Ventures WorkerTech newsletter: November 2022 The latest update from Resolution Ventures 30 November 2022 by Emma Selinger Emma Selinger It was great to see so many of you at our WorkerTech meetup last Monday. If you didn’t make it then don’t worry! This month I’m sharing what our WorkerTech community brought to the evening, and pointing you to some further organisations, projects and research. We’ll be hosting more WorkerTech meetups in the future, and if you have any ideas or suggestions about the types of events you’d like to come to, send a message to email@example.com. We’re also always keen to hear from anyone working on a WorkerTech idea too. Emma Ventures Manager Resolution Ventures What is top of mind for our WorkerTech community? Hannah O’Rourke and Ed Saperia kicked off the evening by talking about their recently published book, Reorganise: fifteen stories of workers fighting back in a digital age. From crowdworkers organising for the first time ever, to workers using simple platforms like Facebook or googlesheets, we heard about how technology can empower workers in new ways. Their presentation led to discussions on: 📱 Making platform work good work Gig work via digital platforms is here to stay, and we need to be aware of both the potential and pitfalls of this type of work. Better regulation and rights for workers should protect them from poor employment practices, while better information about platforms’ processes, and connections to other similar workers can improve the agency that platform workers have over how and when they work. Fairwork | Tony Blair Institute for Global Change | Reshaping Work 🌍 Improving equity, diversity and inclusion in the startup world 1.7% of VC investments made over the past decade have been to all-ethnic teams in the UK, and only 10 black female founders received investment. Tackling inherent bias in the systems that produce this outcome is key, along with equipping individual founders from diverse backgrounds with the tools, networks, cash and support to build successful startups. This is YSYS | Diversity VC | Acess2Funding by Clu 🧰 Using technology to build great teams Disentangling technology and the future of work is challenging, but technology can be harnessed to build great teams and work environments through collaboration, communication and inclusion. However, we do need to recognise issues around algorithmic management, surveillance and isolation that work and tech can bring to teams. CIPD | Sifted | Institute for the Future of Work 🤝 Building partnerships to grow a WorkerTech idea Partnerships can be critical at the beginning of a startup journey. From sourcing groups to conduct user research, to piloting product on-boarding with potential clients, bringing in expertise from other organisations can strengthen your product and pitch in lots of ways. WorkerTech Partnership | Sifted | Founders Factory 😇 Behind the scenes of angel investing Angel investors are individuals who back ventures in their very early fundraising rounds. They often have expertise in a specific sector and can act as an advisor to founding teams as they build their business. Finding angel investors that believe in your mission is a great place to start, and angel networks offer the opportunity for you to pitch your company to lots of different angels at the same time. Angel Investment Network | UKBAA | Conduit Connect Latest insights from the Resolution Foundation Adopt, adapt, improve – this report looks at workplace automation, finding that although automation is affecting jobs, aggregate employment is still growing with automation creating new types of jobs with higher wages. These positive indirect effects offset the negative impact of automation replacing jobs. Policing prejudice – an analysis of the scale and nature of workplace discrimination which finds that 20% of working age adults reported discrimination in relation to work over the past year. Low-paid workers are most anxious about workplace discrimination, but are least likely to take action. The report calls for both increased state enforcement of anti-discrimination laws and more efficient and accessible routes to redress for workers. Constrained choices – this report on working hours find that the highest-paid-fifth of workers work longest hours, while lowest-paid-fifth work shortest hours. With a concentration of part-time work in low-paid occupations, quantitative and qualitative analysis explores why low earners are choosing to work part-time, and the impact it has on their wellbeing and living standards. WorkerTech stories BBC documentary, Life in the fast food lane, takes a close look at the reality of working for a food delivery platform. Watch to follow three workers on their shifts and hear what they have to say, good and bad, about platform work and why they’re doing it. Our portfolio company, Breakroom, uses worker surveys to rate jobs at fast food outlets. USA-based Jobs For the Future has launched a new venture arm to continue investing in workforce and employment tech at seed stage, developing the successful Employment Technology Fund. We’ve written previously about our WorkerTech counterparts in the USA, and we’re excited to see what develops in the USA and how it compares to WorkerTech in the UK. Learning and Work Institute published their Adult Participation in Learning Survey in 2022, finding that adults’ participation in learning is at levels last seen in the early 2000s, after a decade of decline in the 2010s. However, these increases aren’t necessarily in formal job-based learning, with the survey also finding that employer investing in training has fallen 28 per cent since 2005. How to address the UK skills emergency? The RSA and Ufi VocTech Trust have collaborated to publish Re-balancing adult learning with the key argument that the more people we can engage in learning, the more chance we have of meeting societal skills needs. Through foundational and digital skills and strong support system around adult learning, we can address both motivational and situational barriers to adult learning. Get involved Apply for direct investment from Resolution Ventures. We accept applications from WorkerTech ventures on a rolling basis. Or you can book a slot in our office hours for an initial conversation. Applications for the Social Tech Amplifier close on Friday 2nd December at midday. Catch 22 are seeking to back ventures that improve employment outcomes for young people – either standalone tech solutions or products that improve service delivery. Bethnal Green Ventures are hosting a free online AMA on no-code for tech for good on Friday 2nd December, and an investment readiness workshop on Tuesday 13th December for any early-stage tech for good venture thinking about raising funding. Catch-up on Ufi’s Week of VocTech with the recording of our panel discussion on investing in technology to address skills and employment challenges with Greenworkx, Beringea, TaskHer, and Ufi Ventures.