Future of Work

San Francisco, California

Where things were:

Finding solutions for how people are enabled to flourish in the San Francisco Bay Area is critical, especially when it comes to work. Local actors are interested in innovative models that help people find quality work.

What was needed:

Since 2016 Stephen has been working in California with foundations, workforce agencies and state and local government around the Future of Work. In 2018, he co-founded Turning Basin Labs (TBL), a worker-owned staffing agency. Innovative in how it works, it places contractors while uniquely paying them well, providing training and access to benefits and access to profit share. TBL came into its own during the pandemic by supporting the hiring of PPE volunteers and since September 2020 has focussed on supporting placements, and internships for research roles and training programs delivered by training providers. 

Stephen in action:

Stephen initially worked on a tool to help workers find training opportunities, then a project to support affordable housing and most recently a staffing agency to help workers secure ownership, training and quality gig work. 

He started working with the San Francisco based Foundation ReWork the Bay to design Project Signal, a data-sharing initiative focused on supporting low-wage workers to find training opportunities locally. Stephen played a leadership role throughout the project, helping with designs, engaging workers, governance and the development of vision and execution. He also worked with the CitiGroup Community Foundation in the Bay Area as they have engaged Black-led Churches and property entrepreneurs to develop affordable housing and office space in the region.

What happened next:

Between August 2019 and December 2021, TBL placed over 150 people into employment, working with 30 organisations and established strategic partnerships with JFF, JVS, Irvine Foundation, CROP and New World Foundation to name a few. In 2022, the business was acquired by CROP and Stephen is now an advisor to the aligned businesses.