I founded Ethical Angel in 2018 to digitise volunteering.
Creating a scalable solution that was frictionless and added measurable value to volunteers, businesses and beneficiaries alike was my dream. And, since 2018, it has become the dream of dozens of others. A noble mission we share, the reason for the hard work we put in to develop an application that genuinely improves efficiencies, experiences and outcomes for users irrespective of who they are, which organisation they belong to and where they are based.
Why shouldn't volunteering be digitised. Why shouldn't businesses of all sizes, civil departments and educational facilities be motivated by more than marketing 'green washing' benefits... but actual bottom line benefits. And, isn't it good if employees and students get what they want and need from volunteering - so long as the beneficiaries truly benefit?
We believe so, and we built it. Digital, or virtual volunteering as we call it is very much alive and flourishing. I am so proud of what the team built, the reach of benefit (users in 52 countries) and the value enjoyed by users...
So why on earth are we pivoting?
Ethical Angel was built to solve a problem, digital volunteering was the solution. But we have realised we are on to something bigger, another problem we can solve, something that could change the world.
What are you on about?
OK, so the world is changing, has changed. From the mobilisation of a collective social conscious recognising injustice and celebrating differences to a shift in the capitalist model valuing all stakeholders not just shareholders. It is exciting, a sense of a more positive future for us all.
Life is changing, as is work...
"A survey of more than 3000 workers reveals that fewer than one in ten wants to return to the office full time when COVID-19 restrictions are eased." 24th March 2021, Strathclyde Business School
"A recent staff survey showed that while 81 per cent of respondents anticipated working from a Deloitte office for up to two days a week in the future, nearly all (96 per cent) of the firm’s employees wanted the freedom to choose how flexibly they will work." 19th June 2021, The Independent
"We see that more than 70% of UK employees want to work from home 2+ days a week" 21st June 2021,World Economic Forum
It is clear, that a return to the office as we knew it is highly unlikely. And should we be surprised? The lockdowns in the UK and abroad have instilled in each of us a self-reliance to achieve our tasks. To produce and commerce in the comfort and familiarity of our homes. To enjoy our families and our fridges. To have flexibility, time and trust that wasn't there (and for some still isn't) two years ago.
Employees, perhaps for the first time since the industrial revolution realise the sacrifices they were making for their employers, the commutes, the inefficiencies and the micro-management. And having demonstrated that they can work from home, they want to continue doing so.
But this poses a problem, one perhaps that is yet to be fully registered. No, I am not talking about corporate rental space, the hit to city centres or tailors.
I am instead, referring to experiential learning of power skills.
To start, let's look at how indeed.com defines power skills:
“Power skills are more often seen as personality traits you may have spent your whole life developing. They are called upon when you manage your time, communicate with other people or confront a difficult situation for the first time.”
Why does this matter? Well, there are several reasons, but none more evident than the rapid advances in technologies heralding the 4th Industrial Revolution. Artificial Intelligence (AI), robotics and the Internet of Things (IoT) will make redundant many of the professional tasks we enjoy today. Therefore, professional competencies that currently fuel these tasks will become increasingly redundant, as a more effective, relentless and cheaper resource takes over.
However, whilst we can give technology the impression of sentient beings, they cannot compete (at least at this stage) with our emotional intelligence, communication, adaptability and creativity.
The 4th Industrial Revolution is definitely coming and many believe it will likely result in
Power skills - they're important hey!?
So every business will need them, and successful employees of the future will have them. But how do we train them?
Traditionally, offices... (ah, offices...) provided fertile ground for the development of power skills through experiential learning. Sitting next to colleagues, attending meetings and being in a communal social space was the passive way employers developed the power skills they wanted from their people.
But with offices no more, that opportunity to experience, practice and reflect has been removed from our learning and development. So, how can employers train their workforces for the future?
That is the problem that we believe we have solved.
We found early on with Ethical Angel that users were volunteering for more than making an impact. They were volunteering to develop themselves, to feel more confident, to prepare themselves for their next opportunity and to fulfil their ambitions.
Without meaning to, we had created a learning and development solution.
Feedback and reflections from employees at SONY, bp, PepsiCo, Marks and Spencer and dozens of others inspired us to delve further into power skill development. To see if we could use our projects, ordered by charities, social enterprises, NGOs and others around the world, as a virtual version of the office experiential learning environment.
Here is what we created:
Ethical Angel has created a solution that offers employers and employees as well as educators and their students real-world experiences to fulfil their aspirations and develop their power skills. Something they must do in a new, digital and scalable way. Something that matches the shift in our social conscious and benefits people, planet and profit.
Our technology has created a way that employees can learn with purpose. The projects that charities, social enterprises, NGOs and so many more need, to fuel their organisations and free them, their energy and their budgets up to focus more on their causes, are now more valuable than ever. Good causes on Ethical Angel don't just offer people the opportunity to give back, they now offer invaluable workforce training.
That is why we have pivoted...*
Want to learn more about our plan for experiential learning, how we created it and how it will benefit you and your people. Download our latest white paper now:
*We haven't really pivoted, we still love and enhance our virtual volunteering plan, digitising volunteering in a frictionless and valuable way, we have just taken on another challenge that only increases the power of the free resource we provide to causes.