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2018 TO DO Talks Symposium

Are you an inspiring thinker or practitioner who has a passion for the future of work? Submit to speak at the 2018 TO DO Talks Symposium: Designing the Future of Work, a half day conference with speakers from around the world, held at George Brown College.


All submissions are due Friday, September 22, 2017 by 11:59pm EST.

Designing the Future of Work

The world is increasingly digital and with it, so too is work. With a widespread shift towards greater connectivity, and robots capable of performing complex tasks, the landscape of work has changed dramatically, rendering a future that is less predictable and more complex.

This new landscape offers a rousing combination of opportunities and challenges. Technology drives economic growth. It improves workflow, communication, and “efficiency” for organizations and employees, and thereby enriches work lives, making them less tedious, while creating new kinds of value and possibilities. Yet, jobs are increasingly unstable, or have disappeared altogether.

More workers experience different work environments that allow and encourage flexibility and movement through virtual channels. Spaces, lifestyles, and values are changing in tandem with how we work. Organizations become responsive by investing in new workplaces that accommodate this complexity, and enable employees to pursue autonomy, mastery, and purpose.

Design plays a major role in reshaping the way we work. It helps us imagine different futures, transitioning “old ways” of doing things, to new and “better” ways of doing and being. ‘Designing the Future of Work’ seeks presentations that contribute to a better understanding of how design can, and must , be leveraged to make the future of work work for all of us. How does design build thriving organizations and individuals? How can we prepare ourselves for, or shape, the future of work? What kind of new policies and education do we need? How do we adapt to this new landscape?

We seek designers and thinkers to give presentations that inspire. Talks may be about current research or case studies, new products or technologies, spaces or experiences, speculative design or strategies, or new processes or policies. We welcome diverse perspectives and responses to the theme of designing the future of work.

All submissions must include the following:

  1. A description of your talk topic in less than 500 words, including all necessary details regarding target audience, format, and equipment needed;
  2. a short bio on you and/or your creative practice (max. 150 words);
  3. 1­-3 visuals of your work or a link to a video (if available); and
  4. Your
    1. contact info (name, email, and phone number),
    2. a CV,
    3. website URL, Twitter and Instagram names (if available).

Click here to submit

How much does it cost to submit?

There is no fee for this submission. All successful applicants are required to arrange their own transportation and accommodations to Toronto for the Symposium date. Modest speaker’s fees will be paid to selected speakers.

When and where is the Symposium?

The Symposium runs Saturday, January 20, 2018, from 1-5pm. It will be held at George Brown College, in downtown Toronto.

What happens next?

Successful submissions will be notified by email by October 20, 2017.


Email any questions to Projects Lead Simon Mhanna at simon [at] todesignoffsite.com with this subject line: TO DO Talks Symposium + your name.

Thank you to the Ontario Arts Council, and our institutional partner George Brown College, School of Design.



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