Collective Impact Series 2019
Our Collective Impact speaker series began two years ago, born out of an idea to bring people together who care deeply about sustainability and want to work together to help create more sustainable and equitable communities in Los Angeles and beyond.
The format of the Collective Impact evenings are quick, but the ideas and takeaways are thought provoking with the hope that they can have lasting value for our region. These events, which we host four times a year in our Los Angeles office, comprise of up to 14 speakers who each give three minute presentations (yes, three minutes only!) on what they’re doing professionally or personally to help advance sustainable initiatives in their communities. It’s also a call to action. What can and should we all be doing to promote cleaner, healthier, and more resilient communities?
Our 2019 Collective Impact speaker series started last week with the first of four events for the year, attracting presenters on topics ranging from urban gardens, to cleaning the LA air quality, to creating more open and pedestrian friendly streets, to teaching kids about where food comes from, to building materials, and much, much more. The evening began with a presentation by Brian Sheridan (Development Director, Clean Air LA). He taught us that idling for 10 minutes in our cars, which is common outside of schools, releases one pound of carbon dioxide into the air. We also learned that Southern California had almost 90 consecutive days without a single clear air day. Allison Lynch (Senior Vice President, Watt Companies) was next and told us how employees from her agency volunteer with Meals on Wheels every week to promote a connection with how the aging and lower income residents of the city live and to help promote designs of residential buildings that can better suit their needs.
Nicole Landers (Co-Founder, Community Healing Gardens), Michael Marinzez (Executive Director, LA Compost) Raven Hardison (Food Oasis LA) and Elizabeth Christy (Program Manager, Eco Urban Gardens) gave presentations on their initiatives to connect people and students to food systems through composting, urban gardens, and leveraging technology to eliminate food deserts. These organizations see immense value in bridging communities through urban gardens and gardening, both for the environment but also for individual wellbeing. Christopher Locke (Co-Founder, Designing in Color) inspired the group through his collaborative architectural platform, which has a goal of amplifying the voices of minority designers and communities. Harjot Kaur (UCLA School of Law) highlighted that climate change is an opportunity to be more equitable in our policy making to end environmental racism.
After the impactful presentations, we talked some more as we broke into a round table discussion and generated some actions from the evening. Heidi Creighton (Associate Principal, BuroHappold) and Kristen Torres Pawling (Sustainability Program Director, LA County) lead the discussion. We wondered how we could take what was discussed and actually start to implement the ideas developed. Here are some steps we came up with:
- Get to know a City and/or Regional Planner by attending upcoming Commission meetings to help shape future development in the region.
- Participate in the next CicLAvia for an experience of overwhelming joy as you bike, walk, skate, roll and dance through the route.
- Join California Clean Air Day and take the pledge to improve air quality through simple solutions each of us can do.
- Attend the LAUSD Curriculum Workshop focused on Architecture and Engineering on March 11th – email Will at firstname.lastname@example.org if you’re interested in helping mold our future sustainability leaders.
- Join us at our next Collective Impact event on Wednesday, May 8th at our Los Angeles office!
If you’re planning to take on any of these actions, please join the conversation on Linkedin.
If you are interested in seeing these or past presentations, please visit USGBC-LA’s YouTube channel. We greatly appreciate all of our partners in pulling together this event: USGBC-LA, LARC, Global Green, AIA|LA, SEAOSC, ULI-LA and City Impact Lab.