Online Workshop

Re-imagining Employment: Exploring Pathways for 21st Century Work

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About this Online Workshop

The COVID-19 pandemic catalyzed changes that were already in progress before sectors were permanently affected by lockdowns. The gig economy, home-based employment, and micro-entrepreneurship achieved exponential growth due to necessity and the benefits associated with new ways of working.

As it released its grip on daily life, the global pandemic left behind an indelible imprint on employment. Exponential growth in remote work, a new definition of essential workers, and the mass exodus of workers are among the key markers of what has been described as seismic change. 

During this workshop participants will examine the confluence of social, technological, and economic change which has necessitated a re-imagining of employment to chart a path forward in the social sectors and beyond.

The workshop will enable human services practitioners to develop a nuanced understanding of a range of options associated with new ways of working. Participants will examine case studies and learn about new opportunities that are consistent with 21st century imperatives in such areas as innovation, ecological responsibility and equity and inclusion. They will also learn evidence-informed strategies to assist members of marginalized groups to make meaningful connections with tools, technologies and other relevant resources that create sustainable work. 

NOTE: This is an interactive, virtual workshop, which is different from a webinar. Participants will be expected to participate through voice and video, and to engage with each other and the facilitator in large and small group discussions, to learn from each other and practice skill development.

Who Should Attend?

Any staff in a human, social or community services organization.

Format and Duration

This workshop is delivered in 2.5-hour workshops over two days.

Workshop Dates and Registration

All sessions in Eastern Standard Time.

There are currently no upcoming dates scheduled for this workshop. If you would like to enquire about bringing this virtual workshop to your organization or staff, please email


  • Members: $325 + HST

  • Non-Members: $425 + HST

  • Non-Member Education Level 1/2: $340 + HST

Technical Requirements

OMSSA will be hosting this virtual workshop using Zoom, an online, interactive platform that you can join straight from your web browser, or by downloading 'Zoom Client for Meetings' on your computer or tablet

Participants will be expected to join the workshop via both video and audio. Participants should therefore have access to a desktop computer, laptop computer or tablet with:

  • a webcam or built-in camera

  • a built-in microphone or a headphone jack where you can plug in a headset or earphones

We strongly recommend that participants use a headset or earphones with a built-in microphone in order to limit background noise. 

System requirements: Click here for more detailed information on system requirements from Zoom.

About the Facilitator

As a facilitator and social researcher, Catherine Chambers explores alternative employment models that address social challenges that stem from the inequitable distribution of work. An early adopter of remote work, Catherine's experience with a New York City startup in 2001, during the height of the dot com era, has been applied to projects in Ontario and New Brunswick. Her work on home based employment strategies for persons with disabilities dates back to 2006.  

Catherine's direct experience in the gig economy spans two decades and includes project work with members of marginalized communities--from Black youth to new Canadians experiencing employment barriers. As an entrepreneur and small business owner, Catherine was selected to participate in the spring 2022 Caribbean trade mission with the Federal Minister of International Trade, Export Promotion, Small Business and Economic Development. During the mission, Catherine delivered presentations on her research in sustainability, economic development, innovation, and micro-entrepreneurship.

In addition to her work with OMSSA, Catherine has worked with a variety of organizations, including: OCASI, ONWAA, BASF, Microsoft USA, and CBC-Radio. Catherine is also an Ontario Certified Teacher Researcher. She holds two graduate degrees from the Ontario Institute for Studies in Education (Master of Adult Education and Master of Teaching) where she is completing her PhD. Her book on Parents as Career Educators will be released in 2023.