Jessica Thornton is a Speaker at the DesignTO Symposium:
A Future without Work
happening on Saturday, January 25, from 1pm to 5pm at George Brown College.

Jessica Thornton, Project Advisor, The Brookfield Institute for Innovation + Entrepreneurship and Director, Strategic Initiatives, Evergreen Canada

Strange ideas about the future of work
To imagine the possibility of a future without work, we must first understand the range of changes on the horizon. While we’re aware of the more obvious technological shifts, we should also consider how broader environmental, social, and political developments play a role, such as demographic change, urbanization, and globalization: from digital detox, to lifelong learning and rights for AI. Based on the Brookfield Institute’s report “Turn and Face the Strange,” this talk will explore some of the diverse and intersecting trends that might impact Canada’s labour market in the next 10-15 years.


Jessica is a collaborator at BII+E who uses creative problem solving around human-centred design, strategic foresight, and design research methods to advance innovation policy. Formerly at BII+E, she was responsible for leading several major projects, including Employment in 2030 and Digitally Lit. Previously, Jessica led user research as part of the Impact of Tech on Ontario’s Workforce Project, as well as BII+E’s engagement in various education related projects such as Basecamp, SHAD at Ryerson, ZerotoStartup, and YRDSB Climate Hack2Action.

Before BII+E, Jessica spent nearly a decade in the not-for-profit sector, in a range of roles, tackling issues such as housing affordability, transportation accessibility, and sustainable food system development.

Jessica holds an Honours BA in Anthropology and Equity Studies from the University of Toronto, a certificate in food security from Ryerson University, and a diploma in Fundraising and Volunteer Management from George Brown College. Jessica recently completed a Master of Design in Strategic Foresight and Innovation at OCAD University, exploring the futures of public engagement.


‘DesignTO Symposium: A Future without Work’ is organized by DesignTO. It is generously supported by George Brown College School of Design and Gensler, with media partner Azure Magazine.