Collaboration with Accenture and Goodwill® amplifies voices of frontline workers in the design and execution of the $6 million innovation competition
July 16, 2020 (National) – Building on the recent launch of New Profit’s $6 million Future of Work Grand Challenge, powered by XPRIZE and MIT Solve, the venture philanthropy organization today announced the creation of the XPERT Worker Advisory Board. The board, a collaboration with Grand Challenge partners Accenture and Goodwill Industries International, will increase the engagement of frontline workers from racially, ethnically, experientially, and geographically diverse backgrounds in the prize as co-designers, advisors and judges through December 2022 when the initiative ends.
“The current unemployment crisis has impacted millions of workers. These workers must be actively involved in designing innovations that aim to connect them with employment opportunities,” says Angela Jackson, a partner at New Profit who is leading the Future of Work Grand Challenge. “It’s the only way to ensure that solutions align with workers’ day-to-day realities, from having children at home to caring for aging parents. Including workers in the design process means we can collaborate to create training and services that seamlessly integrate with and support their full lives.”
Coronavirus shocks have displaced workers beyond rates of the Great Recession of 2008. At the same time, researchers estimate that automation will eliminate low-wage jobs at 20 times the rate of high wage jobs in the United States. According to The Economic Policy Institute, people of color and women are currently employed in ‘automation-risky’ jobs at a higher rate than their white and male peers. This is particularly unsettling as people of color are anticipated to be the majority of the American working class by 2043. As a result, the Future of Work Grand Challenge has been designed with a deep understanding of the lived realities and learning preferences of the most underinvested communities.
“This is about equity. Members of the new XPERT Worker Advisory Board were recruited by local Goodwill® organizations from across the United States and selected to optimize diversity in collaboration with New Profit,” said Wendi Copeland, chief mission and partnership officer, Goodwill Industries International.
“Accenture is proud to team with leading organizations like New Profit, Goodwill, XPrize and MIT Solve to innovate in building a more equitable and inclusive future of work. Our shared goal with the Future of Work Grand Challenge is to put workers’ voices at the core of social innovations designed to accelerate upskilling and transitions to in-demand roles,” said Lisa Neuberger-Fernandez, managing director of corporate citizenship innovation at Accenture. “The XPERT Worker Advisory Board that launches today is a new platform to elevate the voice and perspective of workers who can advise on the viability and practicality of new solutions to achieve the fastest transitions to sustainable employment in these uncertain times.”
To learn more, visit the Future of Work Grand Challenge landing page.