About Omidyar Network:
Omidyar Network is a market-oriented philanthropic investment firm. We support innovative start-ups and partner with other organizations around the world in the service of driving social impact. Established in 2004 by eBay founder Pierre Omidyar and his wife Pam, our efforts today focus on a core set of the most pressing and difficult issues that have emerged in society. Our resources and people are dedicated to reimagining capitalism; promoting the beneficial use of technology; building bridges in a pluralistic world; and fostering individual capabilities. To date, Omidyar Network has committed more than $1 billion to for-profit companies and nonprofit organizations whose work is aligned with our mission.
About Omidyar Network Labs and Exploration & Future Sensing:
Omidyar Network Labs is a newly announced innovation unit with a mandate for experimentation, research and investment across capitalism, technology, pluralism and individual empowerment. Labs experiments with new approaches and tools for generating impact; explores new topics, horizons and ideas; and further develops how we affect and inform ideas, assumptions, and policies in service of our work. Developing a team and extensive external network better enables us to deploy a full range of foresight, advocacy, idea discovery, and network tools.
Exploration & Future Sensing is a new effort within Labs that proactively identifies emerging insights, issues, opportunities for impact and investment, that could have significant implications for our work, and to our overarching goal of individual empowerment. Recent global shifts have made us appreciate the importance of anticipating impending change, including looking at current shifts and conventional wisdom differently. As our founder, Pierre Omidyar, likes to say, while change is certain, the direction is not. This unit is charged with inspiring our teams to better anticipate what the direction of change could be, to prepare for it, and to pressure test current assumptions, diagnoses, points-of-view, and solutions, using a combination of foresight, creative production, networks, and possible test investing.
The vision of Exploration is to be an expedition and discovery crew, traversing new terrain to uncover emerging issues, ideas, and opportunities, generate new insights, and share them within Omidyar Network, The Omidyar Group of entities, and beyond, to catalyze dialogue, action, new thinking and innovation that pushes the frontier of social change. We are developing a proactive approach to anticipate, respond to and influence an increasingly complex, uncertain and dynamic world.
Based in Redwood City, CA, this executive will report into the Managing Partner and be part of the Labs leadership team. This is an opportunity for an entrepreneurial leader to play a formative role in shaping Labs’ Exploration & Future Sensing function. As a member of Exploration, you’ll lead a pioneering team that seeks to build and convene global networks, and identify and creatively disseminate new trends, provocative insights, and bold ideas to inform and sometimes drive the work of Omidyar Network, The Omidyar Group, and the next generation of global social impact leaders.
For the past year, the team has been building foresight and insight generation capabilities; it now seeks to complement this platform with an entrepreneurial leader who can help drive insight to action through enhanced, creative collection of inbound signals and ideas, dissemination and strategic network development.
How you’ll contribute to our success:
- Diverse network and relationships: Core to this work is building out our network with truly diverse external stakeholders to ensure we are listening to the broadest possible set of inbound signals and perspectives. You’ll use your skills as an influencer and coalition-builder to organize convenings, craft new relationships, particularly into diverse communities, put together unusual partners, and strengthen existing relationships.
- Inbound signals and data sources: In addition to cultivating a robust external network for incoming signals and testing, Labs will rely on other sources of data that we can mine for insight and trends. This could take the form of broad datasets, social media analytics, consumer survey data, intimate discussion with marginalized communities, signal gathering trips to other countries, and other cutting edge sources.
- Creative, evocative communication of ideas: You’ll come up with creative and powerful ways to share insights we develop through our future-sensing work, both internally and externally, through networks and convenings, online and in-person channels, compelling and creative methods.
- Foresight, trend identification and insight discovery: You’ll quickly assess and identify early signals and trends along with the foresight lead, to shape ideas and perspectives that others at Omidyar Network will find unique and provocative.
- Stakeholder and portfolio management and strategy: You’ll oversee broad management of the Exploration portfolio of experiments -- shaping hypotheses, structuring experiments, assessing opportunities, making and managing investments (if relevant) at an individual level (and empowering your team to do the same), and also directing the broader portfolio strategy. You’ll manage stakeholders to communicate strategy, priorities and impact.
- Idea development and incubation: In some cases, where an idea is surfaced that merits further development rather than just awareness, this unit will take the lead in doing early research to see if there is an opportunity for Omidyar Network to experiment and build a response.
Qualifications – What you bring to the team:
- Listen deeply; you care about seeking out divergent and missing perspectives, especially coming from missed voices and marginalized groups, and contradictory viewpoints, thinking deeply about what they mean, and making sure they are heard.
- Collaborate well; energized by working with and empowering those around you. You enjoy collaborative brainstorming and partnering to build a better future
- Know how to build online and in-person influence and networks to share new ideas, build relationships, incentivize and maintain participation, and activate change. You have a rich, global and very diverse network to tap.
- Embrace – even thrive in, ambiguity, to shape the unknown and build something new. You learn new things quickly and enjoy picking up new skillsets, testing new areas of work, styles of working, tools and approaches, platforms and messages. You enjoy building the plane as you fly it.
- Find ideas and bold thinking inspiring, and are impatient for impact. You like to test and act while you also think and learn alongside; but you still know how to be patient within a shifting organization.
- Question conventional wisdom and are willing to argue contrary points of view, while still listening deeply to other viewpoints
- Have experience directing, designing and sharing content, you know how to tell stories compellingly (in written, video and/or audio form) and know how to direct a creative team.
- Are passionate about the mission of the firm and team, and are aligned to Omidyar Network’s values.
- We’re open to considering exceptional experience and trajectory, but typically, you have 20+ years of relevant experience, which might include:
- Working on influence campaigns/movement building, policy / advocacy, or strategic communications and media
- Experience testing and building something from scratch, as an entrepreneur or ‘intra-preneur’
- Foresight training or experience with application of scenarios
- Work in a creative field, like advertising, writing, art, music, film
- Experience in managing networks and communities of interest
- Track record in venture investing, philanthropic grantmaking or strategic program development helpful but not required
- Experience with key relevant data sets and capabilities, e.g., consumer insights, social media monitoring
- Have international, social impact experience; you are from, have lived in and/or have spent significant time in an emerging market.
- Excellent written and oral communication skills.
- Have a sense of humor, care about team culture, working together and also challenging each other, to shake up our biases and mindsets.
- Are known as a great manager in your prior roles, by people who worked for you, where those teams had leeway to act entrepreneurially and grow
- High sense of personal responsibility and integrity.
- BA/BS, and possibly, a relevant graduate degree.
Please include a resume and, in lieu of a cover letter, your answer to the following question with your application:
- What do you think are the greatest opportunity and challenge facing humanity today? (Please keep below 250 words).
Please upload your responses to this question where our online applications asks for a cover letter.
We look forward to hearing from you!
At Omidyar Network, diversity, equity, and inclusion are directly aligned with our fundamental belief that people are inherently capable, but they often lack opportunity. We know that a diverse workforce allows us to see problems in more nuanced ways, creating the thought leadership needed to have outsized positive returns on the world. We actively recruit, develop, and retain the most talented people from a diverse candidate pool. Omidyar Network is an equal opportunity employer and welcomes people from all experiences, abilities, and perspectives to apply.