Heather Hartnett Contributor Share on Twitter Heather Hartnett is general partner and CEO of Human Ventures, an early-stage venture fund and startup studio in New York City. More posts by this contributor Building and investing in the ‘human needs economy’
Human Ventures builds and invests in what we call the “human needs economy,” which encompasses products and services that address material human problems — specifically those in the areas of health and wellness, the future of work and community. This spring, our Humans in the Wild cohort program brought together a group of exceptional entrepreneurs, building companies within health and wellness. This fall, we are excited to call upon entrepreneurs who are building companies reimagining the way in which we, as humans, work. Applications are open here.
The human needs economy is the future. Throughout the last few decades, fundamental shifts in technology and human behavior have impacted the nature and life cycle of the “traditional” professional journey — and that disruption has started to shape a new labor economy. The past decade specifically has brought significant technological advancements that help humans work more efficiently, and share and organize information at scale. However, those technological advances are now starting to outpace the human condition, creating a society weary of automation, one that finds individuals searching for their place and purpose in an increasingly competitive and fast-paced labor market.
As COVID-19 saw boardrooms go dark, turning homes into makeshift offices, nascent trends were forced into prominence. Abruptly, the labor force was newly eager for innovative solutions to help them thrive in the new normal. But there is a long way to go before this new normal feels normal. There’s much work to be done to help the human needs economy not just survive this seismic shift, but to use it as an advantage.
Human Ventures has identified four areas of opportunity best positioned to serve the human side of work over the next decade:
If you are building in these areas, we would love to connect with you.1. New work environments