Kala Fleming


Kala Fleming is an innovator and engineer on a mission to connect 10 million frontline workers to the green economy. She launched Frontline Gig to connect untapped, entry-level talent to the $3 trillion 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 gain a larger reach quicker and enable them to hire more individuals without related degrees or certificates.

Mastering career transitions is a lifelong skill that Kala has honed and is passing on to entry-level climate talent. Her journey began in academia, followed by jumps to corporate research and corporate strategy, to 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 bring new questions to the conversation about what the climate and green jobs workforce of the future will look like. 

Previously, Kala 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 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.   

Kala holds a PhD in civil and environmental engineering from the University of Wisconsin-Madison. She has lived and worked in the U.S., Caribbean, Kenya, Ghana, and the Philippines, and is a frequent speaker at events with topics including entrepreneurship, international development, and innovation. 

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