The Work Genome Project was created by the Shuffle Collective's founding team, alongside a team of library scientists and researchers. The Work Genome Project was the very first seed of Shuffle Collective. Our aim was to further people in their crafts and disciplines. In order to do that effectively, we needed a more structured system of organizing all the different focus areas that exist, across all fields and disciplines.
As part of creating discipline-specific collectives at Shuffle Collective, we started with the simple idea of listing all disciplines and then breaking them down. That list grew into the current project - a complex ontology that breaks down each discipline based on the things that make each person unique within their field. The project has organized over 30,000 roles, focus areas, into 200 communities of practice, designed to facilitate cross-pollination of content.
An added layer of complexity that makes the Work Genome Project stand out amongst similar projects, is that it is set up to allow members to interact with it directly. This lets members tell us exactly what experiences they have, rather than have algorithms try to infer it behind-the-scenes. So next time you join a collective by adding a discipline, you are in fact, interacting directly with and helping us evolve the Work Genome Project.
We’ve always felt underwhelmed by the status quo of how platforms understood our skills and focus. More often than not, we felt that those communities were too broad, and disciplines not well-understood - especially the further you move away from the mainstream. So, we set out to create a system that understood the subtleties and granularities within each field; Our goal was to deliver on our vision of helping people to discover niche communities around their specific craft, and create a space in which their online identity would be reflected in the dynamic nature of their disciplin.
The Work Genome Project is just getting started: It is an ever-evolving project; we still have a list of disciplines that we are working to add, and we hope to be continuously expanding. As members interact with it, the Work Genome Project will change and further refine our categorization.