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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: 

  • 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.

To achieve these goals, we're doing research in multiple organizations about the communication involved in automating work. We've also just recently posted the work of students at UT Austin to create career profiles that focus on careers likely to be affected by automation. Check them out!

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