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DesignTO Symposium: A Future without Work

January 25 @ 1:00 pm - 5:00 pm

DesignTO’s fifth annual symposium brings nine multidisciplinary experts into one room for an inspiring discussion on a Future without Work, covering topics such as the Indigenous workforce, meaning of work, space of work, labour markets, economic systems, and other thought-provoking topics. Speakers include Jonas Altman, Antonio Cesare Iadarola, Komal Faiz, Keith Jones, Symon Oliver, Heather Russek and Jessica Thornton, and Lexi Tsien, with a keynote talk by Carol Anne Hilton, CEO and Founder of The Indigenomics Institute.

For most of us, it is impossible to imagine a society without work, because it dominates and permeates every aspect of our lives. Whether you consider work as a source of subsistence or purpose, the sacredness of work runs deep through both past and present social interactions, economy, and politics. An obsession with work lies at the core of our education system. The labour force drives our national economies. Working to earn a living is often a necessity and expectation. It can offer individuals a sense of purpose, providing opportunities for learning, growth, and prosperity. It gives status, and thereby access to many benefits and networks. Work shapes our lives and identity.

Globalization, demographic shifts, and technology are constantly and fundamentally shaping work and society. If the advancement of machine learning and artificial intelligence continues to change the nature of jobs, it’s possible we could live in an era of mass unemployment. If the price of automation continues to decline, innovation continues to be democratized, and renewable energy continues to be unlocked, we could also live in an age of abundance, where many of life’s necessities and luxuries will become widely available to us.

So, what is a future without work as we know it?


January 25
1:00 pm - 5:00 pm
Event Category:


George Brown College, St. James Campus
200 King St E
Toronto, Ontario M5A 3W8 Canada
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