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Focus on the future of skills and work in a digital economy

As digital technologies transform our economy, the way we work is rapidly changing.   

To appreciate what this means for Canadians, and to better understand how the COVID-19 pandemic affected transitions within the digital economy, we partnered with the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council of Canada (SSHRC) to launch a Knowledge Synthesis Grant competition on Skills and Work in the Digital Economy.

Thirty-six project teams worked to summarize existing knowledge about the challenges and opportunities in adapting to new digital activities, including in the context of the current COVID-19 pandemic. By synthesizing existing knowledge, these projects identified both what we do and don’t know about the nature of work in the digital economy.

Discover the skills and work in the digital economy research reports

Among these Knowledge Synthesis Grants, FSC has supported 10 research projects exploring more specifically the next steps of training and learning as part of a changing digital economy.

This research project reviewed existing literature to better understand online experiential learning and identifies promising strategies for integrating experiential learning in online courses.


University of Ottawa

This knowledge synthesis review examines inclusive practices in K-12 STEM education, focusing on improving the participation of diverse youth in future professions in the digital economy. In parallel, the report speaks to the role of teacher training in the digital era, and avenues that need to be taken in that area. 


Université de Montréal

The goal of this project is to answer the following two questions: What mechanisms (devices, procedures, practices) and social processes (awareness-raising, mobilization, etc.) should an institution’s leadership opt for? What factors can be obstacles to successful digital transformation?

Université de Sherbrooke

This project reviews the literature to examine the response in Canada by farmers, agribusiness firms, agricultural organizations and governments to the emergence of big data. Based on this review, recommendations are provided on what players in Canadian agriculture could be doing.


University of Saskatchewan

This project (French only) uses a scoping review to conduct a rapid synthesis of the scientific literature in order to identify the collaborative-practices skills required so that health and social services professionals can perform their duties online. A secondary objective of the study was to determine whether the digital shift in professional communications had caused any backsliding in collaborative practices, and whether it had led professionals to go back to working within their own disciplinary silos.


Université de Sherbrooke

Canada has groups of people who are significantly underrepresented in the STEM fields, including and especially women of colour. This project identified strategies that support the retention of women of colour in their postsecondary STEM programs.


Ontario Tech University (University of Ontario Institute of Technology)

This project explored how AI technologies are transforming the nature of work, and how these technological changes affect employee psychological health, engagement and performance.


Université de Laval

This knowledge synthesis project examined how and where racialized immigrant women in Canada have been most impacted by the digital transformation of workplaces, and identifed potentially successful reskilling approaches that equip racialized immigrant women workers to take advantage of these digital transformations.


University of Waterloo

This report considers what skills are needed to manage multi-stakeholder partnerships that can bring about positive societal transformation, and how higher learning institutions can design programs that will allow for the management learner to acquire related knowledge and skills.


Carleton University – Sprott School of Business

This knowledge synthesis report synthesizes existing research and knowledge about the connection between Artificial Intelligence (AI) and (in)equity and suggests considerations for public and private sector leaders when implementing AI.


University of Toronto

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