About the Tech and Society Solutions Lab:
The original promise of technology was that it would change our lives for the better. But it’s increasingly clear that there are unintended societal consequences arising from how fast much technology has been built and scaled.
The Tech and Society Solutions Lab is a new effort within the Omidyar Network that draws upon our long-standing beliefs in the promise of technology to create opportunity, empowerment and social good, if done thoughtfully. The Lab invests and co-creates solutions to help tech companies and civil society better anticipate, prevent, and correct issues arising from current and potential future societal downsides of technology – and maximize societal upside. A sample of our work so far includes:
- We support several field-leading change agents from the Center for Humane Tech, which is raising awareness about the harms arising from the addictive nature of social media, to Doteveryone, which is fomenting a movement for ethical technology in the UK.
- We’re reinventing training for technologists in prominent universities so as to include deep practical work on planning for societal impact in engineering, data science and product design.
- We’re forming partnerships with individual tech companies who want to test specific interventions to build more ethical cultures and product design practices.
- We’re planning a major convening of different actors to build shared identity and connective tissue so as to increase access to resources for promising efforts – and to build the foundation for a more formal umbrella effort and impact at scale.
While we know, from the sheer rise in media interest alone, that the time is now in terms of change we seek, these are still early days for our team. We’re a passionate and entrepreneurial team, taking an experimental approach; starting with small bets on various promising points of entry, and scaling up what works so as to change the system.
About Omidyar Network:
Pierre Omidyar, the founder of eBay, and his wife, Pam, established Omidyar Network (ON) based on the belief that every person has the potential to make a difference. We take calculated risks in the earliest stages of innovation, helping to transform promising ideas into successful ventures that can increase opportunity for individuals around the world. Headquartered in Redwood City, California, ON also has offices in Washington, DC; London, UK; Mumbai, India; and Johannesburg, South Africa. We have invested more than $1.1 billion into some of the most promising change-makers – both for- and non-profit – globally.
Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations that foster economic advancement and encourage individual participation across multiple initiatives, including Digital Identity, Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, Impact Investing, Property Rights and Tech and Society Solutions Lab.
This is an amazing opportunity for an entrepreneurial individual to play a formative role in shaping our team. You’ll be essential to the success of our efforts and will help us build the movement from the ground up. The position reports to our Director for Tech and Society and will be based in Redwood City, California.
- Insights: alongside the team, you’ll screen and assess proposals to invest and co-create. Using your deep knowledge of the wider landscape, you’ll prepare memos that outline the opportunity, recommend structure for investment or collaboration, and help shepherd investments/grants through internal processes for approval.
- Project and product management: you’ll be the glue for major efforts we take on, working closely with our partners, keeping track of all moving parts and problem solving fast to ensure everything goes smoothly.
- Measuring impact: as our portfolio grows, you’ll play a key role in helping us understand the impact of our programs and projects. You’ll help us learn from our failures, and play a key role in drafting materials on our progress for board and internal stakeholders.
- Relationship management: core to our work is building our network with diverse high profile external stakeholders who are all working on a different angle of the problem. You’ll help us build systems and suggest efforts to make sure we’re building the strongest relationships possible, both individually and collectively.
- At least 5 years industry experience, including at least a couple of years with a major tech firm, startup or VC.
- You pride yourself on your excellent project management skills. You’re highly organized, with keen attention to detail, and know how to manage teammates to ensure everyone meets essential milestones on any project.
- You’re a keen strategic thinker, easily able to take a complex goal into pros and cons of different approaches and a strong action recommendation.
- You have a high tolerance for ambiguity. You are willing to constantly test ideas, learn from failure with a systematic approach, and start again.
- You’re a skilled influencer; able to build coalitions, build strong relationships and advocate for what you believe in.
- You are passionate about the mission of the team and full of ideas about how the technology industry can become the best version of itself.
- You have excellent written and oral communication skills, possess a great sense of humor, and care about team culture and harmony.
- You have a high sense of personal responsibility and integrity, proven ability to exercise discretion and good judgement.
- Background or experience in computer science, data science, or engineering a plus.
- BA/BS required, MBA or other graduate degree a plus.
Omidyar Network firmly believes that diversity and inclusion makes us more successful in our work, and we seek to recruit, develop and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. All qualified applicants will receive consideration for employment without regard to race, national origin, age, sex, religion, disability, sexual orientation, marital status, veteran status, gender identity or expression, or any other basis protected by local, state, or federal law.