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In March, we launched the Work of the Future Challenge and asked innovators around the world a complex question: “How can those most affected by the technology-driven transformations of work create productive and prosperous livelihoods for themselves?”
The response was impressive, with over 330 teams submitting their ideas from more than 70 countries. These innovators are responding to the changing nature of work in a variety of ways, from teaching digital skills and improving job matching, to using tech to organize migrant workers and transform the lives of farmers. You can learn more about the submission trends here.
On September 23, the Work of the Future Challenge Leadership Group had the difficult task of narrowing down the list to fifteen finalists who were invited to pitch their solutions live at Solve Challenge Finals. Today, we are delighted to announce the eight teams who will join the 2018 Solver class and receive support from the Solve community as they scale their innovative solutions.
Meet the eight Work of the Future Solver teams:
Apli is an AI-enabled jobs marketplace that fills jobs in just 24 hours, as opposed to the the 52-day average for traditional recruiting. Plus, the average Apli candidate earns five times the local market’s minimum wage. Machine learning models match workers with jobs based on data from thousands of assignments completed through the platform.
Contratados.org provides key information to empower migrant workers to make informed migration and work choices, helping to ensure their rights and safety. The platform allows workers to share anonymous information on workplace and recruitment abuses, access rights education materials, and view job opportunities through specific job boards.
Lynk is a Kenyan social enterprise that provides entrepreneurship infrastructure that informal workers often lack, from access to market to consumer service and payment management. Lynk then uses customer facing products to connect workers on the platform via SMS.
4. Plastics For Change
Plastics For Change is an ethical sourcing platform that creates a fair trade system for recycling plastic waste. Their API-based platform supports supply chain deals and transactions between stakeholders, providing wastepickers with access to fair and consistent income opportunities.
Refactored.ai is the only AI-powered platform that offers end-to-end solutions to mitigate the impending workforce transitions and wide-scale challenges that adoption of new technologies will bring.
6. Shimmy Upskill
Shimmy Upskill retrains workers most vulnerable to automation-driven job loss to operate and program machines using a gamified training platform. The platform trains them in CAD software, enhancing digital literacy and other transferable job skills.
ULTRA is an onshore software and data quality assurance startup working to prove that neurodiversity, including autism, can be a competitive advantage in business. ULTRA develops tools and processes to help teams recruit, hire, and redesign the workplace for individuals with autism.
VirtualGrasp is a VR training application that enables manufacturing workers to practice, in a natural and realistic way, operating machines specifically adapted to their company's environment. The solution is based on predictive algorithms that create hand motions and interactions in real time.
Feeling inspired? Find out how you can support these innovators and learn more about joining Solve as a member.
Work of the Future Solver teams at Solve Challenge Finals, September 23, 2018. (Photo: Adam Schultz / MIT Solve)