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The Knowledge Economy is Here, Are We Ready?

  • 29 Oct 2010
  • 7:30 AM - 10:30 AM
  • Saint Mary’s University

How do we shape work and talent in Atlantic Canada for the coming challenges?

A discussion among knowledge workers, employers, governments and educators

Saint Mary’s University

7:30 to 10:30 am, October 29, 2010


he old industrial economy focused on attracting employers to our region.  But a post industrial “knowledge economy” is presenting new challenges. The focus has shifted from firms to individual workers.  Now we must concentrate on their opportunities - their training, their skills, their drive and initiative.  But we must also address the obstacles and pitfalls they face – precarious employment, self-employment, access to capital, building networks and maintaining control of their intellectual property.

These challenges affect all stakeholders – workers and their organizations, employers and their organizations, governments and educators.  This workshop will be a chance to hear from some major thinkers on these issues and to discuss the issues with others in the knowledge economy.

  •      Katherine V. Stone: Professor of Law, University of California Los Angeles, author of From Widgets to Digits: Employment Regulation for the Changing Workplace and the forthcoming Globalization and Flexibilization: The Remaking of the Employment Relationship in the 21st Century.  How Do We Regulate Work in the Knowledge Economy?”
  •        Peter Bruce: Deputy Chief Information Officer, Government of Canada.  “What Should Governments Do For Knowledge Workers?”
  •        Eamon Hoey: Over 30 years of experience consulting to the telecommunications industry on strategic, marketing and regulatory issues.  “Are We Ready for Knowledge Workers?”
  •        Peter Murdoch: Vice-President, Media, with the Communications, Energy and Paperworkers Union “Do Self-Employed Knowledge Workers Need and Want a Collective Voice?”


9:30 am – “World Café”-style roundtables (small group discussions) on topics like:

Public Policy & Law


What kind of law, regulation and government policies are best for the knowledge economy? Where and how should governments be investing public funds to build this economy?

What types of associations do knowledge workers belong to and how do they express their interests?

Working conditions and careers

Managing knowledge workers

How are careers defined and managed when work is intangible, creative, remote, project-based, or focused on end products rather than long-term relationships?  How shall we deal with the precariousness of such work?

How do you manage semi-autonomous professionals collaborating with peers, owners, and managers?  Where are managers’ sources of power and legitimacy?

Intellectual property

Training and issues of knowledge management

Who owns the intellectual property of knowledge workers?  How will the parties negotiate these issues?

In networked employment, whose responsibility is training and development?  Where does investment in human capital fit with worker autonomy, global citizenship, and product value?

1301-1809 Barrington Street, Halifax, NS B3J 3K8

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