The Making of the CARE 100

What if we started thinking about care — caring for kids, caring for the aging, caring for our families- not as a personal juggle, but as a broken and fixable system?

For too long, we’ve patched the work of care together using duct tape and force of will, while neglecting to admit that this is a collective struggle that transcends sectors and economic strata. The gift of the coronavirus? It’s laid bare just how broken our care system is, but also how ripe for re-design. We believe that there are incredible opportunities to re-imagine our care system, across sectors, so that it works better for everybody, everywhere.

That’s why we created the Holding Co. — a lab that partners with innovators to build care solutions and make women’s and families’ lives more functional, joyful, and just.

And that’s why we created the CARE 100, a first-of-its-kind list of the Americans doing the most to re-imagine and re-humanize our care system. You’ll find everyone from policy renegades to direct service providers, from tech entrepreneurs to documentary filmmakers. While these dynamic leaders all tackle the problems and opportunities of care in this country in vastly different ways, they share a common ethos: that care is fundamental to our collective thriving, and must be honored as such.

Putting a list like this together is no small project, especially if you want it to be representative of a truly sprawling and scrappy system like care. So this is how we approached it:

First, we mapped all the people, organizations, and companies that we’ve already worked with or been influenced by and sent a call out for nominations to them. Some of them we considered “honorary nominators,” as we really respected the breadth and depth of their networks: Caring Across Generations, Rosalynn Carter Institute for Caregiving, AARP, PL+US, Promise Ventures, Springbank Collective, Magnify Ventures, and Y Combinator.

Then our team at the Holding Co. considered all the nominees with this rubric in mind:

  • Re-imagining the field
  • Anti-racist and anti-sexist
  • Human-centered
  • Silo-busting
  • Expectation-raising
  • Unapologetically joyful
  • Imaginative and solving real problems for real people

We also thought a lot about demographic, geographic, and professional diversity. The ecosystem of people doing care work is anything but a monoculture, and we wanted the list to represent that richness. In some cases, we realized we ran up against the limitations of our networks and ways of seeing, and reached out to wise people for further nominations. We tweaked and tweaked and tweaked. We made some cuts that broke our hearts, knowing the list is ultimately representative of ten more like it that could have been created. Each one of our honorees represents hundreds, sometimes even thousands, of other people doing similar work all across America.

Then we went about the hard, wonderful work of honoring these folks with profiles that helped you, the reader, understand why their work means so much in the larger context.

The most fun part, of course, was hitting send on the emails where we let these honorees know they were being celebrated. Many said it was a bright spot in an otherwise dark year. Some thought we were punking them (haha!). But mostly they were humbled and said they couldn’t wait to find out about all the other honorees.

These lists are inherently imperfect, so we welcome your feedback. We’ll be making corrections to the site as we find out about them, and posting a list here in the coming days as well.

Check it out. Spread the word. Let’s make the bright minds and big hearts shaping the future of care feel like the superheroes that they, in fact, are.

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A lab to redesign how we care for each other in the 21st century — in collaboration with IDEO and Pivotal Ventures.

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The Holding Co

The Holding Co

A lab to redesign how we care for each other in the 21st century — in collaboration with IDEO and Pivotal Ventures.

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