The purpose of ReframeWork was to connect a diverse, cross-sector Canadian network with broad perspective and deep expertise on relevant questions about the present and future of work. Together we worked to build a shared understanding of the richest areas of opportunity for innovation and entrepreneurial solution-building that can influence broader change. While there is rapidly growing interest in ‘future of work’ topics and important investments being made into research to identify risks and trends, there has been comparatively little focus on solution building.
Universal platforms can be the basis for diversity: ideas like a public data trust; a national toolkit for all workers; citizen wealth funds and learning accounts could underpin diverse forms of localised activity to organise, upskill, and enable mutual support.
Technology can increase autonomy, meaning, and relationships in human work; enable people across all strata of society to learn and grow their capabilities; release energy for the contributions people themselves want to make; and measure value differently. But this won’t happen automatically. Many of these changes can only occur within a new narrative in which people can see their own positive future. Innovative approaches to shaping this story will be crucial.
That means new ways to ensure voices from diverse communities help define what ‘good work’ is and could be; that access to the tools shaping work are in the hands of small businesses as well as large; and that technology decentralizes knowledge and access while generating greater participation. We need innovations that put many hands on the levers so that people themselves determine what work is desirable, and that inequalities are not reproduced.
Insights and takeaways from ReframeWork have been synthesized into a new report, created from session notes, artifacts, and observations gathered by the program team. It highlights some of the key dynamics, ideas, tensions and opportunities that surfaced over the two-day event.