Social Innovation: What You Need to Know


The third annual Social Innovation Summit is happening Friday, May 6th. Click here to reserve your free ticket.

What is social innovation?

Social innovations are more effective, efficient and sustainable solutions to social problems. Individuals and organizations are starting to think about the world differently, to tackle big problems with equally big ideas. Social innovations can be businesses, initiatives, strategies or even concepts that benefit the social good. In a nutshell, social innovation refers to inventive ideas that help people. The Social Innovation Summit is an opportunity for the public to be inspired by our speakers and to explore their own innovative ideas.

How can we work toward new solutions? 

Forward-thinking businesses are showing that social justice isn’t divorced from profit. These socially conscious enterprises serve the community, not just their investors, by creating jobs and important services. WCA believes that by forging strong partnerships between workers and employers and emphasizing their shared interests, businesses can do well while doing good and spur the next wave of economic growth throughout California.

What kind of speakers and seminars can I expect?

This year’s lineup is loaded with creative thinkers and ground-breaking innovators, experts in creative philanthropy, crowdfunding and entrepreneurship.

Why does this matter?

We live in an increasingly complex and interconnected world that demands a new way of thinking. Businesses have to be smarter and more sustainable. Workers need opportunities to fulfill their creative and entrepreneurial potential. By working together, we can create a more prosperous society for all of us.

What does it cost?

Nothing. The Annual Social Innovation Summit is free to anyone who wishes to attend. All you have to do is register here. (Meals are available for purchase.) 

Where is the event?

Los Angeles Trade Technical College

400 W Washington Blvd

Los Angeles, CA 90015

Your Labor Day Music Festival Playlist

Check out our Spotify playlist featuring all the great artists who are going to be there at the Labor Day Music Festival. The playlist isn't complete. Leave a comment on Facebook and we'll add your tracks. Maybe the Wailers will take our requests!

While you’re at it, remember to get your tickets so we can get down together.

Creating career opportunities in LA

We’re back and we wanted to take a minute to catch you up on our work over the last four months!

With the holidays right around the corner, we wanted to reflect on the past year and thank you for joining with Working Californians in doing well by doing good. It’s also a time when we are looking forward to the needs of our neighbors and communities, and asking ourselves what we can do to improve them.

Working Californians was created to improve the lives of our neighbors who have been struggling to get work and make ends meet. We are striving to rebuild the economy by rebuilding the middle class. We’re doing this by developing public and private programs that have positive social impact and forging collaborations with industry leaders, community organizations, environmental groups and labor organizations.

In October, WCA partnered with IBEW Local 18 and BHCP Live! to host a Union Jobs Expo and Celebration at Baldwin Hills Crenshaw. With over 20 community organizations present we were also joined by Supervisor Mark Ridley-Thomas, Assemblymember Sebastian Ridley-Thomas, and Congresswoman Karen Bass as we celebrated the graduation of over 100 trainees of the IBEW Local 18 & Utility Pre-Craft Training Program. The celebration also featured a concert with the musical talents Masta and the Edge of Soul and the Michael Ward band while community organizations and local unions such as the Southern California Pipe Trades District Council 16 and Local 709, United Firefighters of Los Angeles City Local 112, IBEW Locals 11 and 18, and Amalgamated Transit Union Local 1277 provided information about job training programs. Click here to check out photos from the event on our Facebook page.

This past Labor Day we also hosted our third annual Nightshift concert where we celebrated workers and their unions by honoring the history and future of Labor Day here in Los Angeles. The concert featured Grammy nominated artists Eric Benet and Sheila E as well as the Grammy award winning Irvin Mayfield and celebrated the labor victories made this past year and toasted the future of labor in Los Angeles over the coming years. Click here to see photos from the event on Facebook.

We look forward to keeping you up to date on our exciting future ventures. Please keep checking back in to get the latest Working Californians news, updates and event information.

Thank you once again joining us as we continue with a shared commitment in doing well by doing good.

Happy Holidays,

Can Do Attitude


Social innovation comes in many different shapes and sizes. In São Paulo, a mobile recycling center turns discarded soda cans into designer stools thanks to designer duo Alex Groves and Azusa Murakam, who haul around a mobile cart that melts cans using vegetable oil waste collected from local cafes. The team then pours the molten aluminum into molds to make stools that are given to locals as payment for providing materials.

The project, called Can City, relies on recycling to reclaim materials and provide income to waste collectors. Check out the inspiring video below for a look at how Can City is taking eco and social innovation to the streets of São Paulo.

Read the full story here.

Image via Studio Swine

Big Ideas for Small Business

The heart of America’s economic success has always been innovation and the growth of small businesses. Today, the majority of net jobs created in the country can be attributed to companies that are five years old or younger.

The Economist explored this trend, only to find that the America’s start-ups no longer thrive and create jobs the way they did about a decade ago. Despite the blame placed on the financial crisis, there are other factors at play, like shortage of skilled workers and the cost of taxes and regulations. A third issue is the challenge of acquiring funding, both private and public, to sponsor the continued development of new business ventures.

All of these factors combined are greatly stunting economic recovery and job growth in America. That’s why we need to advocate for policies that benefit small-businesses and programs that train the next wave of skilled laborers. With nearly 22 million workers either unemployed or underemployed, it’s time to get America’s engines of growth firing on all cylinders.

Click here for the full article.  

Photo by Marco Verch

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