Dr. Angela Jackson of New Profit talks venture philanthropy, funding proximate leaders, and the $6 million Future of Work Grand Challenge
“It would behoove us to think about how we innovate for people at the margins because, typically, once we solve some of those big problems, the rest of us are going to do well too.”
“We need to tell the story about what (equitable future of work) means for our economy. It’s not about charity, right? Because of the gap in wages by race and gender, economists say we are leaving about two trillion dollars on the table. That’s bad for all of us.”
– Dr. Angela Jackson, Managing Partner at New Profit
New Profit is a venture philanthropy that has provided over $325mm in support to social entrepreneurs since its founding in 1998. Through the combination of unrestricted grant funding and strategic support, both uncommon in the nonprofit sector, New Profit is able to catalyze high-growth social entrepreneurs working to build a more prosperous and equitable country.
On this week’s episode, Alex is joined by Dr. Angela Jackson, the Managing Partner of New Profit’s Future of Work initiatives. New Profit’s Future of Work initiatives seek to equip workers with the skills necessary to find livable wage jobs. This work took on a new urgency in 2020 with the pandemic causing unprecedented disruption in the labor market, particularly for the most vulnerable workers. In addition to managing New Profit’s $15mm future of work fund, Dr. Jackson recently launched the $6mm Future of Work Grand Challenge in partnership with MIT Solve and XPrize. The Grand Challenge, through investing in social entrepreneurs around the country, aims to both upskill and find livable wage jobs for 25,000 workers in the next 24 months.
During the conversation, Dr. Jackson talks about the benefits of the venture philanthropy model for scaling social enterprises, the importance of investing in “proximate leaders”, or those closest to the challenges they are trying to solve, and ways that everyone can help build a more equitable future of work.
- Read Dr. Jackson’s ‘Effective Change Requires Proximate Leaders’ from Oct. 2020 in the Stanford Social Innovation Review (SSIR)
- Learn more about the Future of Work Grand Challenge
- Read Dr. Jackson’s ‘Who gets to decide what economic recovery looks like?’ on Medium
- Follow her on Medium or Twitter
- Listen to the Money and Meaning episodes featuring either Casey van der Stricht of MIT Solve or with Laurin (Hodge) Leonard of R3 Score
Money + Meaning is the official podcast of SOCAP. The series aims to expand the conversation around impact investing and strategies to finance and support social change while stimulating innovative and valuable new partnerships across sectors.