Introducing Pluralsight One: Our commitment to closing the technology skills gap

By Aaron Skonnard    |    September 21, 2017

More than 13 years ago, we founded Pluralsight with the vision of making tech (and technology learning) accessible to all people, everywhere. Our platform empowers technologists to do great work, solve big problems and create a more abundant future for everyone.

In many ways we’ve realized that vision. 

More than 3 million people in 150+ countries use Pluralsight to learn new skills and innovate faster. And we’re convinced, now more than ever, that access to technology has the power to unlock the unrealized potential of millions more people around the world.

“Talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not.”

You’ve heard the quote that “talent is equally distributed but opportunity is not.” The challenges at the root of this divide are complex. We believe that social, economic and educational inclusion are powerful drivers that create permanent pathways to empowerment and opportunity.

Without access to education and the opportunity to learn the skills of the future, people become trapped in a cycle of vulnerability and disempowerment. We are setting out to disrupt that harsh reality. 

Pluralsight One: How technology skills can help elevate society 

We believe technology has the power to create freedom, equality and opportunity around the globe. And that’s why we created Pluralsight One—our commitment to drive significant, lasting social impact by equipping people and nonprofits with the technology skills they need to create their own futures and build solutions that chip away at the world’s greatest challenges.

With the launch of Pluralsight One, we’re joining the Pledge 1% movement, a community of likeminded organizations layering philanthropy into their core and reshaping the future of business by balancing purpose alongside profit. As a member of this community, Pluralsight commits to contribute one percent of equity, profit, time and product to initiatives that democratize technology and advance the way the world learns.

How Pluralsight One works

Our initial efforts will focus on capacity building within the global nonprofit community, equipping organizations with skills development resources through our platform in order to build for the future and enhance the work they’re already doing in their communities. 

In spite of small budgets (a third of U.S. nonprofits have less than 1M in total annual revenue) and typically small technology teams, nonprofit organizations work hard to solve the most difficult problems we face today. They understand the unique needs of their communities and the people they serve far better than we do, which is why we want to work with them in two key ways:

1. We’ll connect nonprofit tech professionals with our platform, so they can gain the skills they need to accelerate their work and drive innovation for their organizations.

2. We will empower innovative nonprofits already making a dent in the skills gap with content, resources and guidance needed to educate the next generation of technologists.   

Let me share an example of how this may play out.  

Entire industries are being disrupted today by new technologies, and automation may make many low-skilled jobs obsolete in the not-too-distant future. Young people in developing regions are at the greatest risk from these changes. Across African alone, more than one billion young people will live on the continent by 2050, and one out of four of them are at risk of living in extreme poverty. That’s 250 million individuals endeavoring to learn, build, solve and contribute. By empowering nonprofits and the communities they serve with high quality technology education, we are unleashing a global community of innovators who, collectively, will shape a more abundant and inclusive future. 

Bringing Pluralsight One to life

As we refine our next steps to deliver on this vision, we’re embarking on a Directed Discovery process, engaging nonprofits to co-create a program that will have high impact and deep relevance. As we learn through the discovery process, we’ll begin to deploy our people—our employees and broader community—to efforts that can meaningfully close the skills gap. 

Pluralsight One is the next step toward truly democratizing technology. It’s about amplifying the power of one individual when we’re united around one vision. The power of Pledge 1% to drive outcomes. The one skills gap that affects us all and hinders progress. 

This is just the start.

I can’t wait to see the impact of Pluralsight One and invite you to join with us as we move forward.

About the author

Aaron Skonnard is the CEO of Pluralsight (NASDAQ: PS), a fast-growing enterprise technology learning platform. Aaron cofounded Pluralsight in 2004 and has since grown the company to more than 1,000 employees and 1,500 expert authors. As CEO, Aaron focuses on business strategy, future direction, product development and strategic partnerships. On a day-to-day basis, he works closely with the entire executive team in different capacities, including recruiting, brand management, marketing, sales, feature planning and content acquisition.