One day, everyone will have the opportunity to participate and prosper, invest in their own learning, enjoy ample time with family and friends, play outdoors, and reflect on the richness of their lives.

Our Mission

It’s time to reimagine the American Dream. We’re creating a more equitable and enjoyable future of work so that workers, businesses, and communities can thrive together.

Our Theory of Change

We believe bigger and bolder are actually easier.

Work for Humanity’s research and pilot programs focus on strategic, often counterintuitive places in a system where small changes can produce big results and prevent future suffering. In contrast, most social impact work addresses only the symptoms of a broken system. Such approaches are important, particularly in the short term, as they help to alleviate suffering.

We believe bigger and bolder are actually easier.

Work for Humanity’s research and pilot programs focus on strategic, often counterintuitive places in a system where small changes can produce big results and prevent future suffering. In contrast, most social impact work addresses only the symptoms of a broken system. Such approaches are important, particularly in the short term, as they help to alleviate suffering.

Unfortunately, they frequently fail to produce benefits at scale because the underlying system that caused the suffering in the first place remains unchanged. This is why after 80 years of dedicated funding and work on increasing college graduation rates, economic mobility in the U.S. has actually declined. That’s not to say education is unimportant. It only means that education alone cannot serve the great equalizer we frequently imagine it to be.

Unfortunately, they frequently fail to produce benefits at scale because the underlying system that caused the suffering in the first place remains unchanged. This is why after 80 years of dedicated funding and work on increasing college graduation rates, economic mobility in the U.S. has actually declined. That’s not to say education is unimportant. It only means that education alone cannot serve the great equalizer we frequently imagine it to be.

Our research has uncovered one of the biggest barriers to a more just and equitable economy is a lack of high-paying, desirable jobs. Even if we snapped our fingers and gave all 53 million low-wage workers in the U.S. a STEM degree today, not much would change. There simply are not enough high-paying, quality jobs to drive shared prosperity at scale.

Our research has uncovered one of the biggest barriers to a more just and equitable economy is a lack of high-paying, desirable jobs. Even if we snapped our fingers and gave all 53 million low-wage workers in the U.S. a STEM degree today, not much would change. There simply are not enough high-paying, quality jobs to drive shared prosperity at scale.

Triangle

To create real change, we need to catalyze three simultaneous shifts

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Address workers’ mindset and skillset by teaching people how to become accomplished, self-guided learners.

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Address employers’ mindset and skill set by helping business owners and leaders more effectively grow their business in a complex, ever-changing environment.

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Reimagine the employer/employee relationship so that all employees are viewed as valued strategic partners and assets in the business.

The result of these three shifts is the creation of good jobs (or the transformation of bad jobs into good ones). Good jobs that not only offer a stable and comfortable quality of life, but possibilities for career advancement, access to healthcare and benefits, pride and fulfillment, workplace safety, opportunities for retirement savings, and mutual trust and respect between employers and employees. As disposable income in a community increases, businesses see increased growth. This, in turn, drives shared economic prosperity for businesses, workers, and communities.

Why We Focus on Small Business Jobs and Growth

At the heart of creating a more equitable economy is fundamentally changing how we work.

Every worker should have a financially rewarding and fulfilling job that offers continuous opportunities for personal and professional growth. We believe small, women and minority owned businesses are one of the easiest and best places to build good jobs. Here’s why:

Small businesses are the easiest place to directly address race and gender inequity. Small businesses have less bureaucracy and more flexible organizational structures. Owners are eager to get strategic help and are more open to experimentation.

Small businesses are a major force in the U.S. economy. For every $100 you spend at a local business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy. The success of small businesses benefits everyone, but jobs and profits created locally are also more likely to stay local.

Small businesses exist in urban and rural communities. This provides an opportunity to address the urban/rural economic divide that influences our politics and public policy.

At the heart of creating a more equitable economy is fundamentally changing how we work.

Every worker should have a financially rewarding and fulfilling job that offers continuous opportunities for personal and professional growth. We believe small, women and minority owned businesses are one of the easiest and best places to build good jobs. Here’s why:

Small businesses are the easiest place to directly address race and gender inequity. Small businesses have less bureaucracy and more flexible organizational structures. Owners are eager to get strategic help and are more open to experimentation.

Small businesses are a major force in the U.S. economy. For every $100 you spend at a local business, roughly $68 stays in the local economy. The success of small businesses benefits everyone, but jobs and profits created locally are also more likely to stay local.

Small businesses exist in urban and rural communities. This provides an opportunity to address the urban/rural economic divide that influences our politics and public policy.

Our History

The vision for Work for Humanity emerged from a two-day event at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola, Florida.

In June 2018, 18 diverse experts came together to explore how technology could help people do more valuable and meaningful work in an increasingly dynamic and unpredictable world. The result was a groundbreaking vision and process for creating the ideal future state of work. In 2019, we became a fiscally sponsored 501(c)(3) so that we could begin the work that will make this vision a reality.

Our History

The vision for Work for Humanity emerged from a two-day event at the Institute for Human and Machine Cognition in Pensacola, Florida.

In June 2018, 18 diverse experts came together to explore how technology could help people do more valuable and meaningful work in an increasingly dynamic and unpredictable world. The result was a groundbreaking vision and process for creating the ideal future state of work. In 2019, we became a fiscally sponsored 501(c)(3) so that we could begin the work that will make this vision a reality.

Our Team

Work for Humanity is a team of researchers, coaches, and consultants who have decades of experience helping small businesses and marginalized communities thrive. We’re united by one bold idea: almost anyone can do almost anything – given the right mindset, skillset, and working environment.

Jen Gresham

is a scientist, entrepreneur, military veteran, and keynote speaker. She has served as a high-performance coach and business strategist for nearly 10 years, helping hundreds of people around the world find more fulfillment and financial success in their work. She founded Work for Humanity to reach a larger audience and bring innovation to workforce development and leadership training.

Elgin Carelock

is a small business coach and strategist. He brings a 25-year track record helping entrepreneurs and the formerly incarcerated chart new paths to economic and personal success.

Pam Dibbs

is an entrepreneur, comedian, and executive and team coach for organizations including Microsoft, Costco Wholesale, Boeing, Nike, and Alaska Airlines. She is an expert in program design and team facilitation.

Matthew Poland

has 17 years of experience in workforce development and working with marginalized populations. He brings the perspective of people who face barriers to education and employment.

Our Partners

A growing number of foundations and partner organizations make our work possible. We are grateful for their insights and support.

Our Partners

A growing number of foundations and partner organizations make our work possible.
We are grateful for their insights and support.