We're fighting for decent work.

We’re the Atkinson Foundation — a Canadian charitable foundation that has been fighting the good fight for more than 75 years.

We’re supporting efforts to modernize employment standards and labour relations.

We’re experimenting with bold strategies to build equity into public infrastructure projects.

We’re mobilizing investors to make sure workers are treated like the engines of successful companies, not the fuel.

If this fight is yours too, let us know. Sign up to show your support and to connect with us.

Celebrating #ILO100

We’ve been celebrating the 100th anniversary of the International Labour Organization this year with decent work advocates and activists everywhere.

At the start, the Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers Armine Yalnizyan wrote this op-ed. We hosted a “people’s celebration” in August called My Labour Our Future, described here by Dr. Adelle Blackett from McGill Law.

November 28th marks the day that the first international labour standards were set in 1919. We’re excited to share how this day of action on a global scale has inspired us to think about the next decade.

Read our invitation to imagine the possibilities.

For #ILO100, artist CadenceWeapon breaks down the lyrics for his song Large, giving voice to workers and exploring what work should be.

The Future of Work, Workers and the Economy

To mark the centenary of the International Labour Organization, we invited 100 decent work activists and advocates to Montréal for a conversation. It wasn’t a conference, convention, or workshop. There were no keynoters or trainers. No papers, presentations or resolutions. Imagine instead a 48-hour dialogue about the deep narratives that move people to fight for or against decent work. Learn more about My Labour Our Future. Read Colette Murphy’s remarks at the celebration of the ILO @ 100 for the backstory.

Introducing the Power Lab

Generated by the Atkinson Foundation and the Broadbent Institute, the Power Lab is a different kind of innovation lab. It’s led by community organizers concerned with equity in local economic development.  Learn more here.

Armine Yalnizyan to focus on the Future of Workers

Armine Yalnizyan, one of Canada’s leading economists, has accepted a two-year fellowship with the Atkinson Foundation, aimed at policy innovation for inclusive economic growth in an era of rapid technological change. 

As the new Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers, Armine will contribute to collaborative initiatives, help curate events, and provide advice to the Foundation and its partners on a wide range of economic and social issues related to the changing nature of work.

Here’s the full text of Executive Director Colette Murphy’s announcement.

Interested in the Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy?

The 2019 – 2020 Atkinson Fellowship in Public Policy John Lorinc was announced at the Canadian Journalism Foundation Gala on June 13th, 2019. More information about the 2018 – 2019 Atkinson Fellow in Public Policy Shree Paradkar and past winners is available here.

This is Atkinson’s podcast about decent work by and for millennials.  We’re talking about the gig economy, democracy, side hustles, unions, technology, activism, innovation, power and much more here.

We recorded our first live podcast event in front of a sold-out audience on January 23rd, 2019 with special guest U.S. comedian Hari Kondabolu and Max FineDay from Canadian Roots Exchange. Listen to the podcast or watch a captioned video of the event here.



Atkinson Field Notes are your best source of information about what we’re up to and what’s on our minds. Check out Executive Director Colette Murphy’s most recent post .



The Atkinson Decent Work Fund is a grants program that takes aim at growing income and wealth inequality. We’re always open to opportunities to help build the decent work movement. Share your idea with Atkinson’s Director of Social Investment Jenn Miller.