Organizational leaders are at an unprecedented inflection point. Years of pandemic-related challenges have disrupted society’s most foundational systems – and the workplace is no exception. From the potential and pressures of new technologies to evolving stakeholder expectations, leaders have had to be innovative, nimble, and clear-eyed in response to rapid shifts in how we work, where we work, how we support the people who work for us, and how we can harness the power of emerging tech while keeping humans at the center of our efforts.

There is no playbook for these leaders — but there are promising, new models, strategies, and approaches to navigating these shifts in the landscape. To support these leaders, NationSwell announced a new 2023 initiative focused on Building the Future of Work to support practitioners advancing the intersecting fields of labor, equity, technology, and sustainability.

Through a series of convenings, research, and interviews, NationSwell has surfaced some of the most promising takeaways on how leaders are responding to present challenges, redressing the injustices of the past, and working to build a more equitable, just, and human-centered future of work — while illuminating what’s on their minds as they build. With the valuable findings below in hand, NationSwell is excited to further explore this evolving realm of leadership, continuing our quest to better understand the ever-changing dynamics in this field.

The Community Leaders Who Made This Possible

We wanted to take a moment to spotlight just some of the leaders who made Building the Future of Work possible.

 “To prepare for the future of work, we must invest intentionally in developing the leadership of young people to thrive, and lead, in a rapidly changing world.” — Radha Ruparell

Learn more about how Radha is building the Future of Work as Head of Global Leadership Accelerator at Teach For All.

“Becoming truly human-centered will require shifting our focus from the future of work to the future of workers.” — Maria Flynn

Learn more about how Maria is building a human-centered for of work as President and CEO of Jobs For the Future.

“We need to align the conversations of employer competitiveness enabled by technology with that of advancing job quality. Many people want a different world of work than the one we inherited or even shaped before the pandemic.” — Shalin Jyotishi

Learn more about how Shalin is Building the Future of Work as a fellow for the World Economic Forum.

“The most important part of building the future of work is grounding worker performance in well-being. We will still face change and uncertainty, but a workplace that creates agency and connection to a larger purpose will enable people to perform.” — Meredith Davis

Learn more about how Meredith is Building the Future of Work as Government Account Partner at BetterUp.

“The future of work will require a change in perspective from a nuanced 40-hour a week schedule wherein employees are glued to a cubicle or office to one of flexibility—understandably, this will vary based on the scope of one’s position.” — Dr. Larry Johnson

Learn more about how Dr. Larry Johnson is Building the Future of Work as President of CUNY’s Guttman Community College

The Takeaways

Learn how NationSwell leaders are Building the Future of the Workforce by creating untraditional pipelines to employment for would-be workers from marginalized communities.

Learn how NationSwell leaders are Building the Future of Work by using inclusive leadership as their compass to navigate a newly hybrid working world.

Learn how NationSwell leaders are building the Future of Work by advancing corporate cultures that pave the way towards progress, equality, and greater social impact overall.

NationSwell’s Future of Work Collaboratives received two honors from Fast Company’s 2023 World Changing Ideas Awards. Learn more about our new model for scaled impact that unites the largest corporations, philanthropies and advocacy groups to accelerate and scale their impact, and how we’re using this model in Building the Future of Work, working with leaders to create a more equitable, sustainable and human future for the ever-evolving workplace.