Future of Work Survey: 

Project Challenge: Calgary is at a crossroads. The city is one of the most business-friendly cities in Canada, yet it does not appear on global rankings related to dynamics, innovation, and long-term economic growth (e.g. JLL City Momentum Index). This is the result of oil and gas boom-and-bust cycles that have impeded Calgary’s ability to adequately prepare for 4IR technologies and the future of work. Furthermore, decision-makers lack reliable data that enables them to understand the short and long-term implications of their actions across sectors. Without addressing this concern, the city’s supportive business climate will fail to adapt to changing workforce demands/preferences.

Project Summary: Our solution directly addresses Calgary’s preparedness for 4IR technologies and their impact on the future of work. After obtaining input from a diverse set of stakeholders, we discovered gaps in the accuracy and relevance of Future of Work Reports prepared by major management consulting firms. These reports are informed by surveys administered to major corporations and only highlight an aggregate of global trends that do not provide any actionable information specific to the industries, worker skill sets, and worker preferences of our city. Thus, the Calgary hub will be launching “The Future or Work Survey,” which will shed light on the city’s current level of preparedness for the 4IR, knowledge gaps related to relevant 4IR technologies across different sectors, and skills gaps that exist in the underemployed, active workforce, and new graduates. Our solution was recently selected as one of the Top 50 Ideas for addressing the future of work globally by the World Economic Forum.

The results of the survey will be utilized by our partner organizations (including the municipal government, postsecondary institutions, consultancies, etc.) to help Calgary better prepare for the 4IR. The expected impacts of this year-long undertaking is the creation of an open source platform that displays aggregated and analyzed data that can be used to inform workforce training/educational development, resulting in a more resilient, adaptive Calgary economy.

Community Ask: Want to help design or administer this survey? Send a note to

Photo by Tomasz Frankowski