About ShiftLabs

Automation and the Future of Work

Few issues shape a society as crucially as work. It is the way we support our families, contribute to our communities, and generate an identity. Automation will profoundly change the jobs we know today and what is required to earn a good living.

Our Approach

Building on our insights developed through the Shift Commission, a joint partnership between New America and Bloomberg, New America is launching ShiftLabs to work in partnership with communities to address the most pressing questions related to automation. What kind of work will people do in five, ten, and twenty years? What are the best ways to empower workers with skills and connect them to opportunity? How will the future of work transform our communities?

Through ShiftLabs, we are partnering with five pilot communities to prepare for a future of automation and foster innovation. Beginning in Phoenix and Indianapolis, then expanding with Rural ShiftLabs to Charleston, WV, Northwest Arkansas, and the Uplands, IN we we will collaborate with local leaders to develop a long-term vision for economic vibrancy. Bringing together leaders from technology, industry, policy, philanthropy and culture, ShiftLabs will harness each city’s strengths to catalyze social innovation to address automation.

How ShiftLabs Work

  • Community Engagement. New America will partner with local institutions to engage the community in a public discussion on automation and the future of work.
  • ShiftLab Convenings. New America will use data-driven analysis to identify automation trends and identify regional strengths. The convenings will support local leaders in developing priorities to prepare for automation and pathways to achieve those goals.
  • Social Innovation Competition. Built around local priorities, New America will launch a social innovation competition to connect workers with opportunities, skills, or support. The best 1-3 applications from each city will be selected for funding.
  • Scaling What Works. As the pilots are implemented, New America will work to surface, support and expand the most successful local innovations.

ShiftLabs is generously supported by the Rockefeller Foundation and Walmart Giving.