CAL doesn’t do this work alone. Our legal strategies are designed with and for the broader corporate accountability community. The value of CAL’s work comes from our various collaborations, in both design and implementation.
CAL regularly partners with law students, pro bono attorneys, and expert practitioners in various fields to conduct research, advise on strategies, and produce materials. Our legal partners often have no human rights background, but specialize in contract, IP, international trade, antitrust, and other areas of commercial law.
To refine, test, and adapt the strategies, CAL partners with human rights advocates and attorneys who can take the innovations to the field, the factory, and the courtroom. We work with local and international civil society organizations and activists, as well as law school clinics and pro bono attorneys to help implement test cases on our current projects.
This collaboration encourages a “culture of innovation,” through which we are learning to focus on opportunities rather than resource constraints. This leads to more innovative ideas and deeper collaboration across sectors, industries, and geographies--opening up space to start leveling the playing field. A broader range of actors are becoming agents of change, leveraging their various and unique powers to push corporations to reduce human rights and environmental harms.
CAL’s Design Lab serves as a resource to partners to support innovations in their work, as a space for Innovation Fellows and CAL staff to develop the ideas, and as a knowledge hub for sharing. Long-term, the corporate accountability community will be most benefited not by centering all of its innovation in a single Lab, but by introducing cultural elements that generate continuous innovation into the collective of organizations working in the field.
Who is in this Community?
We are building a network of expert lawyers and practitioners who can be available on an ad-hoc basis to share their expertise on discrete legal, policy, advocacy, or contextual issues. Their involvement varies based on their interest and availability, and may develop into longer-term partnerships.
CAL’s advisors, an interdisciplinary group of experts from various fields, provide strategic advice and guidance on bigger picture questions.
Some of CAL’s first innovations started in the Lab by CAL staff. We encourage current staff, interns, and fellows to share ideas and develop them. After a generous donation, CAL is now able to house Innovation Fellows, who take up residency in the Design Lab to build on their current innovations with support from CAL. We also welcome ideas from other lawyers and advocates who may not have the time or resources to develop them fully.
Our partners are critical to the successful implementation of any strategy. As rights-holders, community leaders, and dedicated activists, they are not only key beneficiaries but also the keepers of knowledge, and the real drivers of change.