General, Postsecondary and Career Pathways, Staff Highlights

New Profit’s JB Schramm Challenges Private and Civic Sector Leaders on the Future of Work

Check out this recap of Partner JB Schramm's talk at the CES conference, hosted by Landmark Ventures

New Profit Managing Partner J.B. Schramm issued an urgent call to action to thousands of private sector leaders who attended this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES), the world’s largest showcase for new technological and electronic innovations

“We must focus on the *social impact* of seismic Future of Work shifts, because today the speed of change is far outpacing the solutions available to help people, especially the most vulnerable, learn and adapt.”

Schramm’s presentation was part of CES’s “From Education to Employment” panel sponsored by Landmark Ventures which focused on the critical need for business and civic leaders to address the transformational changes coming through automation.

Drawing on decades of experience as a social entrepreneur and leader in post-secondary attainment and career access for underserved young people, Schramm centered his comments on the fact that while researchers estimate automation will eliminate low-wage jobs at 20x the rate of high wage jobs, low-income and entry-level workers are being left out of the Future of Work conversation and the design of solutions.

Photo by Adam Schultz

The same disconnect is unfortunately true for many social sector organizations with deep experience serving and partnering with low-income people and communities. Very few are participating in the broader Future of Work dialogue or mobilizing to take on the transformations in their own work, a core topic New Profit covered at the 2018 Gathering of Leaders.

At CES, Schramm took on these issues by introducing the audience to an upswell of new energy and collaboration that aim to address those Future of Work gaps. Of particular note, he said, is a new group of employers, funders, and other social impact organizations – including AccentureECMC FoundationJoyce FoundationLumina FoundationMarriott InternationalMicrosoftPanasonicSiegel Family EndowmentStrada Education Network, and Walmart Foundation – that have come together to drive innovation in the broader field. A number of these organizations are already supporting the design of a global prize competition to accomplish three things:

  • Help millions of Americans launch careers with the skills required for success in the future world of work.
  • Apply the latest technologies–from A.I., behavioral psychology, experiential education etc.– to create effective, scalable ways for Americans to develop the high-demand, particularly human skills that complement machines.
  • Run an unprecedented experiment with employees to learn which skills and mindsets have the most impact on employee performance.

Schramm highlights, “It is going to take an ecosystem effort, and a new kind of investment, to give all people the chance to succeed in the Future of Work. It is heartening to see leading organizations taking a serious look at engaging employees and communities as partners in creating solutions.”

Photo by Adam Schultz

Schramm was joined on the Education to Employment panel at CES by other innovators and thought leaders, including Caroline Wanga, Chief Diversity and Inclusion Officer and VP, Human Resources, Target; Jasleen Makker, Senior Director, Corporate Communications, HARMAN International; Shawn Outler, EVP, Chief Diversity Officer, Macy’s, Inc.; Elena Richards, U.S. Minority Initiatives & Talent Management Leader, PwC; Bill Taylor, VP, Outreach & Partnership Development, NAF; and Landmark Ventures General Partner Zeev Klein.

Across the day, Schramm and other panelists highlighted that the Future of Work will require tomorrow’s workers to become agile learners and complement machines. Technology that is informed and designed by the individuals most impacted by the changing world of work has the potential to play a powerful role in leveling the playing field by helping all learners acquire the skills to succeed.