Dr Kala Fleming

Pic Fleming

Dr. Kala Fleming is an innovator and engineer on a mission to connect 10M blue-collar workers to the green economy.  She launched Frontline Gig to connect untapped, entry-level  talent to the $3T green jobs ecosystem of  workforce programs, apprenticeships and full-time work using paid hourly gigs.  In the process, her team is helping employers and training programs 10X reach and upskilling speed and enabling them to take a chance on more individuals who lack the right degrees or certificates. 

Mastering career transitions is a lifelong skill that Dr. Fleming has honed and is passing on to entry-level climate talent.  Her journey began in academia followed by jumps to corporate research then corporate strategy and now tech entrepreneurship. The connecting thread across these roles has been a focus on climate, data and built environment equity. Now, she uses her technical background and career navigation savvy to lead conversations about the future of work in climate and blue collar trades.

Previously, she held strategy and research roles at IBM, working with clients to establish differentiated market positions through the use of emerging technologies such as IoT, AI and blockchain.  Her seminal TED talk in 2015 on creating digital aquifers inspired a range of forward-thinking water management projects, from Kenya to California, that seek to use more granular water activity data to reduce water scarcity risks. 

Dr. Fleming holds a PhD in Civil and Environmental Engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.  She has lived and worked in the US, Caribbean, Kenya, Ghana and the Philippines and is a frequent speaker at entrepreneurship, international development and innovation-related events.