Our mission at Good World Solutions is to use data to create safe and respectful workplaces. Our vision is a world where every worker is heard, and where worker well-being is integral to business success.
Six years ago, we started noticing cell phones in workers’ hands, and tested what was then a bold idea – that we could use mobile technology to connect directly with workers in real time. We first piloted Laborlink with 100 factory workers in Peru and have since reached over 1 million workers in 16 countries.
To scale our impact, we need to think bigger. Last year, we started looking at different pathways to scale, especially disruptive alternatives to the current audit system. We realized that to deliver on our mission we need to connect worker voice data to other rich data sources, including audit, self-assessment and capacity building data.
Among the leaders in this space today, no one has a deeper commitment to transparent audits or a broader set of tools to drive worker impact than ELEVATE. For that reason, we’re integrating Laborlink into ELEVATE’s products & services – with both our team and technology. ELEVATE combines insight with improvement, has deep in-country expertise and embraces disruptive approaches.
This integration is essential to realize our vision of a world where every worker is heard. We already have a history of successful partnership with ELEVATE. Through the Alliance for Bangladesh Worker Safety, we’ve partnered with ELEVATE, the project manager, to build Amader Kotha, a first-of-its-kind technology-driven helpline that receives calls on over 500 issues a month, including complaints about wages and benefits, and fire danger inside and outside factories. The helpline has been rolled out to over 1.2 million workers at 862 factories in Bangladesh.
We’ve had incredible support from funders like USAID, Cisco, The Walt Disney Company, and the Peery Foundation. Leading companies like Target, M&S, Levi’s, and HPE have used Laborlink in their supply chains, paving the way for a new model of technology-supported worker engagement.
Laborlink data has driven measurable improvements in workplace safety and communication, and reduced sexual harassment and verbal abuse in factories in Brazil, India and China.
We are proud of these achievements, but we see how much more there is to do. It’s been 4 years since Rana Plaza and while real change is happening in Bangladesh, still too many workers around the world are not paid properly, are harassed by their supervisors, or exposed to toxic chemicals. The apparel industry alone employs over 50 million workers. Millions more are making our shoes, toys and electronics.
Our mission remains unchanged. We will simply have more resources to continue serving the mission, with a larger set of tools to reach millions more workers.
This is just the beginning. I’m excited about the possibilities and invite you to join us in this next chapter of our journey. We’re counting on your continued leadership to achieve our shared vision.
Look for more communication from our team and leadership in the coming months about how our tools will fit together and how this partnership will open up new opportunities to connect with every worker.
Executive Director and Co-founder of Laborlink