Sasha Kramer: Poop to the Rescue for Eroding Soil & Healthy, Dignified Livelihoods [Ep. 91]

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If you only have two minutes, click here for a highlight from the interview.

Dr. Sasha Kramer is the Co-Founder and Executive Director of Sustainable Organic Integrated Livelihoods (SOIL). Dr. Kramer is an ecologist and human rights advocate who has been living and working in Haiti since 2004. She received her Ph.D. in Ecology from Stanford University in 2006 and co-founded SOIL that same year. SOIL is a non-profit that uses ecological principles to address the basic human rights issues of sanitation, food and access to a healthy environment. SOIL’s current work focuses on developing social business models for the provision of household sanitation in vulnerable urban communities in Haiti. While Sasha spends the majority of her time living and working in Haiti, she is also a global advocate for the recycling of nutrients in human waste, helping others implement sustainable sanitation projects and inspiring people around the world to participate in the sanitation revolution. Dr. Kramer has been recognized as a National Geographic Emerging Explorer, an Architect of the Future with the Waldzell Institute, a Schwab Foundation Social Entrepreneur of the Year and an Ashoka Fellow.


Some highlights from Erin’s interview with Sasha include:

  • Taking a public health problem and transforming it into an environmental solution and, in the process, creating livelihood opportunities in the sanitation sector with a mix of both private and public sector support rather than taking the traditional humanitarian aid approach

  • SOIL’s pilot project designing and modeling a replicable sustainable financial model after experiencing hard learned lesson transcending the assumption that exists across the sanitation sector and development sector in general, that if you introduce the technologies or infrastructure to solve a problem, the ongoing maintenance will take care of itself or be done by volunteers

  • Why composting human waste and soil fertility is an important solution in the face of climate change

  • The challenges in creating a financial model around something like sanitation that should be a basic human right and how SOIL has navigated those challenges







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Erin Axelrod is a Partner at LIFT Economy, helping to accelerate the spread of climate-beneficial businesses, specializing in businesses that address critical soil and water regeneration. She is an avid ecologist, grassroots organizer and regularly forages for wild food in her home in rural Sonoma County. LIFT Economy is an impact consulting firm whose mission is to create, model, and share a locally self-reliant economy that works for the benefit of all life. You can follow Erin on Twitter @erinaxelrod or email her