Philanthropy and the Future of Work

Philanthropy and the Future of Work: Dimensions of Change and Opportunities for Action 

Maureen Conway for The Aspen Institute

First published November 2016

Work is changing in many ways. Technological advancement, combined with political choices, social forces, and economic trends, could lead to the replacement of traditional jobs, altered employer-employee relationships, demands for new skills, and other changes in the world of work. What do these changes mean for leaders in philanthropy seeking to expand economic opportunities for low- and moderate-income workers?

In a new paper, Philanthropy and the Future of Work: Dimensions of Change and Opportunities for Action, we address the challenges related to the future of work facing philanthropic leaders who are interested in connecting economically vulnerable individuals and families to opportunities for advancement through work. The paper draws from a series of interviews conducted with more than a dozen individuals in philanthropy, revealing their ideas on the future of work and the implications for their strategies.

As Philanthropy and the Future of Work underlines, philanthropy has an important role to play. It can support research to illuminate transformations in work, communicate about the changing economic landscape and barriers to stability and mobility, and invest in local communities to support innovation, leadership, and systems change.

Additionally, Philanthropy and the Future of Work highlights several approaches that philanthropic leaders are investing in or considering to address the challenges and opportunities posed by the future of work.

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