The Automation Policy Research Organizing Network (APRON) aims to build a community of scholars, practitioners, and policymakers focused on the future of data-intensive, automated work. APRON's goal is to advance the communicative study of the future of work. We focus in particular on how technology, organizations, and work change together, and on the datafication and automation of work.​

 The APRON Lab, founded at the University of Texas at Austin's Moody College of Communication

  • Conducts research on the communication design and communication practices that underlie organizational, technological, and social change

  • Sees work as a valuable and meaningful human enterprise that can bring purpose to peoples’ lives

  • Aims to empower workers and organizations with actionable communication strategies that can be used to manage challenges that surface in analytics and automation

  • Commits to developing Lab members’ professional skills as they become agents of change through social science and health research​​

APRON is funded in part by a grant from the National Science Foundation, entitled, CAREER: The Future of Work in Health Analytics and Automation: Investigating the Communication that Builds Human-Technology Partnerships (SES-1750731). This project focuses on the datafication and automation of health and healthcare, and it has two goals:

  1. Investigate the communication practices involved in automating work to encourage automation that benefits work and workers.

  2. Help students at community colleges and universities understand and prepare for the opportunities and challenges of automation and for careers likely to be affected or created by automation.

Our Projects




  • Twitter
  • YouTube
  • Instagram

Unless otherwise noted all materials © 2019 by Joshua B. Barbour. Apron icon created by Bureau Briganti from the Noun Project. 

This material is based upon work supported by the National Science Foundation under Grant No. SES-1750731. Any opinions, findings, and conclusions or recommendations expressed in this material are those of the author(s) and do not necessarily reflect the views of the National Science Foundation.