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 Exploration & Future Sensing:
Exploration & Future Sensing is a new unit within Omidyar Network with a mandate for foresight, experimentation, and test investment to proactively identify, test, incubate, and seed emerging insights, issues, and opportunities for impact, toward our overarching goal of individual empowerment. As our founder, Pierre Omidyar, says, while change is certain, the direction is not. This unit is charged with anticipating the direction of change and pressure testing potential solutions.
The goal of Exploration is to be an expedition crew for Omidyar Network, using foresight and networks to uncover emerging issues, ideas, and opportunities, generating and testing new insights, and sharing them within Omidyar Network and with external partners, to catalyze dialogue, action, and innovation that pushes the frontier of societal change. We are developing a proactive approach to anticipate, act on, and influence an increasingly complex, uncertain, and dynamic world.
Position Summary: One-year Fellowship
Based in Redwood City, CA, with travel to other offices, this Fellow will be part of a small, core group building out Omidyar Network’s new Exploration & Future Sensing work. They will work closely with the Exploration lead to: (A) Support Exploration work implementing critical internal process around pattern and trend identification and insight generation; experimenting with creative ways to communicate and engage diverse external audiences; testing approaches to integrate Exploration insights into broader Omidyar Network; and, (B) Lead their own exploration on an area or topic in which they are interested. This Fellow will be building something new amid a lot of ambiguity, with the agency and support to be bold and try new things.
The level of ambiguity, thinking about weird stuff, trying things with little idea whether they’ll work, convincing people to change, working hard and failing anyway, then back to the drawing board to try again — is hard. It’s not for everyone. If imagining this is raising your blood pressure, that's okay, we still think you're great, keep an eye out for other roles. If all this uncertainty sounds intriguing – even fun – to you, if you like learning new things, getting better, and feeling uncomfortable pretty much the whole time you're doing it, you should apply.
The fellowship is a one-year appointment and is open to those who have completed a minimum of bachelor’s level training, have experience in a startup or “scrappy” context, have worked internationally and/or with marginalized voices, and is a champion of new ideas, movements, and upsetting the norm. We are especially interested in candidates who have worked in minority-serving institutions, and who have demonstrated commitment to equity. This position is only open to those eligible to work in the U.S. Relocation assistance may be available.
- Minimum of 5 years relevant work experience, with some of the following:
- International experience — working ‘on-the-ground’ in middle income and frontier markets (India, China, Sub-Saharan Africa, Latin America, etc.)
- Social impact — working for a social enterprise, innovative non-profit, grassroots or community development organization
- Research and analysis – experience with quantitative and qualitative research methods and design (e.g., consumer insights, social media monitoring, etc)
- Story-telling and influence — investigative journalism, media, film, advertising, influence campaigns/ movement building, policy/ advocacy, with experience managing networks and relationships
- Foresight training or experience with scenarios helpful but not required
- Deep passion for Omidyar Network’s mission and approach to social change
- A sense of humor; valuing team culture, partnership, respect while challenging each other to shake up viewpoints, biases, mindsets, assumptions
- Experience with project-based and variable work (i.e., regularly switching topics, areas of work, climb learning curve, gain expertise)
- High tolerance for ambiguity, ability to work with limited day-to-day guidance, structure and drive work with little direction
- High sense of personal responsibility and integrity
- Clear written communication skills
- Fluency in various formats (e.g. PowerPoint, Excel, Word)
- BA/BS, and possibly, a relevant graduate degree
- Eligible to work in the U.S.
Please include a resume and, in lieu of a cover letter, your answer to both of the following questions (500 words max total):
- What is a signal* or trend that you observed recently? Where did you see it; why did you notice it -- what makes it unusual, surprising or unique; what are the implications?
- Tell us about a time you felt like an outsider – what happened, what did you do, what did you learn?
Please upload your responses to this question where our online application asks for a cover letter.
We look forward to hearing from you!
*A "signal of change" is a small or local innovation or disruption that has potential to grow in scale, to upset the "norm" or status quo. It can be a new social practice, product, policy or technology, an event, a local trend, even a recently revealed problem.
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.