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CRIMT Conference 2018

CRIMT Partnership Conference.
What Kind of Work for the Future? Disruption, Experimentation and Re-/Regulation
(25-27 October 2018)

This was the first open-architecture conference, i.e. targeting Project-affiliated and other interested researchers as well as labour market and community stakeholders. Drawing on the original Partnership Project planning, the objective was to explore how major fault lines of change are disrupting and re-ordering the regulation of work and employment and how these processes are leading to organizational and institutional experimentation. A Call for Papers was widely circulated., leading to upwards of 190 Proposals. Other features included a Doctoral School on the day before the conference and a conference architecture that included bilingual plenary sessions, simultaneous tracks of workshops in French or English or with simultaneous translation. The conference also included a Community Forum on Friday the 26th, i.e. the middle day of the conference, with a more significant participation of world-of-work actors and more interactive sessions featuring both researchers and social actors. In the design of these different sessions, a particular effort was made to foster exchange around core themes, bringing together project researchers together on particular fault lines of change, arenas of regulation and cases of experimentation. The concluding plenary sought to draw together some implications for the development of the Project.

We estimate that there were over 300 participants (@ 307), including 93 Projects – or other CRIMT- affiliated researchers, 61 other researchers, 73 graduate students (most supervised by Partner Centre and affiliated researchers) and 80 social actor and community participants. This latter category might in fact be somewhat higher as registration was not required for several sessions during the Community Forums where our researchers wanted to attract labour market and other interested persons, for example among those who have participated in their research and outreach activities. We estimate that overall 35% of participants were from outside of Canada. The Doctoral School on the day prior to the conference – only accessible to students supervised by Project researchers – attracted 46 participants, of which 43% were from outside of Canada. This highlights a key Partnership Project objective of ensuring international mobility and exchange in our Project training activities.

In total, there were 40 research workshops (roughly 160 presentations), 12 community forums and 4 plenary sessions for a total of 56 sessions over the three-day program. In terms of our EDI (equity, diversity and inclusiveness) objectives, at least as regards gender parity, 60% of the 20 persons in the four plenary sessions (presenters and chairs) were women, 50% of the 80 persons in the twelve community forums and 49.2% of the 331 persons in the forty research workshops. This worked out to a basic gender parity throughout the conference, with 50% (235/431) of participants being women.

We want to thank everyone who contributed to the success of the conference. The feedback was overwhelmingly positive. The energy that people felt from the range and depth of exchanges was remarkable and a very positive sign that we are on the right track in seeking to chart the lines of exploration around institutional and organizational experimentation for better work.

The conference was the collective result of a huge effort. First, it would not have been possible without the contribution of the Partner Centres and other affiliated researchers who contributed so much in the organization of workshops, forums, plenaries, doctoral school and other parallel activities as well as in the material resources to come to Montreal to make this happen. Second, special thanks are required for our very dedicated and hyper-competent team of CRIMT coordinators (France Jacques, Amélie Proulx and Nicolas Roby) and the many volunteers and others they mobilized in this endeavour. This would not have been possible without them. Third, as was evident in the program, Web site, and visuals, many organizations and partners also made special contributions to help this to happen.

Beyond the multiples links and planning of future activities in the development of our Partnership Project, one tangible result is already visible and readily available thanks to the work of our scientific coordinator Nicolas Roby. Project researchers and others can already access all plenary and a significant number of workshop and community forum contributions on our YouTube channel: ( The rest will be added in the coming days/weeks. Making these contributions available is a start in the free exchange of information. It’s now up to Project researchers to integrate them into teaching and outreach activities and to let people know that they are cutting-edge and easily accessed.

Gregor Murray, Partnership Project Director