Antigonish, Nova Scotia, Canada

Future of Work and Workers



The unprecedented convergence of the forces of globalization, urbanization, changing demographics, and climate change are already fundamentally changing the way we live and work. The full magnitude of the impact on jobs, work, and workers is not yet fully understood. Against this complex backdrop, there are very real concerns and anxiety among workers, organizations, and governments about the future of work and the very nature of work itself. This requires a deeper understanding of the different changes underway, and which of these should be embraced, which should be resisted, and how best to prepare for the future that is unique for each individual, community and economy. Starting with the history and evolution of the principle of ‘work’, and touching on topics such as the Industrial Revolution and the labour movement to provide some historical context and grounding, this ambitious course will help participants better understand the magnitude and intensity of the current changes shaping the world of work and provide a peek into what is to come. While taking a global view on the issue, the course will also delve into specific examples that are rooted in local contexts. Real-life case studies will be shared that draw on a wide range of contexts, from the informal sector in South Asia to the resource-based economy that has long been the backbone of Atlantic Canada, and the gig economy that is now so prevalent in the service sector, globally. The course will provide opportunities for meaningful interactions with a selection of dynamic leaders and thinkers, and include the perspectives of policy, industry, labour, community, academia, research, and civil society. This will comprise identifying strategies for a just transition including future-proof skills development, retooling for the future and life-long learning, ideas around universal labour guarantee and social protection, as well as investments in green technologies. 

In this course, you will:

  • Understand the historical context of work and how it has evolved with each industrial revolution, along with the challenges, opportunities and responses from various stakeholders.
  • Build a clear synthesis of the impact of urbanization, changing demographics, climate change, and other factors on the landscape of work globally.
  • Learn about the current trends and innovations in new and emerging technologies such as artificial intelligence, virtual reality, advanced robotics, 3D printing, Block Chain, and the Internet of Things.
  • Develop a clear conceptual framework of the implications of these technologies as well as other forces on current and future jobs.
  • Learn about strategies and examples such as investments in building human capital, including skills development and life-long learning, labour market regulation, and social protection.
  • Connect and network with like-minded individuals from various organizations around the world who are interested in the future of work and workers.
  • Get advice and tips from leading experts in the field on how to develop the critical skills and pivoting capability to advance your own professional and personal development.
  • By attending this course your organization will be able to:
  • Develop a sound understanding of the way the world of work is changing, both in terms of opportunities as well as emerging challenges from the rural and urban perspective.
  • Learn about different perspectives of the government, private sector, academia, and the community on future of work and the role each could play going forward.
  • Develop strategies for a community–centered response to the challenges including social inclusion of women, youth, indigenous people, and other vulnerable workers through investments in skill–building while enhancing social protection programs that are responsive and bring more security, stability and inclusion in the 21st century work environment.

Course Dates, Delivery & Time Requirement

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