Solving Baltimore’s Most Pressing Problems: Social Lab @ Light City

On April 6, the ETC had the opportunity to attend the Social Lab @ Light City. We heard local social entrepreneurs, activists, thinkers, and writers talk about ways we can build a better society in our city.

Let’s start with the basics: Darius Graham of Social Innovation Lab explained that a social entrepreneur is “someone who sees a problem within their community and works to fix it.”

From the various panel discussions and presentations — like the one by Jon Rose of Waves For Water, who explained that Winter Vincent, an 11-year-old, ran a fundraiser at his school and then bought water filters to Indonesia — it was obvious that the goal of the lab was to push everyone in attendance to believe that anyone can be a social entrepreneur.

That’s why the collaborative lunch in the middle of the program was especially useful: it pushed attendees to think about ways that we can work together to solve Baltimore’s most pressing problems. Light City co-chair Jamie McDonald prompted attendees to think about how to make Baltimore a more socially equitable city.

Responses varied from promoting the arts more in the city to having free, better-quality education available to members of the community on a larger scale.

This prompt pushed people from different spheres to come together to discuss how to better their city. The conversation was a success in that it highlighted how most people could see the same problems in Baltimore. More than that though, it showed everyone that these problems have solutions, and that we can be the ones to solve them.