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Announcing the $100,000 Visionary Grant Final Four

Adrienne Colella, Visionary Circle Steering Committee Chair

Here are the four finalists in the first ever Visionary Grant competition! Four project directors will be presenting their proposals in hopes of being the inaugural winner of this prestigious grant.



Play 2 Work: Constructing a Competency-Based Video Gaming Profile

to Empower Gen Z Job Seekers


Submitted by:

Jennifer M. Verive, Courageous Choice

Jonathan Levine, Workforce Dynamics


The proposed Play2Work research dramatically alters how Gen Zers seek jobs and explore careers. We will use traditional and machine-learning validation strategies to link individual gamers’ commercial video gameplay data to O*NET-based job competencies. The outcome, the “Personal Gaming Profile,” is an innovative tool that will be made available to Gen Z gamers to download and share as they wish. The Play2Work research is visionary in concept, methodology, and outcome. It will build on the current literature, significantly advance the employee recruitment and retention arenas, and exponentially enhance the visibility of the field and work of industrial-organizational psychology.


Working Off the Grid: Building Resilience in the GIG Economy


Submitted by:

Susan Ashford, University of Michigan

Brianna Barker Caza, University of Manitoba

Brittany Lambert, University of Colorado, Boulder


To stay relevant in the 21st century, SIOP needs a broader vision, one that captures the particular needs of the estimated 40% of the workforce who will soon work outside of organizations, on their own. We need new theories to understand these workers, who operate with radical autonomy, direct market pressures, little structure, persistent uncertainty, and significant volatility. We will conduct an intervention-based, cross-disciplinary field experiment using experience sampling methodology comparing the experiences of workers in the gig economy to those in traditional organizations to better understand the specific resources and processes that contribute to resilience in each setting.




Enabling Peer-Level Partnerships in Human–AI Teams


Submitted by:

Robert B. Davison, Colorado State University

Omri Gillath, University of Kansas

Michael S. Branicky, University of Kansas

Shawn Keshmiri, University of Kansas

Ryan Spaulding, University of Kansas


Inspired by the revolutionary promise of human–AI teaming, this research contributes to the transformation of AI from its current status as human productivity tool to one where AI agents are integrated into systems of work as trusted “peer-level” colleagues. Our interdisciplinary team comprising social science, engineering, healthcare, and work context experts will (a) identify both individual differences and the forces that enable and inhibit human–AI partnering; (b) pilot interventions to increase feelings of security and trust in AI-enabled teammates in two life-critical applications, AI-enabled rural medical specialist and unmanned aerial systems; and (c) amass knowledge portable to other contexts.


The Human Skills Project: A Future-Oriented Work Ontology Toolkit


Submitted by:

Muriel Clauson, University of Georgia


The Human Skills Project will develop a first-of-its-kind tool to identify the most important human skills in the context of emerging technologies and the future of work. The outcome is an easy to use, machine-learning enabled, and future-oriented work analysis tool, which displays findings in a mapped ontology of skills today and in the future. This will produce novel insights that can inform the direction of reskilling programs and research. To effectively reskill a workforce, it is critical to understand the functions best served by technology and by humans—this toolkit lays the foundation for this to be possible.

The Back Story

Where did the final four come from?  Last spring, we asked SIOP members “What would you do if you had $100,000 to shape the future of work?” We received 33 letters of intent from practitioners and scholars who had terrific ideas about how to shape the future of work. The letters were evaluated by the Visionary Circle Steering Committee; 10 project directors were asked to submit full proposals, which were narrowed down to the four finalists.

A bit earlier the Foundation was able to create the Visionary Grant because 82 individuals contributed at least $1000 each to become members of the Visionary Circle.  We raised $102,000 in total. Visionary Circle members will select the winner from among the four finalists, basing their votes on the written proposals and brief videos prepared by the finalists. 

The four finalists were chosen because their projects exemplify being visionary, that is, looking to the future of work, bringing I-O psychology into another realm, asking new questions, and/or engaging with other disciplines. The projects also integrate the science and practice of I-O psychology, address problems critical to the future of work, have clear metrics for success, indicate how the project will change or advance praxis in I-O psychology, and have the potential for facilitating subsequent work and/or additional funding.

With the cancellation of the conference, the SIOP Foundation is considering ways to present these projects, collect votes, and make the announcement of the inaugural winner. Watch social media and SIOP news outlets for the latest information.

The SIOP Foundation Trustees welcome your comments, suggestions, and creative imaginings.  Become a member of the next Visionary Circle cohort at https://0-www-siop-org.library.alliant.edu/Foundation/Visionary-Circle/Visionaries-VC

Our mission is to connect donors with I-O professionals to create smarter workplaces.

Milt Hakel, President, mhakel@bgsu.edu

Rich Klimoski, Vice-President, rklimosk@gmu.edu

Nancy Tippins, Secretary, nancy@tippinsgroup.com

Leaetta Hough, Treasurer, leaetta@msn.com

Adrienne Colella, Communications Officer, acolella@tulane.edu

Mirian Graddick-Weir, Trustee, mgraddickweir76@gmail.com

Bill Macey, Trustee, wmacey9@gmail.com

John C. Scott, Trustee, JScott@APTMetrics.com

The SIOP Foundation
440 E Poe Rd Ste 101
Bowling Green, OH 43402-1355
419-353-0032   Fax: 419-352-2645
E-mail: SIOPFoundation@siop.org


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