learn / 2021

Watts Up Los Angeles

Idea submitted in the My LA2050 Grants Challenge by Global Inheritance

Watts Up Los Angeles is an interactive campaign to help people in Los Angeles County understand their energy usage and responsibility to conserve power by participating in a citywide DJ competition. Major neighborhoods and DJs promote their performances across the city and recruit fans to generate kinetic energy to power their music performances on re-engineered playground equipment. Local energy experts and vendors are onsite and online to empower Angelenos to understand their carbon footprint in order to tread lightly in Los Angeles.


In which areas of Los Angeles will you be directly working?

  • Central LA
  • East LA
  • San Gabriel Valley
  • San Fernando Valley
  • South LA
  • Westside
  • South Bay
  • Antelope Valley
  • County of Los Angeles
  • City of Los Angeles

What is the problem that you are seeking to address?

The specter of black/brownouts looms large in everyone’s minds - and the only real-time solution is for people to take it upon themselves to conserve energy. Bringing people together is the right engine. By running, jumping, turning, or pedaling to create kinetic energy through a number of playground devices (Swing Sets, Human Hamster Wheels, SeeSaws, Bikes and Hand-cranks), individuals understand the value of energy. Much of the burden of rolling blackouts falls on the disenfranchised and underserved populations because they lack political power. By including all Los Angeles neighborhoods in this project, we are bringing in community voices and politicians to advocate for better solutions long term, and to build solidarity among more privileged groups to trim their own consumption to reduce the need for rolling blackouts that they often aren’t paying the price for themselves.

Describe the project, program, or initiative that this grant will support to address the problem identified.

Watts Up Los Angeles provides an opportunity for Los Angeles to learn about renewable energy through a campaign built around the city’s biggest resource, its citizens. By creating their own energy with others in their communities and interacting with different Los Angeles neighborhoods in an open-air festival environment, Angelenos can share ideas on ways to limit their energy usage and support clean energy options in Los Angeles. As everyone has an energy footprint, our goal is to create momentum and awareness for ways we can reduce our energy, spark innovation in the communities all while providing a fun and entertaining experience for all ages. Watts Up Los Angeles requires all participants. volunteers, vendors, and spectators to calculate their carbon footprint as their entry fee into the experience. Free downloads of the Watts Up Los Angeles digital soundtrack will also be available for those downloading the Green Outlet app which can monitor the energy usage of household appliances and estimate the amount of carbon produced based on your energy usage.

In what stage of innovation is this project, program, or initiative?

Expand existing project, program, or initiative (expanding and continuing ongoing, successful work)

Approximately how many people will be impacted by this project, program, or initiative?

5,000
Direct impact
100,000
Indirect impact

Describe how Los Angeles County will be different if your work is successful.

Watts Up Los Angeles’s vision for success is people feeling empowered by the idea that conserving energy can help save the planet and their communities. That embracing a county powered by renewable energy is our future and that Angelenos need to innovate in the space and inspire each other. Better informed Angelenos on energy and climate issues can use their voice, their vote, and their dollars to support low wattage, clean energy-friendly that benefits all. The impact that the creative talent across Los Angeles County can make by motivating their communities ensures this program isn’t just for the environmentalists but for all types of Angelenos.

What evidence do you have that this project, program, or initiative is or will be successful, and how will you define and measure success?

Watts Up Los Angele’s impact is measured by the number of Angelenos participating in a high number of touch point experiences, including participation as a DJ, a volunteer, a participant in generating energy, an audience member, a follower on social media, a speaker, a supporter, a vendor, and more. We will report on the number of people calculating their carbon footprint and signing up for an energy monitoring app. Global Inheritance is also able to track the amount of wattage generated by the audience, the number of people voting for their favorite Los Angeles DJ’s, the number of people volunteering for the project, and working with educators to empower people to learn about energy use.

Which of the learn metrics will you impact?​

  • Enrollment in afterschool programs
  • Opportunity youth (“Disengaged youth” 16-24 not working or in school)
  • Proficiency in STEM

Indicate any additional LA2050 goals your project will impact.

  • LA is the best place to CREATE
  • LA is the best place to PLAY
  • LA is the best place to CONNECT
  • LA is the healthiest place to LIVE