"Water.
[00:51:18.510]To our audience as we go into Q and A,
[00:51:21.360]you can ask your questions on your phone
[00:51:23.640]by texting to ENT918, or by texting ENT 918 to 22333,
[00:51:33.150]or by going to pollev.com/ent918
[00:51:39.840]on a computer or browser.
[00:51:44.550]So first question, Tyler, as we've come through
[00:51:49.200]as we're now dealing with climate change
[00:51:51.720]and there is less access to water for some countries.
[00:51:56.550]How is Charity:Water working to find solutions
[00:51:59.580]to that challenge?
[00:52:00.840]Oh gosh, coming outta the gate swinging, huh?
[00:52:04.500]I was talking to some students about this earlier today.
[00:52:06.870]I think it's a problem that we are not addressing
[00:52:10.140]in a really significant or comprehensive way yet.
[00:52:14.550]A lot of the places where we're working,
[00:52:18.750]it's about access to water and the communities
[00:52:21.630]are really using small amounts of water
[00:52:24.690]in comparison to what's happening in the rest of the world.
[00:52:27.840]I think ultimately we're gonna have to get involved
[00:52:31.500]in a research and development side of the solution
[00:52:35.580]that's thinking about harvesting rain water
[00:52:38.520]or pulling water out of the air,
[00:52:42.090]trying to turn sea water into drinkable water.
[00:52:45.660]I think there's a lot of creativity needed
[00:52:48.090]in solving that problem,
[00:52:49.530]but I'm sad to say we're not working on that problem yet.
[00:52:56.460]Is there a projected year or timeline
[00:53:00.900]when you believe we will get to the point
[00:53:03.690]of having clean water for all?
[00:53:08.790]You guys really coming for me.
[00:53:13.124]The sustainable development goal around access to water,
[00:53:17.520]I think says 2030.
[00:53:19.860]That does not feel possible to me.
[00:53:21.750]I think Charity:Water's in a position to do so much more.
[00:53:27.750]But truly, 2% of the problem is just not enough.
[00:53:34.380]I think it's gonna take a lot of money and a lot of care,
[00:53:38.490]a lot of people feeling more invested
[00:53:40.440]if we're gonna make that a reality.
[00:53:44.651]there are so many people that are working on this problem
[00:53:45.484]and solving it in different ways.
[00:53:48.900]But I think it's possible in our lifetime,
[00:53:50.820]but I think it's further than that.
[00:53:52.740]I don't wanna commit to a number.
[00:53:55.650]Okay, thanks Dean.
[00:53:59.340]So as you consider this challenge
[00:54:01.620]and all of the people who could contribute personally,
[00:54:05.400]do you still need the political will to make it happen?
[00:54:09.810]And how are you engaging in that action?
[00:54:13.530]We're really not, I don't think that we need it.
[00:54:15.673]I think it could be helpful,
[00:54:17.550]but politics have a way of complicating things.
[00:54:20.280]I think there's more power in these local organizations
[00:54:24.900]leading the way.
[00:54:25.733]It's a matter of funding, obviously,
[00:54:28.350]like vetting and finding the right organizations.
[00:54:30.270]But it's a matter of getting the money
[00:54:32.550]in the hands of those organizations,
[00:54:34.290]not trying to muddy it with politics.
[00:54:36.870]In my opinion, these opinions are my own.
[00:54:39.240]I feel like I need a disclaimer.
[00:54:42.450]What was the moment in your life
[00:54:44.280]that made you realize how big of a problem
[00:54:47.400]the water crisis really is?
[00:54:49.740]Hmm, I think there was an early trip for me,
[00:54:56.100]it's just hard to imagine, right?
[00:54:57.930]Like most of us have never, ever had to get water anywhere
[00:55:00.900]other than a sink or a refrigerator.
[00:55:04.080]For me, being in Ethiopia or Cambodia,
[00:55:08.010]early on in my time at Charity:Water,
[00:55:11.340]I had seen so much footage of people collecting water
[00:55:14.460]and water that is truly green and brown and orange and red.
[00:55:19.410]But seen, there was a young girl named Terik,
[00:55:22.080]who I remember I watched her take a drink of that water
[00:55:25.620]and it felt like I wouldn't give that water
[00:55:27.630]to anybody I know, I wouldn't give it to a pet.
[00:55:31.500]That moment felt really real to me.
[00:55:34.800]It was as simple as that.
[00:55:37.740]So kind of tied to that,
[00:55:39.488]the question was how did you access clean water
[00:55:43.080]when you were traveling to these countries?
[00:55:44.820]Well, it's tricky, we have a lot of bottled water.
[00:55:48.960]We'll bring like big bottles and refillable bottles
[00:55:52.020]so we can keep ourselves with safe water
[00:55:57.030]for teeth brushing and all kinds of stuff.
[00:55:58.890]But the tricky part is,
[00:56:01.620]so much of my job going into communities
[00:56:03.480]is about building trust and relationship with people.
[00:56:05.850]And inevitably somebody's like,
[00:56:07.147]"Hey, I made some more milk."
[00:56:09.570]And you're like, "How did you wash those cups?"
[00:56:12.540]But you also have an obligation as a guest,
[00:56:14.820]at least in my opinion, to have some more milk.
[00:56:17.520]And it leads to a lot of complicated bathroom activities.
[00:56:25.320]One more question here.
[00:56:26.340]Did you have to learn multiple languages
[00:56:30.060]to travel to these various countries and help people,
[00:56:32.490]or did you work with interpreters?
[00:56:34.440]How did you engage with the individuals there?
[00:56:37.140]Yeah, I think that's part of the benefit
[00:56:39.390]of having local partners that were traveling with,
[00:56:42.600]they do so much work in advance of our trips
[00:56:45.150]going into communities and setting expectations.
[00:56:47.820]And then we have a day of relationship building
[00:56:51.030]when we arrive.
[00:56:52.380]But our partners serve as translators when we need to.
[00:56:56.448]We'll bring in professional translators
[00:56:57.630]if we're shooting something
[00:56:58.650]that feels more like a documentary.
[00:57:00.030]But for the most part,
[00:57:01.568]our partners serve translators partners for us
[00:57:04.980]as like a creative team for the entire trip,
[00:57:07.860]we truly couldn't do it without them.
[00:57:11.520]What can we do from Nebraska to help?
[00:57:16.004]Every single one of you can do something,
[00:57:21.270]I think it is to the presentations point,
[00:57:24.420]finding the place that it matters most to you.
[00:57:26.700]It's gonna continue to matter in your life.
[00:57:28.620]I would love to ask you to join the Spring
[00:57:32.280]as a subscription service so you can continue to be reminded
[00:57:36.690]of your impact and feel like you're connected
[00:57:39.240]and plugged into the organization.
[00:57:42.510]But I would encourage you to pick the thing
[00:57:45.750]that makes the most sense for you.
[00:57:46.860]If it's a matter of writing Charity:Water into your will
[00:57:50.130]and thinking about your future legacy.
[00:57:51.960]If it's about sponsoring a project
[00:57:54.360]and choosing which country your money goes to,
[00:57:58.920]if it's about selling lemonade in the rain.
[00:58:02.700]But you can go to charitywater.org
[00:58:04.020]and learn all about the different ways
[00:58:06.120]to give or get involved.
[00:58:09.240]Please join me in thanking Tyler Riewer.
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