Product Manager, Tech and Society Solutions Lab
Omidyar Network, Redwood City, CA
A WORLD OF POSITIVE RETURNS
About Omidyar Network:
Omidyar Network is a market-oriented philanthropic investment firm. We support innovative start-ups and partner with organizations around the world in the service of driving individual empowerment.
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 the team:
The original promise of technology was that it would change our lives for the better. But it’s increasingly clear that there are negative societal consequences arising from how fast much technology has been built and scaled.
The Tech and Society Solutions Lab draws upon our founders, Pierre and Pam Omidyar’s, and Omidyar Network’s long-standing beliefs in the promise of technology to create opportunity, empowerment and social good. The Lab invests and co-creates solutions to help technologists better anticipate, prevent, and correct issues arising from current and potential future societal downsides of technology and maximize societal upside. A few examples of our work so far includes:
- EthicalOS, a co-creation with Institute for the Future. This product framework designed to help tech teams plan for potential risks at the roadmap stage has been tested by 50+ companies, from Techstars startups to X.
- The Responsible Computer Science Challenge, a collaboration between us, Mozilla, Schmidt Futures and Craig Newmark Philanthropies that will award up to $3.5M for undergraduate faculty to integrate ethics into core, technical Computer Science coursework.
- Investees include Tristan Harris’ Center for Humane Tech, DotEveryone in the UK and Coworker.org, who work to help tech employees self-organize
- A Q1 Retreat that brought together 130 leaders, from big tech VPs to thought leaders, VCs and our grantees, to build shared identity and devise potential solutions
While we know 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 group, 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. We’re looking to spark a movement of technologists committed to designing tech that’s best for the world.
This position reports to our Director for Tech and Society Solutions Lab and will be based in Redwood City, California. This is an opportunity to play a role in leading the co-creation and adoption of products and campaigns that will nudge industry change, such as our EthicalOS. You’ll be one of our two in house product experts, working to identify opportunities and collaborators to influence both action and conversation.
For the past year, the team has been working to fund and co-create tests to influence product change and has begun to build an embryonic community; this role will take our work to the next level.
How you’ll contribute to our success:
- Product/campaign ideation and management: you’ll ideate and map opportunities, and identify collaborators. You’ll design and execute tactics to reach the right audience, using your project management skills to keep track of all moving parts and effect real change.
- 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 appropriate investment or collaboration and help shepherd investments or grants through internal processes for approval.
- 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 set goals, tweak if necessary, 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 external stakeholders. You’ll help us build systems and suggest efforts to make sure we’re building the strongest relationships possible, both individually and collectively.
What you'll bring to the team:
- We’re open to considering exceptional experience and trajectory but, typically, you have 5+ years of relevant experience, which might include:
Working on products, partnerships, or programs within a startup, larger tech firm or VC
- Design strategy experience would be welcomed
- Experience testing and building something from scratch, whether as an entrepreneur or as part of a product team
- Track record in venture investing, philanthropic grantmaking or strategic program development helpful but not required
- You’re a skilled relationship builder; able to manage multiple stakeholders, build strong collaborations and advocate for what you believe in
- You’re comfortable being both strategic and operational, and bring a scrappy inventiveness to all that you do. You’re willing to experiment, to take risks, to learn quickly, give recommendations for action and pivot appropriately.
- Are passionate about the mission of our team, especially given your first-hand experience working in tech, and are aligned to Omidyar Network’s values
- Have a sense of humor, care passionately about team culture and good collaboration
- Excellent written and oral communication skills
- High sense of personal responsibility and integrity
- BA/BS and, possibly, a graduate degree
Please submit a resume and, in lieu of a cover letter, 500 words about a technological harm you’re most keen to devise solutions for.
Draft your responses in a separate document that you can upload, and attach this document where our application asks for a cover letter. Do not paste your essay into the Cover Letter text box, as those pasted essays may get cut off.
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.
About Omidyar Network
WHO WE ARE At Omidyar Network, we start from a fundamental belief: People are inherently capable, but they often lack opportunity. We believe if we invest in people, through opportunity, they will create positive returns for themselves, their families, and the world at large. We also believe that businesses can be a powerful force for good. Pierre Omidyar experienced this firsthand as the founder of eBay. Just as eBay created the opportunity for millions of people to start their own businesses, we believe market forces can be a potent driver for positive social change. That’s why we invest in both for-profit businesses and nonprofit organizations, whose complementary roles can advance entire sectors. Starting from the premise that people are basically good, Pierre created a platform that gave everyone equal access to information, opportunity, and the tools to pursue their goals. Omidyar Network invests in entrepreneurs who share our commitment to advancing social good at the pace and scale the world needs today. We are focused on five key areas we believe are building blocks for prosperous, stable, and open societies: Education, Emerging Tech, Financial Inclusion, Governance & Citizen Engagement, and Property Rights. We take calculated risks in the earliest stages of innovation, helping to transform promising ideas into successful ventures. As an active impact investor, we offer more than just financial support. We provide vital human capital capabilities, from serving on boards to consulting on strategy, coaching executives to recruiting new talent. We connect promising investees to entrepreneurial visionaries with business know-how. We also leverage the tremendous capacity of Web and mobile technologies to go beyond incremental improvement and make a significant, widespread impact. Understanding the scale and importance of this work, we don’t undertake the challenge alone. The most powerful force for change lies in our connection with others: business, government, nonprofits, and individual partners. Together, we can use our resources to transform scarcity into abundance and put enduring opportunity within reach of more people worldwide.
Want to learn more about Omidyar Network? Visit Omidyar Network's website.
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