The Ripple Effect: Clean Water Programs that Inspire Long-Term Behavior Change

Event Description

The Seattle region is known for innovation and we are leaders in implementing technology to address pressing problems in developing countries such as water and sanitation. But technology alone will not solve the situation of 783 million people who lack access to clean water. Introducing new and appropriate solutions that inspire behavior change to improve health and sanitation will be required to achieve the global goal of universal access to improved drinking water by 2030. Join us for a discussion with non-profit and for-profit members of Global Washington to hear about success and failures in creating sustained clean water systems in developing countries.


Charlie Matlack
CEO & Co-Founder, PotaVida

Charlie is the technical architect of PotaVida’s Smart Solar Purifier. He led the effort that garnered a $40,000 prize in a design competition for its original concept and conducted PotaVida’s recent field trial in Uganda. He has a BS in engineering from Harvey Mudd College and a Ph.D. in electrical engineering from the University of Washington. His dissertation work was on novel interfaces for enabling individuals to control prosthetics and computers using individual neurons in the brain. He is an entrepreneur who understands how to leverage for-profit business and technology development models to provide market-based solutions to the developing world.


Marla Smith-Nilson
Founder and Executive Director, Water1st

A respected leader in the water sector, Marla is a civil engineer who brings 25 years of hands-on field experience with water supply and sanitation projects in developing countries. Prior to founding Water 1st, she was a Co-Founder and Director at WaterPartners International (now From 1992-2005, Marla oversaw the evaluation and monitoring of all aspects of WaterPartners-supported partner organizations and community water projects in developing countries. In her career, she has overseen the implementation of over 200 community water projects in Latin America, Asia and Africa benefiting 200,000 people.


Eric Stowe
Founder and Director, Splash

Eric Stowe is the Founder and CEO of Splash, a nonprofit organization that’s bringing safe water, sanitation, and hygiene (WASH) programs to over 400,000 children living in urban poverty across Asia and Africa every day. Since 2007, Mr. Stowe’s NGO has been spearheading a new model for international development—one that challenges the way the WASH sector thinks about transparency, philanthropy, collaboration and impact. Mr. Stowe’s ideas have been shared through publications in the Stanford Social Innovation Review, Forbes, CS Monitor, Wired, and more. Today, Mr. Stowe manages his growing organization of 70+ international staff from Seattle, Washington.


Patty_Russell_480_0Patty Russell
Managing Director, FSG

Patty Russell has more than 12 years of experience advising corporations, private foundations, and nonprofit organizations on strategy, program design, evaluation, and operational improvement. Patty is part of FSG’s Leadership Team and leads the Catalytic Philanthropy approach area. She has led a variety of engagements at FSG, including projects focused on global health, evaluation, CSR, shared value, and community-based philanthropy. Prior to joining FSG, Patty worked on evaluation and strategy projects as a manager of business planning at Biogen Idec, a Boston-based biotechnology firm. She has worked significantly in the nonprofit sector, from developing patient healthcare improvement initiatives at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center in Boston to supporting programmatic strategies at the Salzburg Global Seminar in Austria.

Open to all

Global Washington
Westlake Tower
1601 Fifth Ave, Suite 1900
Seattle, WA 98101

Monday, March 27
3:00pm – 4:30pm
(Doors Open at 2:30pm)

Members: $10
Non-Members: $20
Email for member code.

Event Details


Global Washington Office

March 27, 2017

3:00pm - 4:30pm

Westlake Tower, 1600 Fifth Ave, Suite 1900
Seattle WA 98101

Members: $10
Non-Members: $20

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