Future of Work Lab

What is the Future of Work Lab?

The Future of Work Lab seeks to shape systems change toward a more equitable future of work for all Canadians. We do this by convening cross-sector workforce innovators who are experimenting at the margins; facilitating new approaches to building resiliency and adaptability; and, mobilizing collective learning and action at regional and national scales.


What could an equitable future of work look like?​

We believe that human potential can be furthered through the future of work.

But this won’t happen automatically. While the current narrative tends to focus reactively on the macro trends of globalization, technological change and demographic shifts, we need to proactively seek out and test new approaches and solutions that promote resilience and adaptability at both the individual and collective level.  

For that to happen, we see three thematic principles for cross-sectoral workforce innovation that could move us toward a more equitable future of work for all Canadians.

Whether it’s the automation of jobs or the emerging forms of non-standard work, people are finding themselves outside the realm of traditional ‘job security’ – by choice or by necessity. 

How might we create better support systems that reduce people’s vulnerability during transitions without undermining their resilience?

Current and historic forces of oppression including colonization, racism and capitalism have emphasized certain ways of working over others, creating barriers to economic participation. 

How might we enable diverse types of contribution and value creation that don’t undermine people’s physical, mental, emotional and interpersonal wellbeing?

By perpetuating the fear of job scarcity and decoupling meaning from work, people are being pushed to choose a paycheque over purpose – making professional fulfillment a privilege.

How might we provide opportunities for learning, re-skilling and growth that don’t undermine people’s dignity and right to self-determination?

Application opening date/deadline:

Our inaugural cohort for the Future of Work Lab will launch in 2020. More information coming soon. 

Who should apply

We are looking for innovators and intrapreneurs – the changemakers within organizations – who are actively working at the margins rather than the mainstream on new approaches and solutions to future of work challenges. This includes:

  • Private sector managers and mid-career professionals
  • Public servants and managers within government agencies
  • Community leaders and project doers within not-for-profit organizations
  • Startup founders or leaders with innovative partnership/delivery models

Participants will have mandates, pilot projects or initiatives that work directly with impacted and vulnerable groups who are at risk of becoming precarious in the future of work:

  • youth
  • racialized peoples
  • Indigenous peoples
  • newcomers, immigrants and refugees
  • persons with disabilities
  • seniors and near-retirees
  • recent graduates
  • people with low digital literacy
  • people with mental health barriers
  • caregivers
  • owners of SMEs
  • rural resource-based communities

Program Details

Program Overview

The Future of Work Lab builds on RADIUS’ proven approach and social innovation lab methodology on shaping systems change through the lens of social and economic inclusion. 

We know that systemic challenges require us to look beyond individual ventures and solutions to engage with and influence the broader systems of which they are a part.

Following the success of recent cross-sector stakeholder gatherings on economic inequality and the changing workforce (ALT/Now and ReframeWork), the Future of Work Lab will launch its first cohort-based workforce systems innovation program in 2020.

Each 6-month cohort will include an estimated 20 participants from a variety of sectors, representing the diversity of actors needed to affect societal change toward an equitable future of work in Canada.


This lab responds to a gap in the education and mobilization of intrapreneurs – the changemakers, innovators and emerging leaders working on future of work challenges from within existing organizations. 

They will have an opportunity to:

  • Learn from each other and subject matter experts about trends and opportunities for workforce innovation in Canada.
  • Experiment and test new approaches in developing their own interventions for workforce innovation that promote social and economic inclusion.
  • Develop their competencies in systems change and systems leadership on both a personal and an organizational level.
  • Grow their collective network to influence broader change for an equitable future of work.


Over a 6-month curriculum blending experiential and theoretical modules, participants will grow their understanding of systems change, the emergent future, and their personal and organizational role within it. Learning tools and frameworks will include: social theory of change, equity-centred design, intrapreneurial mindset, and adaptive leadership.

Additional group mentorship and one-to-one coaching will support each participant’s practicum project. The lab will raise the profile of these innovative projects and mobilize collective learning at regional and national scale by convening an inaugural alumni symposium in 2022.

Sign up to hear when applications open and how to apply to the Future of Work Lab.


Questions about Future of Work Lab?

If you still have questions about Future of Work lab, email futureofwork@radiussfu.com

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