Unemployment Project Incubator

Innovation Studio 

Team: Elise Gill, Hailey Harmon, Rebecca Wolfe, Reena Merchant


Our project scope was centered on redesigning the “unemployment”experience that millions of people face every day. Currently in the United States 9.1 million people are unemployed. The research that we collected over the course of this project strongly confirmed our previous assumptions that prolonged periods of unemployment lead to huge mental and physical stresses that over time lead to further confusion and difficulty with obtaining a job. So we looked at ways that we could reframe the problem of unemployment. We decided that instead of viewing unemployment as a negative, perhaps we could view the unemployed as an untapped resource, a braintrust, a creative knowledge capital and the future workforce.

With these goals in mind we developed an incubator program, Slingshot, that enables unemployed individuals to network and collaborate with others while developing real world solutions in exchange for financial compensation, career development, and growth. The program aims to transform an individual’s experience of unemployment into an opportunity to identify skills and passions, actualize these skills and passions in a real-world context, and, ideally, lead to a career transition and/or entrepreneurial endeavor. The solutions are identified by local residents, non-profit organizations, and companies, and aim to positively impact the employment market and contribute towards the benefit of society.