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Fundación MAPFRE Social Innovation Awards Names US-based “iThrone” Winner at Global Competition

BOSTON–Fundación MAPFRE, a global non-profit created by MAPFRE, announced the winners of its annual Social Innovation Awards at the competition’s finale held at the Reina Sofia Museum in Madrid, Spain. The awards, in its seventh year and launched in partnership with IE University, recognize projects with the potential for strong social impact in three categories: e‑Health, safe and sustainable mobility, and the senior economy.

From the United States, Diana Yousef, Founder and CEO at change:WATER Labs, took home the top prize in the e-Health category with the project, “iThrone.” With over 40% of the world’s population lacking access to safe sanitation, this portable toilet provides an innovative solution to human waste management in areas without developed water and sanitation infrastructures. It eliminates 90-95% of collected waste volumes on-site, converting them into pure, clean water vapor without the need for frequent flushing and collection.

“Fundación MAPFRE’s Social Innovation Awards continue to attract top minds from across the globe who are all working toward the same goal: making the world a better place,” said Jaime Tamayo, Chief Representative of Fundación MAPFRE in the United States and Chief Executive Officer of MAPFRE USA. “The results that Diana and her team have seen already through pilot programs in developing countries in Africa, Latin America and Central America are a testament to the enormously positive impact her innovation can have in some of the world’s most vulnerable regions.”

The low-cost solution makes waste disposal clean, inexpensive and environmentally friendly.

“No other invention in all of human history has saved more lives than flush toilets, but billions of people have no access to them,” said Yousef. “The lack of safe and hygienic sanitation forces people to live in conditions of poverty, poor health and pollution. With iThrone, our solution, we will expand access to safe toilets beyond the limits of the water infrastructure.”

Winners from the other categories were:
Safe and sustainable mobility: Evix Safety (Spain), a helmet-integrated airbag system that inflates in 100ms using an artificial intelligence algorithm that detects accidents.

Senior economy: Cuidador de Confiança (Brazil), a webapp that offers training resources for family members or caregivers to monitor patients.

The finale featured finalists from the U.S., Spain, Germany, Malta, Chile, Colombia and Brazil. 379 projects were submitted to the competition, with 12 finalists advancing. Winners each receive €40,000 to help fund their project along with free consultation from EY through the EY Foundation.

About Fundación MAPFRE

Fundación MAPFRE is a non-profit organization whose main objective is to contribute to the progress of society, improve people’s quality of life and promote equal opportunities through activities carried out in more than 30 countries. In 2023, more than 6 million people benefited from its 34,000 actions in road safety, health, culture, social action and insurance culture.

Visit https://www.fundacionmapfre.org/en/ for more information about Fundación MAPFRE.


Caitlin Creamer