Karan Chopra Photo

Karan Chopra

Co-Founder & Senior Advisor

Karan provides leadership on strategic direction and execution of Opportunity@Work’s priorities and initiatives. Karan is currently on a sabbatical from his role as Executive Vice President of Opportunity@Work and is serving as a Senior Advisor during this time. He co-founded Opportunity@Work because he believes that meaningful work is not just a matter of economic wellbeing but of individual dignity. He has seen many others with talents but without opportunities to realize their true potential and believes that in order to have impact at scale we need better systems, not just great initiatives.

Karan’s career has focused on building entrepreneurial ventures that increase upward mobility and provide opportunity for all. Prior to co-founding Opportunity@Work, Karan was the co-founder and director of GADCO (Global Agri-Development Company), a vertically-integrated agri-food business in sub-Saharan Africa backed by leading financial and impact investors globally. He led the company from business plan to building and operating the largest rice farm in Ghana, developing a processing center and launching a packaged food brand that contributed to domestic food security in Ghana and impacted the livelihoods of smallholder farmers. GADCO was sold to a larger strategic buyer in agribusiness in 2015. GADCO has been featured in publications and by leading institutions including World Bank, UNDP, World Economic Forum, Financial Times and Guardian.

Karan is also the co-founder of WAVE (West Africa Vocational Education), a social venture tackling youth unemployment in Nigeria. WAVE is empowering West African youth with industry relevant skills and access to jobs while improving outcomes for employers. Prior to this, Karan was at McKinsey & Company where he was awarded the social sector fellowship. He advised clients across sectors (Fortune 500, governments, leading philanthropic organizations) primarily on market-based and scalable solutions for broad-based economic development and on U.S. education. Prior to this, Karan was a software developer with Siemens.

Karan was named in the 2014 list of Forbes 30 under 30 Social Entrepreneurs by Forbes magazine and selected as a New Voices Fellow at the Aspen Institute.

Pronouns: he, him, his

Articles

How Innovative Hiring Practices Can Help Solve The Tech Industry’s Diversity Problem

Oct 23, 2017

Closing the skills gap is only half the equation. The other half is training companies to hire people based on those skills, rather than resumé.
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Lifelong Learning: Higher Education for a World of Speed and Scale

May 2019

As powerful forces of economics, demographics, and technology converge, higher education institutions across the globe face a moment of peril, promise, and paradox. Graduates’ return on investment for a university degree remains high almost everywhere, but public funding for higher education is under stress in many countries.

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Speaking Engagements

The Tech Pipeline: The Future of Work

AtlanticLIVE, 2018

For AtlanticLIVE, Karan discussed how new technology is changing the American workforce.

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In Conversation: The Future of Work

New America, 2016

The robots aren’t taking our jobs—in fact, they might just help people who badly need them. At New America, Karan discussed the ways in which technology can be used to make ours a more diverse, inclusive, and upwardly mobile workforce.

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The Jobs Challenge

Global Philanthropy Forum, 2016

At the Global Philanthropy Forum, Karan spoke on the topic of the “jobs challenge” perception- there is a short supply of the skills required for the jobs that await.

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