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Brief Published: 17 Sep 2020

Medley Unites Professionals from Diverse Backgrounds

Medley was founded by mother and daughter Edith Cooper and Jordan Taylor

As companies globally adapt to long-term remote-working and strive to improve inclusivity, there’s a pressing need to innovate employee connections online. Enter US start-up Medley, a membership-based community platform that brings together professionals from different walks of life to spark conversations and promote empathy. 

Medley, which launched in July, encourages workers to transcend gender, ethnicity or economic divides. Founded by two Black female entrepreneurs, Edith Cooper and Jordan Taylor, the concept is rooted in the belief that profoundlearning often comes from hearing stories and perspectives of those different to you, while seeking to address a dearth of small, close-knit groups in today’s social landscape. 

Members begin by answering a range of questions about their personal and professional information, as well as their psychology and personality type. An algorithm then deliberately matches them with people from dissimilar backgrounds, forming groups of eight, who meet for 90 minutes monthly via video conference. Led by a trained executive coach, these conversations aim to surface fresh ideas and broaden perspectives, instead of small talk, silos and echo chambers.

Medley membership grants full access to workshops, panels and conversations led by experts in various industries, from wellness to medicine to finance. To boost accessibility, the fee operates on a sliding scale, ranging from $50 to $250 per month. Businesses also have the option to sponsor employees.

It’s a smart move for brands to create more dynamic, digital encounters for the remote workforce – with many consumers feeling the absence of office friendships during the pandemic. Globally, 64% of professionals say they have found social communication challenging without informal kitchen and watercooler-style exchanges (Cisco, 2020). For more on strategies for improving community cohesion under work-from-home measures, see The Brief.

Covid-19’s impact on personal and professional connections will be explored further in New-Era Living: Relationships & Social Connections, going live on September 21. Also look out for Monetising Online Micro Cultures (publishing September 30), part of our Community + Commerce Spotlight Trend, for more on the power of close-knit virtual collectives.