The GovLab and the Bertelsmann Foundation launch the 100 Questions “Future of Work” domain

BROOKLYN, New York, February 11, 2020 — The Governance Lab (The GovLab) at NYU Tandon School of Engineering and the Bertelsmann Foundation have partnered to launch the “Future of Work” domain of The 100 Questions Initiative, an effort to identify the most important societal questions for which greater access to data and data science methods could find the answers.

The nature of work is changing, wages are stagnant, and employment benefits are diminishing. The 100 Questions Initiative, therefore, will crowdsource the most critical questions for policymakers to address as they relate to these challenges. The broader goal is to develop a new science of questions—one that could widen the conversation about which issues really matter, and that could help organizations harness the potential of the data age when making decisions about how to allocate finite funding and time. 

“We observe increasing anxiety surrounding the future of work, driven partly by fear of uncertainty. IAt the same time we see a proliferation of data that could help generate insights about the real impact of changes in society on current and future labor markets,” said Stefaan Verhulst, co-founder, and chief research and development officer of The GovLab. “Yet to steward these data assets meaningfully and responsibly, we need to identify the most pressing questions first, so we can start allocating resources toward answering questions that matter.” 

To identify these questions, the future of work domain, as with the previous initiative domains (migration, gender, and air quality thus far), will tap the expertise of “bilinguals”— practitioners across fields who possess both knowledge about a given domain (in this case the future of work) and data science expertise. These bilinguals will work collaboratively to identify the 10 most pressing, high-impact questions answerable through a combination of new and existing data sources and data science methods.

“There are gaps in our understanding as to how societal, economic, and technological changes permeate our current and future labor markets,” said Jeffrey Brown, Future of Work & AI Manager at the Bertelsmann Foundation. “The 100 Questions Initiative creates an opportunity to shed light on key areas within the future of work topic.”

Ultimately through the 100 Questions Initiative, The GovLab and the Bertelsmann Foundation, along with other domain partners and the bilinguals, will facilitate the establishment of data collaboratives—new forms of public-private partnerships that leverage data from different sectors for public good. Throughout the lifespan of the initiative, they will seek involvement from organizations that want to collaborate on specific domains, as well as people who possess both relevant domain knowledge and data science expertise. 

Professionals interested in collaborating are encouraged to send an email to [email protected] For more information about the 100 Questions Initiative, visit, or contact Stefaan Verhulst, lead of the initiative at [email protected]


About the 100 Questions Initiative

The 100 Questions Initiative is presented by The Governance Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering with initial funding support from Schmidt Futures. It is supported by a global advisory board comprising data science and subject matter experts from the public, corporate, and non-profit sectors. Members include Ciro Cattuto, scientific director of ISI Foundation; Gabriella Gómez-Mont, founder and former director at Laboratorio Para La Ciudad; Molly Jackman, leader of Content-Product Data Science and Engineering at Netflix; Vivienne Ming, founder of Socos Labs; Wilfred Ndifon, director of research at AIMS Global Network; Denice Ross, fellow at Georgetown University’s Beeck Center for Social Impact and Innovation; and Matthew Salganik, professor of sociology at Princeton University. For more information, visit


About The Governance Lab at the NYU Tandon School of Engineering

The Governance Lab’s mission is to improve people’s lives by changing the way we govern. Our goal at The GovLab is to strengthen the ability of institutions — including but not limited to governments — and people to work more openly, collaboratively, effectively, and legitimately to make better decisions and solve public problems. We believe that increased availability and use of data, new ways to leverage the capacity, intelligence, and expertise of people in the problem-solving process, combined with new advances in technology and science, can transform governance. We approach each challenge and opportunity in an interdisciplinary, collaborative way, irrespective of the problem, sector, geography, and level of government. For more information, visit


About the Bertelsmann Foundation

The Bertelsmann Foundation, established in 2008, is the North American arm of the Germany-based Bertelsmann Stiftung. The nonpartisan think tank was created to promote and strengthen the transatlantic relationship. Through its research, debate forums, and multimedia tools, the Bertelsmann Foundation provides analysis and solutions to the most pressing economic, political, and social challenges impacting the United States and Europe, including the future of work, European-American relations, the digital economy and trade, and threats to democracy.


About the New York University Tandon School of Engineering

The NYU Tandon School of Engineering dates to 1854, the founding date for both the New York University School of Civil Engineering and Architecture and the Brooklyn Collegiate and Polytechnic Institute (widely known as Brooklyn Poly). A January 2014 merger created a comprehensive school of education and research in engineering and applied sciences, rooted in a tradition of invention and entrepreneurship and dedicated to furthering technology in service to society. In addition to its main location in Brooklyn, NYU Tandon collaborates with other schools within NYU, one of the country’s foremost private research universities, and is closely connected to engineering programs at NYU Abu Dhabi and NYU Shanghai. It operates Future Labs focused on start-up businesses in downtown Manhattan and Brooklyn and an award-winning online graduate program. For more information, visit