The Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers

Colette Murphy is the Executive Director of the Atkinson Foundation.

I’m thrilled to share the news that 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 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. Building on Race to the Top, a major collaboration published with the Mowat Centre in April 2018, she’ll focus on advancing an actionable agenda for inclusive economic growth in Canada. This includes work undertaken for the Institute for Fiscal Studies and Democracy on community benefits agreements tied to public infrastructure investments, and gender responsive budgeting.

Armine will continue to work with Canadian governments and international institutions on the future of work and the economy. She also continues in her capacity as President of the Canadian Association for Business Economics, a voluntary association dedicated to professional development.

Armine is well-known for her weekly business commentary on CBC Radio’s Metro Morning, and on The Big Picture panel, a popular weekly feature of CBC TV’s premier business show, On The Money. Published widely over the years, she contributes to the Globe and Mail, Maclean’s Magazine and the Toronto Star.

In 2002, Armine won the first Atkinson Economic Justice Award. She used the opportunity to advance economic analysis on health care as a policy tool for reducing inequalities, saving costs and improving population health. Armine was senior economist for the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives’ Inequality Project from 2006 to 2016 and program director for the Social Planning Council of Metropolitan Toronto from 1987 to 1997, focussing on labour market transitions during a period of de-industrialization of the economy. For decades, she has been consistently out front on trends in income and wealth inequality, labour markets and public finance, bringing people into conversation about how the economy works.

In creating this fellowship, the Board of the Atkinson Foundation is backing Armine as an accomplished economist, innovative policy thinker, and creative collaborator across disciplines, sectors, political perspectives and geographic boundaries. Her economic and policy analysis is informed by her deep respect and concern for how people make a living, and tempered by decades of observing what works and what doesn’t for businesses and workers alike.

The Board believes Armine’s unique approach and experience provides much-needed balance to the current public discourse on the future of work. Her worldview is informative and inspiring, and could not be more timely. Today, families, workers, businesses, communities and governments everywhere are searching for new approaches that deliver inclusive growth.

We can expect the new Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers to keep her feet on the ground in communities while standing head and shoulders above the crowd in global policy circles. Throughout her distinguished career, this is exactly what she’s done. All of us at Atkinson are excited to work alongside her — and with you too — to learn more and discover how the economy can work for everyone.