"Collaboration is nothing new. The social sector is filled with examples of partnerships, networks, and other types of joint efforts. But collective impact initiatives are distinctly different. Unlike most collaborations, collective impact initiatives involve a centralized infrastructure, a dedicated staff, and a structured process that leads to a common agenda, shared measurement, continuous communication, and mutually reinforcing activities among all participants."
- John Kania and Mark Kramer, Stanford Social Innovation Review, Winter 2011
The L.A. Compact is a unique collaborative effort in Los Angeles because it focuses on large-scale systems change through a collective impact approach. Why do we need systems change?
© 2013 by John Trever, Albuquerque Journal. Used by permission.
In the 1970s, only 28 percent of American jobs required a college degree. Today, that number has more than doubled. How is L.A. County's workforce prepared to meet this challenge? Currently only 58 percent of L.A. County adults have attained some postsecondary education, including only 29 percent who have earned a bachelor's degree or higher. This skills gap, amounting to nearly 600,000 workers in L.A. County alone, threatens the economic competitiveness of the regions and the family economic stability of millions of Angelenos.
Pointing fingers and casting blame won't help solve Los Angeles' complex educational challenges or meet the workforce demands of our economy. The L.A. Compact is founded in the understanding that social problems – and their solutions – arise from the interaction of many organizations within larger systems. The L.A. Compact works to break down silos between education, workforce and social sectors to transform L.A's education pipeline, from cradle to career. By working collaboratively towards the same goals and using this collective impact approach, the individual efforts of L.A. Compact partners can add up to big changes for the future of young people in Los Angeles.
Check out the following resources to better understand the L.A. Compact's approach to systems change: