2021 Impact Report

In 2018 we founded Skills of the Modern Age as a for-purpose business with a mission to help people, communities, and organisations thrive in the uncertainty that surrounds the future of work. Three 3 years on, and we have now impacted over 8,000 learners across Australia and further abroad. As part of our commitment to purpose, transparency and social impact, we’ve just released our inaugural Impact Report.

This report aims to ensure accountability internally and externally, as well as make an ongoing commitment as an organisation to have a strong Moral Compass. We were inspired to create it after Matt, our Heads of Programs & Impact, saw Tom Tapper from Nice and Serious share a similar report for their company last year.

This report will be the foundation of how we provide transparency to our community, clients and collaborators, as well as a way for our community to see the kind of work we do.

View the report below, download it here, or see a summary discussed in the notes below.

Who We Work With

2021 saw a surge in our collaborations with Government departments and agencies. Through various engagements we’ve had the pleasure of helping them to improve their systems, overhaul their processes, and get their workforce future of work ready. Some of our government partnerships include:

  • Collaborating with Healthway and the Department of Local Government, Sport and Cultural Industries to upskill their community to apply for grants for innovative new health and sport programs and pitch for over $700,000 in funding.
  • Running hackathons and more across the health sector with Western Australia Country Health Service, North Metro Health Service and East Metro Health.
  • Being recognised as the innovation partner for the Department of Mining, Industry Regulation and Safety, and running a series of design sprints and data hackathons.
  • Working with the Department of Transport in arming their future leaders with human-centred design skills.

We're also proud that our second largest customer is community organisations and NFPs, which accounted for 26% of our revenue this financial year. This included our work with our close collaborators Spacecubed, who are a registered B Corp, and who we partner with to run entrepreneurship programs in regional and metropolitan WA through the Plus Eight program.

Our in-house programs like Design Jam, The Good People and Facilitating Innovation also made up a good 11% of our revenue this year. We used a mixed approach of online and face-to-face delivery for our programs, which helped us offer our design thinking and social impact programs to people internationally and locally.

Where We Work

The past 3 years have seen us undergo many changes as an organisation. At the close of 2019, our business model focused on face-to-face facilitation and group learning experiences that ensured maximum impact through in-person interaction.

As for many businesses, this all changed due to the COVID-19 pandemic which saw the very meaning of ‘future of work’ change overnight, and therefore meant that our own understanding of the future of work had to change as well.

We now run more online programs, and we’re no longer just limited to WA or Australia, with over 16% of revenue coming from programs delivered fully online. We’ve been fortunate enough to see learners and collaborations from Portugal, Singapore, South America and UAE.

Our regional work is also increasing, with 21% of our programs having been delivered outside of the Perth metro area. This has included running workshops in Newman, Port Hedland, Onslow, Margaret River and Albany.

Moving forward

Our goal has always to be an impact and mission-led organisation. This year we delivered:

  • Running The Good People, our 5-week, cohort-based learning journey that helps innovators learn new skills around social innovation and impact.
  • Focusing on the power of collaboration through Design Jam, our 2-day flagship design program, collaborating with local NFPs and community organisations to tackle real problems they're facing.
  • Running our free SkillGym series, which has a community of over 1,600 learners learning new skills, tools and mindsets every month.
  • Co-designing our 'A Vision for the Modern Age' report to set a vision for the future of work for WA in partnership with local innovation leaders.

However, we think we can still do better. In the report we set ourselves three key goals that we are hoping to work towards in the next financial year.

These goals are:

  • Meeting the requirements of becoming a certified B Corp .
  • Implementing a Moral Compass Test to assess values alignment for new clients.
  • Leaving ‘innovation theatre’ behind to increase our emphasis on helping organisations to cross the chasm from big ideas to high-impact outcomes.

Onwards and upwards,

Nate and the SOMA team.

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