Can you make a living doing what you love? The website WillWorkFor  asks that question and presents short video portraits of people who have managed to do just that. There’s Reed, who spends half his working time downtown, presumably in an office, and half in the field. He’s committed to changing seed sourcing by harvesting data and to reminding us of food’s integrity—honest food comes from the ground, not a box. Claire also splits her time. She’s a scientist in the morning and a “stay-at-home teacher” in the afternoon. She advocates for learning from experts all over the world via technology, rather than relying only on static textbooks. The video portraits are fiction, but based on data that points to changes in our perceptions of work and its place in our lives.
WillWorkFor, which launched in October 2012, is a joint project of the design company IDEO and the investment firm Collaborative Fund. Karyn Campbell, an investor at Collaborative Fund, and Peter Antonelli, a brand communication designer and project leader at IDEO, will be at The Wolfsonian on Friday, April 19 at 7pm to discuss WillWorkFor, the changing nature of work, and their companies.
“There’s a shift in the economy and in consumer values that is talked about in the news media—with WillWorkFor, we wanted to explore it in a fun, unique way. WillWorkFor was meant to be an exercise, but it’s kind of taken on a life of its own,” says Campbell.
“In creating WillWorkFor, we were hoping to start a conversation,” explains Antonelli. “We phrased WillWorkFor intentionally as a question, with the idea that people will continue to fill in their answers. People are thinking about work differently. People have a sense of agency these days to do things on their own, to be entrepreneurs.”
The website has definitely struck a chord, Campbell says, generating much discussion, especially via social media. “Right now in our economy, people are choosing to create their own paths. They are shifting their paths to something more meaningful.”
Both companies are themselves dedicated to creating positive change in the world through their work. IDEO, a global design consultancy, focuses on human-centered design and aims to make the world better through design. The company’s clients include AT&T, Walgreens, Converse, Target, the National Park Service, and scores of others. It also has a global nonprofit arm working to mitigate world poverty. The Collaborative Fund invests in companies that it believes provide value in people’s lives, such as Kickstarter, taskrabbit, and Good Eggs.
The program, held in conjunction with the exhibition Describing Labor, is co-presented with The LAB Miami, is part of the Sustainatopia Conference, and is open to the public, as is a Collaborative Critique Session on Saturday morning at The LAB Miami in which Antonelli and Campbell meet with six Miami start-ups and provide feedback.
JOIN US: WILLWORKFOR, FRIDAY, APRIL 19, 7 PM. FREE TO MEMBERS, FIU COMMUNITY, AND THE LAB MIAMI; $10 ALL OTHERS. FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT CARL@THEWOLF.FIU.EDU  OR 305.535.2644. COLLABORATIVE CRITIQUE SESSION, SATURDAY, APRIL 20, 9 AM–NOON, AT THE LAB MIAMI, 400 NW 26 ST. FREE. FOR INFORMATION CONTACT INFO@THELABMIAMI.COM . BOTH EVENTS CO-PRESENTED WITH THE LAB MIAMI.