What we achieved in 2022 towards making more lives more meaningful
Despite signs of recovery from the initial downturns caused by COVID-19, tension, conflict, and insecurity continued to be prevalent in 2022. Globally, according to the United Nations, the number of forcibly displaced people surpassed 100 million for the first time. Furthermore, Europe suffered the resurgence of war with Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, which disrupted food and energy supply chains and impacted the standard of living for hundreds of millions. Drought and extreme weather conditions were observed on all continents, and rates of already-common conditions such as depression and anxiety went up by more than 25 percent (World Health Organization), while the sense of meaningfulness at work continued to decrease according to our research. Addressing these challenges requires a contextual understanding of the current state of the world as well as the various factors at play.
At Voluntas, we believe that every human being has the potential to grow, innovate, and create a positive impact on their workplace, community, country, and the world they live in. Voluntas’ mission is to facilitate and support the realization of this potential of millions of women, men, non-binary individuals, boys, and girls. We aim to catalyse personal and collective growth and meaningful change.
To do so, in 2022, we inspired tens of thousands, worked directly with almost 1.000 leaders, and supported more than 50 organizations in increasing the sense of belonging, purpose, leadership, and personal growth of their constituents, effectively enhancing their performance and impact. As part of this, we have listened to more than 40.000 employees to understand what drives their meaning at work and in life. With fact-based decision-making being at the core of our approach, we conducted 30+ impact studies covering 35+ countries supporting partners to tailor their programming and policies to the actual needs and dynamics of communities. Furthermore, we have had the privilege of collecting and sharing the voices and opinions of almost 100.000 persons that would otherwise go unheard. We have done all this by being present with partners in organizations and communities – even under challenging circumstances and in fragile contexts.
Impact studies carried out
Human beings listened to
Together with our partners, we have supported migrants living in some of the world’s most unstable environments; we have listened to the stories of survivors of violence and used their experiences to inform our efforts. We have engaged with youth to understand their perspectives on the world and have gathered valuable insights into how different members of society experience and define meaningfulness. These insights have allowed our partners to adapt their internal structures, programming, and policies to maximize their impact.
Beyond projects, 2022 has also been a year of academic ventures and research collaborations. As such, we supported the publication of the first business case with Harvard Business School focusing on how to drive meaningful cultural change in organizations and embarked on the ambitious task of developing a global Youth Meaningfulness index together with the ALV Foundation with the goal of informing public policies and foster well-being for generations to come. We also started a collaboration with Saint Joseph University in Lebanon, allowing us to share our experiences from working in the field with future generations of practitioners through teaching and mentoring, as well as the Tata Institute of Social Sciences in India focused on exploring ESG metrics and linkages with meaningfulness and social impact.
Offices on four continents
In 2022, we expanded our global footprint to new geographies, including Beirut, Mumbai, Oslo, and San Francisco. We consolidated our work in Libya and Sudan and increased our efforts to prevent violent extremism in Tunisia. We also conducted workshops in Australia, Germany, Japan, the UK, the US, Singapore, Spain, and Sweden on meaningfulness in the workplace and beyond. Our team has nearly doubled in size as a result, going from 40 to 70+ talented individuals boasting different academic and cultural backgrounds and nationalities.
Advisors by profession and philosophers by heart
In 2022, our founder and CEO Morten Albaek released a book focusing on dissecting the anatomy of meaningfulness and human potential called ‘False Truths in Life.’ This work continues to shape our culture and external ventures in Denmark and across the world.
We are grateful to all our partners for the meaningful collaboration we experienced in 2022. We do not only care about the work we do, but also about how we do it and only by working together with like-minded partners can we achieve the positive impact on people’s lives we aim for. We appreciate your willingness to join us on this journey and your openness to our approach.
As we embark on 2023, we are excited to continue our work for more meaningful organizations, brands, societies, and planet.
Please reach out if you want to hear more!
On 10th January 2023 Voluntās and the Center for Applied Meaningfulness took a giant stride towards establishing meaningful academic collaborations in India when signing a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with Tata Institute of Social Sciences – Asia’s oldest school for professional social work.
On September 15th, 2022, Voluntas and the Arab Master’s program in Democracy and Human Rights, “Global Campus – Arab World” signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU), laying the foundation for a new era of cross-sector collaboration in the MENA region.
Esbjerg wants to create the world’s most human university with a central focus on education, human development and a high degree of belonging.
Voluntas and the star architect company Bjarke Ingels group are supporting the project.
Based on Morten Albæks philosophy of a meaningful life, the students must embark on an educational journey based on becoming self-realized people who master their encounters with life’s coincidences, opportunities, and challenges.
At Voluntās, philosophers, anthropologists, psychologists, economists, dramaturgists, sociologists, political scientists and people of yet other academic backgrounds are all management consultants by profession and philosophers by heart. Together, we specialize in advising and working with companies, directorates, boards, investors, foundations, owners, leaders and governments on how to create, adapt and drive a meaningful culture, brand, society and planet.
We believe that this approach significantly increases the quality of living, while we know that it sustainably accelerates the productivity and profitability of doing business.
We pursue advisory and analytics to realize human potential and make more lives more meaningful for the colleagues in organizations, the consumers of brands, the citizens in societies and for all us children of our blue planet.
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