How the Pioneers of Humanability are building the future

By: Atsi Shah, Megan Schaefer

Download The Pioneer of Humanability report to learn more about the future of technology and people. 

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PSFK Pioneers of Humanability

Photo credit: PSFK

The Pioneers of Humanability report is a collaboration between PSFK and Verizon which directs the spotlight onto the people, organizations and companies using technology to do more new and do more good in the world. To download the full report, click the download link in the pdf viewer:

Using technology to do more new and more good in the world

We’ve all heard, maybe even used a phrase, along the lines of “we are reaching the limits of human ability.” The amazing thing is, each time we seem to reach those limits, someone goes a step further.

As a species, we keep evolving and inventing. We keep stretching the boundaries of the possible, using technology to enable us to do more and solve for more. What’s even more remarkable is the rapid pace of that change. Today, we can use artificial intelligence and machine learning to predict patterns of behavior and likely scenarios for millions of interactions in a matter of seconds. But behind all that machine learning is a human who wrote the program’s algorithm and created the data calculations. There’s a human who examined the output and double checked the measurements.

And it’s when you combine human innovation with emerging technology, that the possibilities to do more new and do more good become endless. We call that phenomenon humanability. From scientists to students, humanability gives people the ability to change the world for the better – from making water cleaner to the Earth greener. It allows pioneers to uncover new ways to keep food safe, reduce pollution and create a more efficient and sustainable future.

In our Pioneers of Humanability report, in collaboration with PSFK, we’re directing the spotlight on creators, builders, founders, artists and academics who have the common goal using tech to extend what we can achieve for the greater good. They’re the ones using technology to make a positive impact on the world today. And although our report highlights areas where consumers question technology’s role in modern society – like privacy and data, it also highlights the hopes they have for the future and the positive impact technology has already had on everyday life.

Leveling the playing field with tech

The power of technology today means that a talented amateur in a basement workshop is just as capable of delivering a breakthrough idea as a seasoned technology entrepreneur or the head of research at a multinational company. And because technology is leveling the playfield, our pioneers – who come from different backgrounds – are able to work on incredibly diverse and innovative projects. Whether it is devising ways to improve our environment, or to make smarter use of natural resources, or identifying and bringing together groups of talented people from disparate backgrounds to work toward a shared goal; the Pioneers of Humanability are focused on stretching the boundaries of the possible and harnessing the power of technology to deliver additive value to our lives.

All of the Pioneers in our report are developing unique and sometimes counterintuitive ways to achieve ambitious goals. They don’t just ask the “what-if” question, they find answers and create solutions. These are the people, organizations and companies you need to know about now – because they’re building a better future for us all.

If you want to share your humanability story or know a Pioneer who is doing more new and doing more good with technology, email

About the author(s):

Atsi is an intern for Verizon's external communications team. When she's not at Rutgers, she likes to travel, read and ski in her free time. 

Megan Schaefer has been creating content since she could get her hands on a computer. Now she’s turned her love for storytelling into a career. In 2017, Megan joined Verizon’s external communication team to continue her creative passion.

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