Future of Work and Workers

September 16, 2024 - December 6, 2024
September 16 – December 6, 2024​
Tuition Fees for the course are $2,000. Coady Institute strives to ensure that participants working with marginalized communities around the world have access to its courses. This is made possible through the provision of bursaries that are funded by many individual and institutional donors to Coady Institute. Partial bursaries of $1,400 are available for international candidates. Those receiving a bursary will be responsible for paying the balance of $600 CAD before the designated deadline. A limited amount of full bursaries are available for First Nations, Métis and Inuit women residing in Canada as well as women from African Nova Scotian communities.

Facilitators: Yogesh Ghore and Farouk Jiwa

The unprecedented convergence of the forces of globalization, urbanization, changing demographics, and climate change are already fundamentally changing the way we live and work. While the continuous advancement of artificial intelligence and advanced robotics have improved productivity and efficiency and increased convenience, they have raised concerns over the number of jobs being lost due to automation. The recent COVID-19 global pandemic and its consequences on how we work is likely to accelerate these forces. Meanwhile, the disruptive impact of the sharing economy, which is being felt deeply by those in transportation and accommodation, will continue to spread into other aspects of our lives and completely upend the traditional actors in these sectors and displace the jobs they provide. Further, the rapid developments in 3D printing, Virtual Reality, the Internet of Things, and Block Chain are set to also disrupt the manner in which goods are manufactured and services are provided. These will also have a knock-on effect on the configuration of supply chains globally and how business is conducted across a wide spectrum of sectors and industries. 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.