The Quest for Meaningful Work

A Conversation with The Meaningful Work Project

How do we align our values and our work? How can we make money and change the world?

There’s literally a team of folks who have been exploring these questions in-depth. Over the past 12 years, The Meaningful Work Project (MWP) has hosted experiential learning opportunities for people to grapple with the quest for right livelihood. As a grassroots initiative, MWP has been an invaluable catalyst, generating numerous formal and informal community connections and a growing network of inspiring individuals challenging the status quo.

Founder/Director Alla Guelber and Paris Afshordy, the Program Manager, took us on a thought-provoking journey exploring our modern constructs of work and meaning, and how that can help us in these challenging, transitional times. We also heard some stories about how they came to be passionate about this focus, how their own work has evolved over the years, and how you can take this inquiry forward in your life by creating a community of practice.

Alla Guelber started MWP in 2010, inspired by graduate studies in environmental education and communications, and her foray into permaculture and systems thinking.

Paris Afshordy participated in a Meaningful Work Retreat in 2019 while she was exploring her next steps in work and life. Since then, she has been a core team member, helping guide the re-design of the initiative moving forward.

In these times we need all hands on deck to create the future we want, for ourselves, our communities and the environment. We hope this conversation will support you to make the shift towards meaningful work!

Resources that were mentioned in our conversation

Questions posed during our conversation:
1. "When you were young, what did you want to be?"
2. "How has work changed for you in the last 1.5 years? Have your goals changed from what you want from work? From your lifestyle? From your community of practice?"

Sign up for the Meaningful Work Project Newsletter at

MWP Facebook Page:

MWP Facebook Group: Meaningful Work Community
LinkedIn: Meaningful Work Project Group

Article: How to Marry Your Business Partner

Article: Two Loop Model for organizational change by Margaret Wheatley & Deborah Frieze from The Berkana Institute

Part 1 of Karryn's Instagram rants about "The BS we accept as normal about work in the U.S." Part 2 included more data highlighting the baked-in race-based inequities. Part 3 includes data since the pandemic.

Don't miss a thing! Hear future Conversations live, and access recordings.