We are the MM4A non-profit.
Inclusion, fairness, opportunity. Markets determine these issues. We are international specialists in modern market platforms that unlock each person's economic potential in uncertain times.
Ensuring people outside traditional employment have the best markets possible to sustainably develop their potential.
This is no longer a peripheral issue. Pre-Covid, 36% of Americans relied on gig work. That could be 50% in 2023. Diverse attempts to slow this trend have had little impact. The most marginalized workers suffer the worst.
Commercial labor platforms connecting these breadwinners to work are inadequate, often exploitative. Our platforms deliver protections, control, interventions, data, stability, skills, and progression for anyone currently earning flexibly.
“MM4A” stands for “Modern Markets for All”. Supportive, broad, deep, locally run, sustainable, platforms are transformative for anyone earning outside the 36-hour week. We partner with government bodies who have leverage to launch and oversee our markets at the scale required in any area.
See initial video of one of our markets, launched by public agencies in Los Angeles County, here.
What we do
We develop infrastructure that supports people earning outside of 9-to-5 employment. It matters: job holders will enter the labor market every few years. "Gig workers"can be in and out daily in search of more work. Supportive markets are vital.
For the less well-off, time is the key economic asset. It’s what employers pay for. Time-based markets have to be extraordinarily complex under-the-hood if they are to provide true protections, control, stability, and progression.
In consultation with multiple stakeholders we design, build, and test new market technologies.
Launching markets that empower the supply side can be a hard sell. Why should buyers of labor move away from more one-sided workforce systems that slash their labor costs?
Public agencies have a crucial role in starting alternative markets. Our open sourced manual, based on years of implementation planning with British and US cities, explains.
Where do we fit with other social initiatives?
We have 25 years of expertise in a specific corner of the Future of Work field. To position us, it’s useful to categorize any initiative supporting lower-income individuals along two spectrums:
Certainty of outcome
Many philanthropic and governmental interventions have been tested over years and should offer predictable social returns.
Match-fund $1m in apprenticeships, for example, and you can be reasonably sure of creating perhaps 50 jobs at the end. That’s really helped the apprentices. But it's done little to reshape the economy.
Infrastructure initiatives are less predictable. But – if successful – can produce lasting impact for tens of millions of breadwinners at little cost.
Vision for the future
Philanthropies typically look towards future jobs. They focus on trying to get people into traditional employment.
Some funders want to improve "gig work", now necessary for tens of millions.
A handful of philanthropists see employment as just one source of earnings that should be on hand.
Each person could also be renting out their possessions, providing community services, micro-lending, and generating income in ways that barely exist now. It all builds household resilience.
It's simplistic, but any Future of Work initiative can be located on the grid below. Bluer cells attract most philanthropic/government funding. Red cells indicate spending by companies shaping their vision for lower-skill work.
Philanthropic and government funding remains overwhelmingly in the Jobs column. That leaves companies like Uber (who have dabbled with expansion beyond ride-hailing to the general labor market) to create infrastructure that shapes life for breadwinners in non-standard employment. The commoditized, cheapened, labor they now deliver undermines job creation.
Post pandemic, with economies uncertain, the top right cells above are becoming pivotal. Jobs will take time, incremental staffing is becoming even more of a norm.
How do we impact people?
Take a father, aged 25. This is what each of the three visions above offer him.
Getting him full-time employment is the focus of this traditional vision. If he’s already in a job, perhaps as a warehouse worker, the hope is to move him up to a more promising, higher-paying, skill in a growth sector. Perhaps IT support, or medical coding.
This recognizes (a) jobs may be uncertain quality (b) he may not have regular availability for work (c) he will have a range of abilities, skills and potential skills (d) ensuring he can build a portfolio of work on his terms boosts employability and stability.
All economic activity
This assumes he should be enabled to easily unlock all his skills, plus his resources. (A bike to rent? Parking spot? His Xbox?). Then there’s local services he could provide, small sums he could lend, and new interventions or investment to develop his potential.
How can public employment agencies , extend support and skilling to citizens in non-standard employment? It starts with much better markets for hourly labor. Then all sorts of data collection, interventions, and new support models become viable. Our platforms enable this at scale.
Our two strands
Our work is explained in two sites; the first for a “multi-source employment” vision, the second offering a wider “all types of economic activity” path for those outside the 9-to-5.
How can public employment agencies sustainably, extend support and skilling to citizens in non-standard employment? It starts with much better markets for hourly labor. Then all sorts of data collection, interventions, and new support models become viable. Our platforms enable this at scale.
What would follow if a first government decided their citizens were entitled to the best markets now possible for every kind of economic activity? Public policy changes could deliver this at no cost, while widening everyone’s choices. This radical option could be viable anywhere, including transition nations.
The same themes run through both strands; opening opportunity in a fast-changing economy, initiating new services at scale, maximizing inclusion, a new era of economic interventions, accountability, and transparency in economic platforms; and how to harness granular data.
Our work is rooted in books written in the 1990’s by our founder. Our non-profit emerged from pioneering programs funded by British government agencies to create better markets for “gig workers’. Funded by national and state philanthropies we have also worked with public agencies around the US.
The first American launch of our markets, in Los Angeles County, focused on childcare during the pandemic, now
it's expanding locally and to other cities. Our launch project for the L.A. area won US Conference of Mayors’ prize for best economic or job development initiative in America. We publish our learning with multiple partners.
Our organization, MM4A Non-Profit Ltd. (UK registration number: 08636992) is a company locked to non-profit status by Golden Shares. We work closely with long-standing partner organizations. Everything we produce gets open sourced.
Alice Spice: Java Developer
Alice joined us in 2019. Her focus is API and app development, with an ongoing brief on system security enhancements and our badging functionality.
Brenda Cortes: Operations Co-ordinator, California
A business management graduate, Brenda spent 7 years in customer service for a retailer. She supports our operations in Los Angeles County between periods of volunteer teaching at a city school.
Cari Morton: Project Manager - Technology
Cari has experience of managing teams and mentoring colleagues in both the public and private sectors, and now oversees the day-to-day development of our technology.
Sir Harvey McGrath: Chair of Advisory Board
Sir Harvey is the former Chairman of Prudential plc, Man Group plc, and the London Development Agency. An active philanthropist and social investor, he is a trustee of New Philanthropy Capital.
James Lindamood: Program Manager, California
After working in the healthcare sector, James became our project manager for a childcare pilot, hired by a partner community organization. He then transferred to our Program Manager based within public agencies.
Jonathan Smith: Senior Front-end Developer
Jon joined the team in 2018 to focus on the user experience and our apps, while developing the user interfaces across our multiple configurations.
Richard Tyrie: Advisory Board member
Richard launched the UK’s first job board in 1995, and Jobsgopublic.com in 1998. He now runs GoodPeople - a social enterprise focused on tackling inequality. He has supported our work since 2006.
Rob Challis: Advisory Board Member
Former Global Head of Corporate Responsibility for Man Group PLC, founding director of Tangent Synergy and Chair of the Success Club charity and Trekstock, a charity supporting young adults after cancer.
Tom Baldwin: Technical Architect
Tom has led the development of our technology since 2010. He has led development and implementation of major IT projects for NHS (National Health Service) and other government agencies.
Vanessa Tate: Test Analyst
With 20 years’ experience as a software test analyst and team lead in the public and private sectors, Vanessa joined us in 2018 to lead the testing of our software.
Victoria Luscombe: Senior Java Developer
Vic. joined the team in 2017, as a senior developer. She has over 15 years enterprise application development experience gained as a Lead Java Developer.
Wingham Rowan: Founder/ Managing Director
A former technology journalist Wingham has overseen implementations of flexible workforce tools for organizations including: Tesco, Cabinet Office, Department of Health and cities in the UK and US.
MM4A Non-profit Ltd.
54-56 Victoria Street, Suite 201,