While 75 million jobs will be displaced worldwide through automation between 2018 and 2022, as many as 133 million new roles could be created.
A unique collaboration with Fossil Foundation, Pearson and Accenture, Unreasonable FUTURE is aligning the promise of leading edge technologies with the future of inclusive work and social equity.
Half the portfolio is working to support the future of learning, up-skilling, and education and the other half are companies using advanced technologies (i.e. robotics, 3D fabrication, machine learning, nano-technology) to develop human potential and ensure inclusivity in the workplace of tomorrow.
BUILDING A MORE INCLUSIVE FUTURE
Latest research from the World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2025, more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines, as opposed to 29% today.
...but we remain optimistic.
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
We want to align the promise of leading-edge technologies with the future of inclusive work and social equity. We see ourselves as more than an “accelerator” — our goal is to build a movement that helps people everywhere participate in the jobs of tomorrow. Working with a carefully selected portfolio of growth-stage entrepreneurs shaping the future of work and others preparing the next generation for work, we want to ensure that onramps for underserved communities and lifelong learners are built into the “new economy.” Co-founded with Accenture, Pearson, and Fossil Foundation, Unreasonable FUTURE is building an ecosystem that will ultimately include more than 40 of the world’s most impactful high-growth ventures leveraging key technologies (i.e. robotics, machine learning, 3D fabrication, blockchain, AI…etc) to solve societal challenges alongside hundreds of mentors, experts, and investors.
What we know is that inaction by business and society at large will exacerbate talent shortages, mass unemployment, and growing inequality. Though others may shy away from these challenges, and although the answers are unclear, we remain resolute in the need to investigate and explore the opportunities inherent in them. If the civic, private, and public sectors can collaborate to proactively face the transformations brought by a digital era, we have the potential of solving one of the grand challenges of our time.
We are the first to admit the challenge is a complex and intimidating. Latest research from the “Future of Jobs” report published by the World Economic Forum forecasts that by 2025, more than half of all current workplace tasks will be performed by machines, as opposed to 29% today. Though this may be nerve-wracking for many, the report estimates that while 75 million will be displaced by a shift in the division of labor between humans and machines, 133 million new roles may emerge that are more adapted to the new division of labor between humans, machines and algorithms. The latter is the intersection we are choosing to focus on. We are working with entrepreneurs wielding breakthrough technologies to better understand what the future of work, learning, skills training, and education needs to look like to ensure that all of us, everywhere, can participate in tomorrow’s workforce.
Though our inaugural program is kicking off in March 2019, this is a multi-year collaboration. We are striving to ensure that the entrepreneurs we support ultimately impact the lives of at least 10 million youth and 10 million life-long learners worldwide.
There is no simple answers. The questions revolving around equality, the future of work and technological disruption are transforming the very fabric of society with far-reaching effects that span psychology, culture, geopolitics, development, and commerce. No individual or organization can have the answers alone and this is not a challenge that will be solved with one year of effort or with an episodic annual conference. Though the challenge is urgent and action is required now, we must also take a long term view and work collaboratively, across civic, private and public sectors, to explore the nuances and sensitivities of this grand challenge.
We believe our approach needs to be considerate, inclusive, and collaborative. We can’t imagine making this a one-off event, and we refuse to go at this alone. We hope you’ll join us on this journey as together we work towards a more inclusive and conscious approach to learning, education, technology and business.
This initiative is collaborative by design and rooted in our core value of “WE >” I (i.e. no single entity can solve the world’s biggest challenges). To kickstart Unreasonable FUTURE, our team at Unreasonable Group collaborated with three globally recognized institutions that have skin in the game when it comes to the future of inclusive work — Fossil Foundation, Pearson, and Accenture. These co-founders allow for a robust cross-sector offering and ensure we are together looking at the future of work and across multiple industries and geographies. Bringing more than their diversity of assets and resources to the table, our co-founders are here to gain insights, build new collaborations, identify solutions, and contribute to a much needed global debate and conversation around how we will together build a more just workplace of the future.
More broadly, they share the beliefs that separating business from society is a recipe for increased disparity and that conscious business is an avenue for long term, sustainable value creation. Below we’ve highlighted each founding of Unreasonable FUTURE and why, beyond what is stated above, they have decided to co-create this first-of-its-kind initiative.
- The Fossil Foundation is dedicated to “unleashing the power of underserved youth around the world.” Conversations between our two teams sparked the idea that would later become Unreasonable FUTURE — this initiative is designed to be a new approach to ensuring that the future of work marks a new opportunity for underserved youth in every corner of the globe. In this time of rapid change and disruptive innovations, we have a unique opportunity to come together across sectors to create and scale better pathways for underserved youth so they can make the most of their human potential and capabilities
- Pearson is the world’s learning company with more than 24,000 employees in nearly 60 countries and a mission to help people make progress in their lives through learning. Pearson combines world-class educational content and assessment, powered by services and technology, to enable more effective teaching and personalized learning at scale. Pearson believes that wherever learning flourishes so do people. For many people, learning is the route to a job to support their family or to provide the skills needed to help them make progress in their career. Simply put, for every learner, at every stage of their life, education is the path to opportunity and fulfillment. As a Founding collaborator of Unreasonable FUTURE, Pearson wants to equip millions of learners worldwide with the skills, knowledge and insights needed to prepare them for the jobs of tomorrow.
- Here’s what our friends at Accenture had to say: “At Accenture, we are dedicated to positively impacting our people, our clients and our communities by creating “new skilling” pathways for an inclusive future of work —a future in which all workers have the motivation, means and opportunity to thrive in the digital economy. The Dock (Accenture’s Global Centre for Innovation) is tirelessly exploring this topic, whilst is seeking to pioneer new ways to fulfill human needs using emerging technologies. Unreasonable FUTURE offers an incredible opportunity to join forces with like-minded organizations, and to turn our ambitions for an inclusive future into reality.”
We will consider this initiative a success based on the amount of positive impact the Unreasonable FUTURE ecosystem is able to have on society. Though not the full exhaustive list, below we’ve included a few of the indicators we will track over time an effort to measure our impact:
- Directly reach >10M youth by 2025: We will track the number of learners reached via the platforms and curriculum of the ventures we support that are focused on education and upskilling. Ultimately, by 2025 we want to ensure that at least 10 million more youth are being directly reached by the entrepreneurs we support. We define “youth” as being between the ages of 12 and 24.
- Scale up entrepreneurs as job creators: We will track the number of net new jobs across the portfolio, including full-time employees, contractors, jobs supported, and jobs placed.
- Unleash a movement: We are going to design a manifesto aimed at ensuring that businesses build on ramps into their future operations for underserved youth and at-risk workers around the world. We will track the percentage of entrepreneurs and number of companies more broadly that sign this “pledge” and incorporate programs and/or structures to ensure a more inclusivity into their core operations.
- Accelerate high-growth ventures: We will produce an annual data report that highlights the business KPIs of all the entrepreneurs we support. This annual report will include data around aggregate revenue & financing, geographic markets, users, customers, and team size.
- Increase the flow of investment dollars: We will monitor the amount of financing raised by the entrepreneurs that is attributable to the Unreasonable FUTURE initiative.
- New collaborations: A core driver of scaling the impact of the companies we support, we will track the number of business relationships that happen between the Unreasonable FUTURE entrepreneurs and major institutions we connect them into (this includes our co-founders as well as other organizations we will work with as part of the broader ecosystem).
- Measurable social and environmental impact: Each venture we support in Unreasonable FUTURE will designate and track at least one leading indicator of social or environmental impact. We will track this impact indicator on an annual basis.
Entrepreneurs have always envisioned the world as it could be, not as it presently is. Through our research and experience, we have come to believe that entrepreneurs often operate on the edge of new solutions to societal and environmental problems that we formerly thought were unsolvable. The challenge is that while there are brilliant innovators and entrepreneurs (and many of their models are already working at scale in market), they need investment, mentorship, exposure, and strategic partnerships to achieve global scale. This is the kind of support we work to provide via Unreasonable FUTURE.
We also believe that entrepreneurs are the job creators of today and tomorrow. We want to work with the most promising growth-stage ventures, those rapidly growing their employee base, to ensure that they build on ramps for at-risk workers and underserved youth into their core operations and trajectory.
To put it simply, we will seek out ventures that are (1) utilizing new technologies relevant to the future of work while also solving some of society’s toughest challenges; (2) are reimagining the face of education, learning, and up-skilling; and (3) have the potential to positively impact underserved youth and at-risk workers worldwide. Each year, our Selection Committee will review, learn from, and evolve the criteria below as we learn from experience what comprises the ideal portfolio.
- Impact Lens: We will only work with entrepreneurs whose company’s core product or service, beyond creating jobs and prepping the future workforce, is measurably having a positive social or environmental impact.
- Market-Driven Solutions: We will seek out entrepreneurs with market-driven business models that are for-profit and designed to rapidly scale.
- Geographic Breakdown: We will source entrepreneurs globally. We believe that innovation, creativity, and entrepreneurship are not commodities restricted by borders. We scour the globe for the most impactful solutions and ventures aligned with the vision of Unreasonable FUTURE.
- Global Identity: We strive to ensure that the demographics (i.e. gender, race, geography, socio-economic class…etc) of the CEOs we support are reflective of the globally diverse world we operate within. This is not a gimmick, we see it as a strategic imperative.
- Scaling What Works: We are aligning with ventures that have secured a minimum of over $10M in financing and/or $10M in revenue to date. The focus of Unreasonable FUTURE is on scaling what works. Companies are not able to apply. Rather, they are handpicked and privately invited because of the unique impact they have already demonstrated in the market, and the potential for what their impact means at scale.
- Non-linear Growth: We will align with entrepreneurs whose ventures are positioned on an exponential growth curve. We are looking for highly scalable business models and teams that will not only solve a regional challenge, but are also designed to eventually solve a key challenge globally.
- Thematic Breakdown: As we look to examine the future of work, we will unite a unique portfolio of entrepreneurs focused on technologies that support the next generation workforce and who are disrupting the very nature of work itself.
- Supporting the Future of Work: Approximately half of the portfolio will be made up of CEOs leading companies focused on the future of learning, education, upskilling, and reskilling. This part of the portfolio will be wielding products and platforms aimed at enabling the workers and youth of today to thrive in the workplaces of tomorrow. We will look at ventures across three categories of support: 1) experiential learning (e.g. virtual reality & augmented reality), 2) broadening skills including complex reasoning and creativity, and 3) empowering vulnerable learners with the means, access, and mindsets to thrive in the workforce of tomorrow.
- Disrupting the Future of Work: The remainder of the portfolio will be focused on companies operating across disruptive trends in technology that are shaping the “new economy” (i.e. blockchain, robotics and automation, artificial intelligence and machine learning, 3D printing, the internet of things, nanotechnology and synthetic biology). These companies will be selected based not only on the technology stack they are utilizing, but also on whether or not they are 1) augmenting human productivity and expertise, 2) creating new industries that could spark the next 100 million accessible jobs and 3) placing unique pressure on the current labor markets with new modes of automating procedural tasks. We are especially interested in companies that are building on ramps into the future jobs market for middle-income, non-urban, and/or less-skilled populations, as well as those with technology that is augmenting the abilities of a future workforce.
- Logical Path to Achieving the Impossible: We invite entrepreneurs who challenge our conceptions of what we thought was possible in terms of impact, scale, business models, and growth. Simultaneously, we look for a logical and convincing model to enter the market that matches this unguarded ambition.
- Unrelenting Dedication: We invite ventures whose leadership team demonstrates a clear conviction that they will stop at nothing to ensure they put a positive dent on history. We want to be convinced that the problem they are solving is baked into their DNA.
- Shared Goals: We will ensure that all the entrepreneurs we align with demonstrate a commitment to the vision of this partnership. We will ensure that they are eager to collaborate on what the future of inclusive work will look like.
- Strong Beliefs Held Loosely: Although we are looking for entrepreneurs who are obsessed with creating a more just society, we also want to ensure that we only select entrepreneurs who are willing to admit when they are wrong and who have the humility to be coached and mentored. We select for a mix of confidence and humility.
We like to say that our two-week programs are the spark to a flame. They are simply the point in which we induct the entrepreneurs into a lifetime of support. In short, our programs mark the beginning of an ongoing relationship where we, alongside our partners, look to drive resources to and breakdown barriers to help scale their impact over time and ultimately, to millions of people worldwide.
Most incubators and accelerators focus on working with idea, seed, and early-stage companies. We don’t think of ourselves as an incubator or an accelerator because we focus on working with growth-stage companies. We identify ventures that are already wielding the most effective solutions to specific global issues. In short, we focus on scaling what works. By working with significantly later stage ventures than an accelerator or incubator, we can identify more avenues for investment, licensing, and partnership between the Fortune 500 companies we work with and the ventures we support. Ultimately, this leads to more transformational impact around the key motivation behind Unreasonable FUTURE: ensuring youth and sustainable business thrive in the 21st century. Furthermore, we don’t think of ourselves as an accelerator because we see the gathering that we run to drive support into the Unreasonable FUTURE entrepreneurs is part of a broader movement. That movement is to build an eco-system of actors, public and private, to collectively work together an ensure a more equitable future for all.
George Bernard Shaw is famous for saying (with slight adjustments on our part to make it more inclusive):
“The reasonable person adapts themself to the world; the unreasonable one persists in trying to adapt the world to themself. Therefore all progress depends on the unreasonable person.”
From its inception, Unreasonable Group has believed that entrepreneurs building rapidly scalable businesses are the world’s most unreasonable people, and therefore our best bet for solving the world’s toughest challenges. Leveraging our immersive programs where we partner with major global institutions, our powerful media arm, our investment fund, and our global network of mentors, specialists, and investors, we build ecosystems to profitably solve key global challenges.
Our current educational systems have fallen short of their potential and failed many communities around the world. We believe that disruptive innovations like those led by Unreasonable FUTURE entrepreneurs offer the best hope to deliver leapfrogging outcomes. Underserved communities everywhere, including those ill-served by outdating approaches to learning, have been waiting for better ways to develop their human potential. They don’t want to be treated like machines and in an age of intelligent machines, we won’t need them to be. Unreasonable FUTURE is specifically targeting underserved communitiees as a key beneficiary because our communitiees deserve better and because our collective future prosperity depends on it.
If you are a multinational company or organization committed to redesigning the future of work and ensuring that youth and at-risk workers remain a part of the solution, please reach out to us directly about partnership. Simply fill out the form for partnerships in the ‘Get Involved’ section below, and we will follow up right away to set up a call.