Lifestraw, the portable drinking filtration system, nabbed the top honor in the fifth Saatchi & Saatchi Award for World Changing Ideas last Thursday. Worn around the neck and used like a regular straw, Lifestraw claims to filter 99.9999 percent of bacteria and 98.7 percent of viruses using a halogen-based resin.
Upon receiving the award from Her Royal Highness Princess Badiya of Jordan, which includes $50,000 cash and an equal sum in consultancy work, Lifestraw inventor Mikkel Vestergaard Frandsen urged the audience to make the sub-Saharan Africa clean-water crisis as prominent an issue as AIDS relief or global-warming mitigation.
Saatchi's worldwide creative director Bob Isherwood had nothing but high praise for the company. "I think it's an amazing idea, a world-changing idea," he said. "You have such a huge proportion of the world's population that can't drink safe water; 6,000 children a day dying from polluted water. To have a straw that you wear around your neck that you can put in contaminated water and turn it immediately into totally safe water is incredible; it is world-changing."