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New Profit community members at the Inclusive Impact Action Summit

Ecosystem Building

We partner with social entrepreneurs and other leaders in our community to shift how government and philanthropy pursue social change so that all people can thrive.

An Ecosystem Approach

Driving big, equitable change requires more than backing individual organizations; we know that even the most high-impact organizations working in isolation cannot address the challenges America faces at the scale that they exist. Sustained, large-scale change demands collaboration across organizations and sectors. Our ecosystem building efforts engage social entrepreneurs, policymakers, philanthropists, and other national and local stakeholders to transform how government (the largest funder of social services) and philanthropy think about how to collectively pursue social change and allocate resources. Through this work, we leverage deep insights of social innovators in our community to influence how policies are shaped and how resources flow in the sector to help remove barriers to sustained social progress.

Our ecosystem building efforts have helped our community become an engine of innovation and dynamism in social problem solving.

— Jeff Walker, New Profit Board member

Ecosystem Building Efforts

America Forward

DC-based, nonpartisan policy initiative that unites social entrepreneurs with policymakers to transform local impact into national change.

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America Forward engages a Coalition of over 100 social innovation organizations that are achieving measurable outcomes in more than 15,000 communities nationwide. Together, they champion a public policy agenda that fosters innovation, rewards results, and catalyzes cross-sector partnerships in education, early childhood, workforce development, youth development, and poverty alleviation. Coalition organizations have leveraged $1.7 billion for social innovation and have driven millions of federal resources toward programs that are achieving measurable results for those who need them most.

Year Founded: 2007

In 2007, social entrepreneurs and other leaders in the New Profit network began acknowledging that, even with strong growth rates and new engagement tools, the path to solving problems at scale was still far out of reach. With prodding from political strategist and New Profit Board Member David Gergen and others, the network confronted a question: Could the social innovation sector move closer to scale if there was a strong collective voice of innovators and constituents engaging policymakers and advocating for the most effective solutions together? From that came a clarion call to launch America Forward.

Read about America Forward’s breakthrough impact over the past 15+ years.

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Deborah Smoloverr
Executive Director, America Forward Managing Partner, New Profit
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Future of Work

In a time of increasing economic and employment uncertainty, New Profit is prioritizing potential future of work solutions that not only respond to the current crisis but also make lasting change in the workforce system and improve economic mobility for workers in the future. According to McKinsey, up to 86 percent of the initial coronavirus-related layoffs affected jobs that paid less than $40,000 per year. In the coming months, many of the more than 26 million Americans who have lost their jobs will have to adjust their skill sets for new positions. Further down the line, anticipated disruptions from AI, robotics, and 3-D printing manufacturing will require workers to learn new occupations at a previously unimaginable speed. 

So, given these challenges, how can we equip millions of displaced workers for living-wage jobs in an economically viable way? What if we made critical life-long upskilling equitable accessible and affordable to all?

New Profit believes that despite the growing appreciation for the importance of lifelong learning and skills development to career success, there is a misalignment between employers, researchers, technologists, and funders around the skills that are most essential to success, creating ​labor market failures​ that keep the most vulnerable workers from accessing critical skills and career navigation advice. As such, New Profit is deploying a systems approach to its future of work strategy, acknowledging that this is a complex problem that will need old players to work together in new ways to meet the needs in the workforce created by COVID-19.

New Profit’s future of work strategy aims to align employer, nonprofit, philanthropic, and government sectors to create a new learning ecosystem that works for the most vulnerable Americans. We hope to incentivize innovators from across industries to bring their best efforts to solving future work challenges, all while raising the profile of the problem and the need for collaboration to create system-wide change. We can do this by implementing the following strategies:

Strategy #1
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Reduce time and costs associated with upskilling

Strategy #2
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De-risk innovation and technology for workforce boards

Strategy #3
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Leverage federal stimulus dollars to fund scale adoption of proven workforce and training playbooks

Gathering of Leaders

The Gathering of Leaders is a provocative summit where social entrepreneurs, philanthropists, and other leaders develop and advance big new ideas for social impact.

The Gathering brings together 400+ cross-sector leaders to forge connections, spark new insights, align strategies, and shape initiatives that unlock the potential of social innovation and entrepreneurship to expand social mobility in communities across the nation. A number of breakthroughs have been sparked and accelerated at the Gathering, leading to the launch of New Profit’s America Forward, Unlocked Futures, and Inclusive Impact initiatives.

We bring leaders with big and bright ideas from all corners of our country to engage with our community. Past speakers include: former Massachusetts Governors Deval Patrick and Mitt Romney, Black Lives Matters Co-Founder Brittany Packnett, Equal Justice Initiative Founder and Executive Director Bryan Stevenson, business researcher and author Jim Collins, former Education Secretary John King, technology theorist Tim O’Reilly, and many other visionaries. The conversations we facilitate at the Gathering bring the next set of pressing issues facing our country into focus and help set the agenda for the field on how we plan to tackle them.

Explore Past Gatherings
Learn more about the breakthrough impact of the Gathering of Leaders.

We can do more than react to the rapidly arriving future. We can shape it, with a goal of achieving access and opportunity for all.

— Kim Syman, Managing Partner, New Profit