2020 Foundation Plenary Join the next Visionary Circle today!


The SIOP Foundation Online Plenary was a live webinar broadcast to friends and supporters of the SIOP Foundation.  It was held to recognize and celebrate the generosity of the donors to the SIOP Foundation.  Its MAIN EVENT featured the Visionary Circle and the presentation of the first ever $100,000 Visionary Grant. 

A recording of the SIOP Foundation Online Plenary will be available for viewing by registrants during the SIOP Virtual Conference, June 16 – 30.  In the meantime, the slide set from the webinar can be downloaded from the link above. 

The PDF  contains many live links to pages in the Foundation site, and also mailto: links.  It does not contain links to the finalists videos, however.

Announcing the Visionary Grant Final Four!

Last August ten Visionary Grant project directors (PDs) were invited to submit full proposals by midnight ET on Sept. 3, 2019.  All ten did so.  They were selected from 33 projects that had been described in Letters of Intent.

The Visionary Grant Awards Subcommittee, aka Visionary Circle Steering Committee, selected four finalists.  They are listed here in random order:

Robert B. Davison, with Omri Gillath, Michael S. Branicky, Shawn Keshmiri, and Ryan Spaulding, Enabling Peer-level Partnerships in Human-AI Teams

Muriel Clauson, The Human Skills Project: A Future-Oriented Work Ontology Toolkit

Jennifer M. Verive, with Jonathan Levine, Matt Reider, and Sanket Chobe, Play 2 Work: Constructing a Competency-based Video Gaming Profile to Empower Gen Z Job Seekers

Susan Ashford, with Briana Caza and Brittany Lambert, Working Off the Grid: Building Resilience in the Gig Economy

The Visionary Circle Steering Committee (chair Adrienne Colella, Laura Bryan, Allan Church, Rick Jacobs, Karen Paul, Eduardo Salas, Ben Schneider, Jack Wiley, and Milt Hakel) has now set final plans, with great help from Linda Lentz and the AO staff.  We have been working on:

  1. recording video presentations by the PDs about their projects,
  2. the materials provided to the donors/voters,
  3. the schedule for doing so,
  4. an Ignite-style session featuring the PDs during the SIOP Conference, on Thursday, April 23 in Lone Star Salon G at 3:30 pm.
  5. many other details. 

Each PD has created a 7-minute video presentation.  These will be available privately to the Visionary Circle donors online, along with the full written proposals, on March 24, one month before the SIOP Conference.  Voters will have time to read and view everything ahead of the SIOP Conference, without competition from 20 other simultaneous events.

Online voting will open on Thursday, April 23, at 4:30 pm CT, following the closing of the live session at the SIOP Conference.  The 50-minute session will be recorded, and will be made available for viewing as quickly as possible. After logging in to their SIOP accounts, they will have access to all written and video materials (including the recording of the live session).  When voting they will be asked to rank order the finalists from most to least preferred.  Voting will close on Saturday, April 25, at noon, CT. 

The winner of the inaugural $100,000 Visionary Grant will be announced at the Closing Plenary, in the JW Grand Salon.

We are now accepting $1000 tax deductible contributions to the next Visionary Circle cohort – join now!


Networking to Find Additional Funding

The Foundation Trustees need your help.  We are seeking potential funding sources, especially corporate and private foundations, to which we can refer interesting and worthy projects (with the PDs consent, of course).  All four of the finalists’ projects are worth doing.  Indeed, that is true as well for the six semi-finalist proposals that did not make the cut.  Let us know at SIOPFoundation@SIOP.org of people and institutions we might contact.



Questions and Answers 
Letters of Intent

Miss the videoconference about the Visionary Grant competition? Its purposes was to present an overview of the Visionary Circle and to respond to questions that arise in preparing proposals. Have questions? Check out the Q&A session that came from the meeting.

Read the Q&A

Introducing the Visionary Circle, a venture to build a renewable and continuing source of funding for I-O research and development. 

High-Level Overview – How We Will Do It:

  • Collect venture philanthropic capital by recruiting Visionary Donors
  • Call for Visionary Grant proposals
  • Visionary Donors Select Visionary Grant Awardee(s)
  • Implement findings
  • Repeat Every Year

Rapid advancement in I-O psychology and the organizational sciences now is surely needed.  The mania about artificial intelligence systems and big data is at flood tide, with no shortage of need for critical and clear thinking about creating smarter workplaces.  We face great challenges in the workplace from the changing nature of work to sexual harassment in the workplace to a multi-generational workforce. These issues stretch beyond companies and cultures and demand the best thinking, collaboration, and collective attention.

I-O Psychologists have long supported each other’s work. The Visionary Circle is a new means by which that can happen. Its purpose is to serve as a dependable and renewable source of grant funding for I-O research and development. The Visionaries are donors who want to improve the world of work dramatically by collectively supporting significant I-O psychology research and practice, projects that will have lasting impact in the workplace.

Join Now



I-O is special because of its unwavering emphasis on “praxis”, the word coming from Greek that best captures the practical application of any branch of knowledge and the synthesis of theory and practice without presuming the primacy of either.
Thus, the Visionary Circle:

  • Enrolls Visionary Donors as philanthropic decision makers.
  • Provides avenues for Visionary Donors to vote upon research proposals, ideas that will influence the world of work.
  • Collaborates within SIOP and the extended I-O community. 
  • Ensures that 100 % of your donation goes directly into Visionary Grants.  

The Nitty-Gritty View – How We Will Do It:

Step 1. Collect venture philanthropic capital by creating the Visionary Circle.

Imagine a large cohort of donors to the SIOP Foundation.  Think of donations of $1000 and up.

Now think about 100 donors each giving $1000.  That’s $100,000, serious money!

Can we recruit 100 Visionary donors for the first cycle? Without a doubt. 

Step 2. Call for proposals.

Here is the key question: “What would you do if you had $100K to shape the future world of work?” 

The question is inclusive of all that I-O professionals do, and it is open to collaboration among stakeholders and professionals from multiple disciplines. 

A call for proposals will be issued shortly after the 2019 SIOP Conference.  Its details are still being developed, but here are some likely criteria:

  • Integrate science and practice.
  • Have clear metrics for success.
  • Look to the future by asking new questions, bringing I-O psychology into another realm, or engaging with other disciplines.
  • Demonstrate exceptional creativity.
  • Have the potential for facilitating subsequent research and development.

Step 3.  Award Visionary Grants.

Imagine a SIOP Conference session on Thursday, April 23, 2020, in Austin TX.  Four finalists will give 7-minute presentations to showcase their answers to the $100,000 Visionary Grant question posed in Step 2.  Presentations will be viewed in person or live-streamed or viewed asynchronously by the Visionaries.  The Visionaries will vote to select the winner (and perhaps a runner-up), and the inaugural Visionary Grant(s) will be awarded at the Closing Plenary.

That’s when the fun begins, especially for grant winners.

Step 4. Implement findings.

Applied organizational science takes time.  We will seek periodic progress reports from grant winners, making them available to Visionary Circle Donors.

Step 5.  Repeat.

We are certain to learn quite a lot during the inaugural cycle of enrolling Visionary Donors, calling for proposals, awarding Visionary Grants, and disseminating R&D findings.  We will want to refine the Visionary Circle program, expanding it to address the many challenges facing organizations and workers.

How many Visionary Donors can we recruit?  How many proposals can we expect to receive in the second cycle?  Answers to these questions depend mightily on the outcomes achieved in the first cycle.  Time will tell.  It’s going to be fun to find the answers. 

What roll will you play in shaping the future world of work? 

Join the Visionary Circle.  Together we can change the world. 

Submit Nomination