Playlist: Bathroom talks from the TED2013 Talent Search

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Amsterdam, Bangalore, Doha, Johannesburg, London, Nairobi, New York, São Paulo, Seoul, Shanghai, Sydney, Tokyo, Tunis and Vancouver. TED headed to 14 cities on six continents for the 2013 Talent Search, looking to bring you fresh perspectives for TED2013. Despite the fact that the 293 speakers who participated in the search came from wildly different backgrounds, we couldn’t help but notice some themes emerge in their talks.

In all of TED’s years of existence, there have been very, very few talks on the topic of excrement. But, for some reason, the topic kept coming up during the TED Talent Search. Here six talks on the topic.

Nadya Andreeva: A healthy lifestyle you can stomach
Wellness coach Nadya Andreeva is concerned about your bowel movements. Apparently, 100 million Americans don’t go to the bathroom regularly, which is concerning since digestion is so important for health. In this video, she gives an exercise to keep yourself regular.

Tuur Van Balen: How to turn pigeon poop into soap
Pigeons are often referred to as the “rats of the sky.” Designer and synthetic biologist Tuur Van Balen has a radical idea for getting the birds a cleaner reputation—hacking bacteria in order to make pigeons literally poop soap. Here, he demonstrates.

Rose George: Take toilets seriously
When the British Medical Journal voted for the greatest medical advance of the past 200 years, they surprisingly chose the toilet, as it has added an estimated 20 years to our life spans. Here journalist Rose George explains that, despite the progress, 2.6 billion people still live without sanitation.

Dominic Wanjihia: Using biogas to power African homes
Dominic Wanjihia, the CEO of Biogas International, describes a system that uses a flexible incubator and animal dung to produce sustainable energy. Just one cow would give families enough energy for all of their electricity needs, as well as power their stoves with gas.

Josiah Omotto: Harvesting biogas from human waste
Josiah Omotto, of the human rights organization Umande Trust, takes things a step farther explaining that human waste can also be converted into energy. He suggests banning outdoor defecation and opening up bio-digester centers as a way to solve the energy crisis.

Stayed tuned for more playlists from TED Talent Search events, coming at you over the next month.