The WEF Announcement Founder Interviews: Unlocking responsibility, potential & opportunity

After an incredible recognition by the World Economic Forum as a 2022 Technology Pioneer, our three Founders, Siobhan Savage, Dr. Shujia Zhang, and Mike Reed, sat down with members of our leadership team to talk about what this achievement means to them personally, their stories of unlocking potential and how Ethical AI will continue our mission to create Zero Wasted Potential in people, business, and society.

Siobhan Savage & Michael Johnson

MJ: Firstly, this is a big moment for Reejig, and for you! What does it mean to you personally to be in the company of some of the tech industry greats in receiving the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers accolade?

SS: It is! We’re very grateful to be recognized as a technology pioneer as part of this year’s 2022 cohort. Given the platform and the technology we’ve created, and our focus on eliminating bias for people leaders and people, I’ve always felt an immense responsibility to ensure we do as much good in the world as we can. 

To be recognized for that work along with other legendary organizations who have made such a positive impact not just for businesses, but for people and society as a whole is something to be very proud of.

MJ: Tell me what inspired you to start Reejig?

SS: My career prior to Reejig was working in HR. And that entire career was spent trying to find, move and mobilize people at scale — something that was really difficult to do.

I really struggled with our lack of ability to move folks into meaningful work that aligned with their skills and potential as we had no visibility of their skills or the opportunities that could’ve been a perfect fit for them. 

MJ: The WEF recognizes global companies that are leveraging new technologies and innovations that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

What’s your favorite moment of seeing how our own technology and innovations are impacting the world?

SS: For me, my favorite moments are usually the ones that no one else can see…

Every career pivot, every person nudged to a role that they never thought they could do. I’m truly obsessed with ensuring no one’s potential is wasted, so being able to do this at scale is my life’s work. 

MJ: What has been your experience in establishing a whole new category of tech in workforce intelligence?

SS: If you go and talk to any major organization around the world, they all share the same problems when it comes to talent — problems I experienced myself in my previous career in HR. 

So Reejig was designed with empathy towards these shared problems, and an understanding of how workforce intelligence can truly solve them. That understanding has driven us to grow so fast to solve the problem. 

Workforce intelligence will very soon be essential for every organization around the world, so we’re working hard to deliver workforce intelligence technology built on the basis of understanding. 

MJ: Our recognition as a Technology Pioneer also recognized the work Reejig has done toward Zero Wasted Potential. Why is that work so meaningful for you? 

SS: I’m a perfect example of Zero Wasted Potential. I didn’t have the upbringing that enabled me to get a degree, and I spent my entire career working in HR — yet I’m now the CEO of a fast-growing technology company. This isn’t something I had thought was possible, and if you just looked at my background for a position like this, instead of my potential and the skills I carry with me, I may not have been chosen. 

I wish I knew this was possible years ago. So, now I’m focused on ensuring everyone knows what their potential is so that it’s never wasted. 

MJ: What advice do you have for aspiring founders and leaders who are building technology to change the world?

SS: Keep focused on your North Star. For me, that North Star is Zero Wasted Potential. We’re not selling products or building technology, we’re creating a world with Zero Wasted Potential, and Reejig is the vehicle to get us there. 

SS: I’d love to hear from you now, MJ. What does being a WEF Technology Pioneer mean to you personally as a leader at Reejig? 

MJ: Being a part of a values and mission lead organization has always been important to me. 

Our mission of Zero Wasted Potential is dear to my heart because it’s part of my own personal story. At one time, someone gave me a shot because they recognized I had the skills, and that career pivot was life-changing. So to be recognized by the WEF for the work we’re doing in bringing our technology to individuals, businesses, and society to make skills the great equalizer in how the world assesses and hires talent is beyond special. 

I’m not sure there could be better validation for the movement that we, our customers, and our partners are creating. It’s a huge gust of wind into our collective sails.

Dr. Shujia Zhang & Trent Peterson

TP: Firstly, this is a huge moment for Reejig and you, congratulations! What does it mean to you personally to be in the company of some of the tech industry greats in receiving the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers accolade?

SZ: Thank you! It’s such an honor and a privilege to be recognized by the World Economic Forum. This is really a result of co-creation from every Reejigger whose potential has been unlocked, and this achievement only motivates us to continue our efforts to creating a world of Zero Wasted Potential. 

TP: Tell me what inspired you to start Reejig?

SZ: People data can be inherently messy and complex to deal with, but if we can leverage technology to unlock the potential of the data, we can solve those real talent problems that happen when people can see all of the information they need, in a good and fair way, to make informed decisions.

Reejig is a verb — it’s the action we can take to make things different — and it’s just so meaningful and purposeful for me to make this change with my expertise, to leverage technology in a way that enables meaningful and equal career opportunities for every individual.

TP: The WEF recognizes global companies that are leveraging new technologies and innovations that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

What’s your favorite moment of seeing how our own technology and innovations are impacting the world?

SZ: I, and the rest of the Reejiggers, are so proud of our world’s first independently audited Ethical AI for talent selection. We’ve put so much effort and huge investment behind building a solution that creates a more responsible AI that tackles bias in data, algorithms, and processes. 

Ethical AI can reduce risks, maximize potential, and empower individuals and businesses not just in talent decisions, but on an organizational level. 

My favorite moment to come from building AI like this is when we receive messages from our customers saying they love the personalized opportunity nudges they received from our AI, and that real action was triggered by a nudge, followed by a positive outcome for their career. That kind of actionable outcome on someone’s career is really meaningful.

TP: What advice do you have for aspiring founders and leaders who are building technology to change the world?

SZ: Remain purpose and mission-driven in everything that you do and act with focused execution on the decisions that need to be made to reach that purpose. 

Remember to be human-centered in how you create your technology — you’re creating something that will solve a problem for someone every single day, and keeping the human aspect of it at the core of your technology will create meaning for every customer and person who is impacted by your innovation. 

And I also want to say that it’s important to embrace failure and understand that there is always a ‘reejig’ possible. Whether it’s switching your focus, trying something new, or experiencing a different outcome than you expected, failure only creates opportunity. 

SZ: I’d would love to turn the question over to you now, Trent. What does being a WEF recognized Technology Pioneer mean for our global customers?

TP: In a world where we are striving to achieve Zero Wasted Potential for organizations and their employees through Ethical AI, having the ability to work with the World Economic Forum and voice our mission on a global scale will enable our global customers to understand, collaborate and communicate with each other on how our emerging technology can make a difference with their workforce now and in the future. 

The WEF’s experience working with companies that are building sound regulatory environments for data use will ensure our customers are partnering with an organization that is committed and passionate about the Zero Wasted Potential mission. 

The advocacy from the WEF on our Ethical AI will allow our global customers to have the confidence to minimize risk with their customers and stakeholders.

Mike Reed & Louisa Grundy

LG: Firstly, I’d like to congratulate you and all of us here at Reejig on this achievement! What does it mean to you personally to be in the company of some of the tech industry greats in receiving the World Economic Forum Technology Pioneers accolade?

MR: Thank you and congratulations right back to you! We passionately believe Reejig is building a platform to achieve Zero Wasted Potential in people, business, and society — so having a powerful global voice recognize that Reejig is leading the action on ensuring No One Is Left Behind is a really great moment for us.

More importantly for me, is the cohort of governments and organizations that are sleeves-rolled-up on this push for change that we’re now a part of. For me, this means we’re aligned on what is possible in our future, and that is exciting and empowering

LG: Tell me what inspired you to start Reejig?

MR: The opportunity to tackle both outside and insight forces that mattered most to me. 

Those outside forces being the lack of visibility and inability to understand the potential in a workforce — those were huge challenges I experienced prior to Reejig, and it was clear to me that solving this would be an incredible competitive advantage for companies. We tried to do this manually in a couple of instances before we worked out it was a big data AI problem and started to investigate what was possible (Hi Shujia!). 

Those inside forces came from me being a builder by nature. From its inception, Reejig felt enormous. We had this opportunity to build something incredible and make our vision real, and that was impossible to resist.

LG: The WEF recognizes global companies that are leveraging new technologies and innovations that are poised to have a significant impact on business and society.

What’s your favorite moment of seeing how our own technology and innovations are impacting the world?

MR: Being able to map employees that were at risk during COVID from jobs that were disappearing to completely different career paths. Different pathways were in demand during this pivotal time, and being able to map employees based on the skills and potential they had, and avoid job losses was huge for me.

That was the proof that Reejig was onto something.

LG: What was the driver behind achieving the world’s first independently audited ethical AI?

MR: A deep belief of the impact AI could have in the talent and career domain, and the risk of embedding a history of bias in this aI unless there was a real commitment to that AI being ethical. 

This belief in eliminating bias in AI demanded the transparency of an independent audit in order to demonstrate our commitment, and know that we were creating good and fair decisions from the very beginning.

LG: What’s next for the Reejig R&D team? 

MR: We continue to build out our product roadmap in service of creating Zero Wasted Potential in people, business, and society. Our AI team is also continuing to develop our strategies for Ethical AI that delivers on business needs and for our customers. These are both really exciting goals for us and for the future of Reejig!

LG: What advice do you have for aspiring founders and leaders who are building technology to change the world?

MR: Stay deeply connected with the problem you’re looking to solve. Both in terms of the outcome and also the domain, real experience, and expertise you offer in that industry or issue. 

Changing the world requires real purpose and commitment to solving a problem, and those two things have to lead the technology you create, instead of creating technology in search of a problem to solve. 

MR: I’d love to turn the questioning over to you now, Louisa. What does being a WEF recognized Technology Pioneer mean to you personally as a leader at Reejig?

LG: From day 1, our mission toward Zero Wasted Potential has always been such a big factor in my ‘why’ for Reejig. As a team and as a leader, I feel a real responsibility to build a better world of work through ZWP, and our technology is just one avenue on how we are unlocking the potential of people, business, and society.

The recognition by the World Economic Forum as a 2022 Technology Pioneer only validates this further and it’s an honor to be recognized amongst incredible global peers. My personal goal as part of Reejig is to give as many people as possible access to opportunities irrespective of where they come from, what they look like, or what education they’ve had. What really matters – is skills, passion, and potential.

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