Joining CUI host Mary W. Rowe for our ongoing series of candid conversations –How is the pandemic transforming the way we work? – are Armine Yalnizyan, Economist and Atkinson Fellow on the Future of Workers; Vicki Saunders, Founder of SheEO; Elizabeth Ha, Equity Vice-President at the Ontario Federation of Labour; Anila Lee Yuen, President & CEO at the Centre for Newcomers; and Gretchen Gscheidle, Founder and CEO at GM Gscheidle R+D.
How is the pandemic transforming the way we work?
A roundup of the most compelling ideas, themes and quotes from this candid conversation
1. COVID has exacerbated Canada’s digital divide
While Canada’s digital divide is often spoken of in terms of the disproportionate internet access felt by northern and remote communities, it is also important to identify growing disparities within Canadian cities. As a large portion of Canadian life is shifted online, those who lack access to vital technologies are facing greater barriers to employment. Anila Lee Yuen highlights the disproportionate effect this has on Canadian newcomers faced with the dual challenge of searching for a job in the midst of a pandemic and adapting to Canadian life in a virtual setting.
2. Canada has a responsibility to ensure the safety of migrant workers
As a resident of Windsor, Ontario, Elizabeth Ha seeks to place the focus on Canadian migrant workers. Outbreaks of COVID-19 amongst migrant farm workers have shed light on unsafe living conditions. Migrant workers travel to Canada on an annual basis in order to help put food on our tables and have become integral contributors to the Canadian economy. Elizabeth contends that the Canadian government has a responsibility to ensure the protection of these workers.
3. ‘Productivity’ is not always a useful buzzword
COVID-19 may represent a valuable opportunity to transform the way we talk about work. Canadians with the privilege to be able to work from home have benefited from increased flexibility and new forms of relationship building. Instead of focusing on productivity, Vicki Saunders argues that businesses should speak more in terms of individual capability and capacity. As children run around in the background of zoom calls, we are reminded that life is incredibly complex and that workplaces should be built in recognition of these complexities.
4. There will be no economic recovery without a ‘She-Covery’
Women are among those who have been most severely impacted by COVID-19. Women with young children, in particular, have struggled to regain employment and have been more likely than men to experience reduced hours. Armine Yalnizyan argues that there will be no economic recovery without a ‘She-Covery’ and there will be no ‘She-Covery’ without accessible childcare. If women do not return to work, household income and household spending will not recover. This is particularly concerning given that 57 percent of Canadian GDP is driven by household spending.
5. Canadians will return to congregate workspaces
While many Canadians are currently working from home, Gretchen Gscheidle has little doubt that we will return to congregate workspaces. However, it remains largely unclear how physical office spaces will be structured and what purpose they will serve moving forward. COVID-19 has forced businesses to rethink how they structure and design their physical office space. Gretchen offers higher education institutions as a potential model for businesses. While university students travel to campus in order to participate in seminars and group meetings, the bulk of their work is completed at home.
Note to readers: This video session was transcribed using auto-transcribing software. Manual editing was undertaken in an effort to improve readability and clarity. Questions or concerns with the transcription can be directed to email@example.com with “transcription” in the subject line.
Mary Rowe [00:00:48] Well, there you go. I was just saying, this is the fiftieth CIty Talk. It’s the first time I’ve done that. I’m Mary Rowe. I’m head of the Canadian Urban Institute. My apologies. And Mercury is retrograde…just saying and that’s the first time I’ve done that. I was just starting to say how appreciative we were of all the people that have participated in the city talks with us since we started this about three or four weeks in the COVID. And these conversations have become really critically important to us as we try to make sense of what’s actually going around around us. And we’re so appreciative of the guests that come on city talk every week to tell us what they’re seeing. Tell us what’s actually happening and to help us all navigate together what the new normal of the future is going to look like. These broadcasts originate in Toronto, which is the tradtitional territory of the Mississaugas of the Credit, the Annishnabec,, the Chippewa, the Hoddinott Seany and the Wendat peoples, now home to many diverse First Nations, Inuit, and Metii from across Turtle Island. Toronto was also covered by 2013, which was signed with the Mississauga’s of the credit and the Williams treaties that were signed with multiple Annishnabec, nations. And we always have these conversations cognizant of that, of the traditional territory in which we actually literally occupied. And also the history of exclusion that Urbanism has contributed to that has made our cities not equal and often unfair and not equitable. And we are now during COVID seeing that in sharp, sharp relief because the experiences of COVID have disproportionately affected people of color, people in lower income neighborhoods. And we’ve got to come through this and figure out how this is going to be fixed and we’re going to move forward in a different kind of way. And these folks of around this session this morning. Just noticing, it’s not a man-al, it’s a… what’s the gendered version of this. You’re a wo-nal. Anyway, it’s all women. And they’re going to talk to us about how we work. And we published at One Hundred Days of COVID with a couple of weeks ago, we did COVID 100 and we had a series of streams of how urban life was being affected. And one of the things we wanted to talk about and we we saw on the data that it was really dramatically affecting how we work. And so these guys have come on to talk to us about that. From their particular perspective, how do they see cognitive suckering? How can we work now? Hasn’t affected, obviously, their constituency and the people they deal with over the last several months. But what were the preexisting conditions that have now been exacerbated? And how do they anticipate work continuing to change as we go through the future? Go to the future. And what are the implications for all of us as city builders to try to strengthen our capacity to work better and work work fairly and all the kinds of things? So we’re really appreciative to have you on. Remember to all the folks who are on, please come into the chat if you’d like. Tell us where you’re coming in from. It’s helpful people to know on the on the session this morning where you’re listening from. As people know, these sessions are video recorded and the chat, where you’re free to feel free to engage and ask each other questions and stuff that gets recorded and posted too. So we always post the video, we post the chat, and we do some takeaways, and lots and lots of people go back and read the stuff. And part of why we’re doing this is to create an archive to really understand. Years from now, how did we all function and cope and what what can we learn from that? So thanks for participating in our ongoing learning, because we’re contributing to a broader discourse about how we cope with extraordinary challenge across the world. So how we work and fabulous, fabulous resource people to start with us here. And coming from different perspectives and so Anila I want to start with you. We’re always keen to have people tell us what you’re actually seeing, what your experiences, what you’re actually seeing in this period. Just give us an overview. Tell us where you’re coming from. That would be helpful to. So you start us off. Welcome to City Talk.
Anila Lee Yuen, Centre for Newcomers [00:04:26] Thank you so much. So happy to be here. I am the CEO at the Center for Newcomers in Calgary, Alberta, and we work with newcomers to the country. And so, you know, from our perspective, it’s been really eye opening in terms of not only with newcomers, but with the general population as well in terms of the disparity. And we’ve seen it really specifically related to technology. So people’s access to being able to get communication and information. So if you don’t have access to the Internet or reliable, you know, smartphone or laptop or something like that, we’ve seen that it’s been extremely difficult first to provide information to the community and for the community to even know how to access that. And that has created a lot of disparity, especially when it comes to people that are working and especially during early days of koban and having to apply for Serban for other kinds of benefits and other types of things or information, whether it was food banks, whether it was whatever, you know, all of that was all online. There wasn’t the ability to walk into a place like people are used to. And so for the most vulnerable in our community, that’s what we are we have been seeing. Is that there’s been a huge, huge disparity among people, mainly because of the access to information, via technology and no ability to do what they’re used to doing. Right. Even in terms of applying for jobs is you go into the place with your physical resumé. A lot of people still do that. And not having the ability to do those types of things has really created more levels of poverty and isolation – social isolation and otherwise.
Mary Rowe [00:06:22] It’s interesting, I mean, I know there are you know, we’re we’re always struggling with what’s going to stick. You know, there are certain things that we’re innovating and doing things differently. And some of it will be good and some of will probably be terrible. But it’s interesting, as you suggest, support to newcomers. How will that ostensibly how will your work change? Do you think, during COVID Anila?
Anila Lee Yuen, Centre for Newcomers [00:06:42] Well, thus far, you know, in the last hundred days or so, what we found is that the majority of our work. Thank goodness we still can do online. And we’ve been able to do webinars. We’ve been able to communicate with people. We’ve been able to provide for them because we are an essential service. We’ve never completely shut down. So that was also very lucky on our part in the sense that people that are extremely vulnerable can still come in to the center. But again, that has put a lot of stress in terms of with newcomers, especially, for example, say you came as an economic newcomer. Right. Immigrant. Just the majority of newcomers. You speak English or French fluently. You’ve arrived with your family and you arrived in January, February or March before the border started closing.
Mary Rowe [00:07:29] Right.
Anila Lee Yuen, Centre for Newcomers [00:07:30] You don’t have any kind of history in Canada in terms of being able to access benefits. You may not know anyone in Canada as well. So what we’re finding is, again, even with people that are highly educated, me feeling the lack of, you know, the social isolation, the despair, the, you know, those those kind of mental health needs that we’re all feeling. But just heightened because, you know, many people have said to us, how do I known? And of course, you couldn’t have known had I known that COVID was going to hit and might have stayed in my home country a few more months before choosing to immigrate, because at least they would be comfortable, at least they would know how to interact and what to do and and wouldn’t be worried about potentially their family, their parents, their elderly parents, you know, back home or whatever else. So there’s been layers upon layers of barriers that we’ve been finding, especially when it comes to newcomers in terms of their access. And then when you’re looking at people that don’t speak the language, it becomes even more heightened.
Mary Rowe [00:08:35] Yeah. As you say. And if they came, I should just remind the chatter’s people to check, callling you chatter’s affectionately, is that we put bio’s that everybody up on the Chatbox. We don’t actually introduce people in great detail here. And it’s interesting, as you’re suggesting, I mean, these are people that came to work and to get jobs. And of course, they’re completely thwarted, the man, because there’s no way to do it. And it’s very hard. I’ve actually hired a few people for CUI. Never having met them. And it’s a pretty interesting dynamic. Let’s keep going. Elizabeth, talk to us about what you’ve been seeing. I know you’re beautiful. Downtown Windsor. We had Americans are on Friday. You know that. Yes. Yes. Had a pretty animated conversation with him. And so talk to us about what you’ve been seeing in your constituency.
Elizabeth Ha, Ontario Federation of Labour [00:09:19] OK. So I’m. When you guys asked me to speak, I know the title on there says the Ontario Federation of Labor. So I guess I hold a number of different titles. I’m the vice president representing workers of color. Also a number of OPSO who doing a lot of equity work and an organizer for just DCO for migrant workers. And I mean, I could talk about how workers have been affected workers as in like unionized workers, part of the labor movement, how they’ve been affected during this pandemic. But I do want to put the focus more on migrant workers, because for myself, I mean, I’m working from home. You might see my kids pop up. So I’ll put myself on mute sometimes.
Mary Rowe [00:10:10] But don’t worry, we’ve had it all. Not kids are welcome.
Elizabeth Ha, Ontario Federation of Labour [00:10:14] I’m always on Zoom meetings and they they love it. They’ll just pop in here, just don’t leave. And the reason I want to put more focus on migrant workers is being from Windsor, Ontario. It’s what we’re talking about right now, because as you know, as we are moving from stage one to two and then at some point to three, we’ve been held back. And it’s mainly because of the workers that have been affected. So just a little background we’re made up of volunteers. We’re just people in our community where labor activists, students, researchers, professors, things like that. And we’ve been doing this for close to 20 years, working very closely with workers here in Lamington, Kingsville, Essex County. So we hear exactly what’s happening. And then the media, of course, and social media puts out what they think they know and what they’ve been seeing. And right now. We’ve had so many cases of workers being tested positive and in the beginning, I think even before the pandemic happened. As an organizer doing this work, we knew that there was a lot of unsafe working conditions, they were living in close quarters in bunkhouses and things like that. And then. With a pandemic and the shut down. Originally, the borders were closed for everyone coming in and then they opened it up for the workers because they were considered essential. Once they came in, the federal government was able to provide funding for the farmers to quarantine the workers. So the workers came in with a clean bill of health. They were supposed to quarantine for 14 days. We know for a fact that a lot of them were not. They came in quarantine for maybe three days a week, and then we were told they had to go to work. And that’s when this started. And the rumor was that they brought the virus in there, you know, infecting the community and this and that. But in. On these work in these workplaces, we have a lot of people even in our own communities that drive down there. They work there and that’s how the virus ended up in these workplaces. And currently. Look, we’ve done so much work, we’ve had meetings with politicians, we had meetings with the Ministry of Labor, we’ve had meetings with the health unit, community groups, we’ve written letters. Most recently, we had we’ve had three caravans so far, one in. Bramford, Toronto and then Lemington. And since then, the caravan was basically driving around making sure the workers knew that. We appreciate the work that they’re doing. Even before, like when the pandemic started, you will see in different municipalities, people in our communities doing the caravan’s for health care workers, for workers that work in long term care. Just saying thank you. And we felt it was time that we showed these workers that their work is important. They put food on our tables. They come here from another country, put their lives at risk, and we want them to know where we’re there for them. And we do support them and we see them. So since then, we’ve had some improvements. They shut down one of the workplaces in Lemington. But the thing is, like when there are workplaces where there are people tested positive, they’ve been shut down right away. It took a lot of work and shaming basically for them to shut one of these places down. And the one workplace that shut down recently, they had close to like four hundred, over 400 workers and it was almost half their workers that was testing positive before they shut these workplaces down. So that’s a good thing. But now there’s still so many questions as to, OK, they’re back to work and what have they done to ensure the safety of these workers? We know for a fact that there’s no people. There isn’t enough PPE for the workers. Windsor and Essex County, if you know this community, we are just. We support each other, we’re there for each other when, you know, people need help. When families need help, we step up. And we in the last month, we’ve had so many donations. We’ve been driving PPE, sanitizers, face masks, face shields down there for the workers. But ultimately, at the end of the day, it’s the government that really needs to step up and put some type of standard in place to ensure that all workers, no matter who they are, that they’re safe and that’s not happening. So that’s kind of what’s happening right now. And the one thing I really want to mention is that when we talk about workers. These workers are black, brown workers. And it is racism, what’s happening right now, because it’s been happening for a long time and people here are seeing that. And that’s why we’re getting so much support with the caravan when we held that caravan. There was just an outpour from our community needs to support the workers. And they’ve been amazing. They’ve been, you know, asking the questions, putting comments on social media, saying what is the health unit doing? What is the government doing? What are politicians doing to ensure the safety of these workers? Because they’re not just workers, they’re part of our communities. These workers have been coming here for years and years, generations. They’re part of our family and we’re going to be here to support them. So. That’s kind of what we’re seeing right now.
Mary Rowe [00:16:33] Yeah, mean, I’m so appreciative to have these two perspectives because it has to do with who does the work and what work is being done by the newcomers and being done by temporary workers and all that. It’s the nature of work and how the words do change. So thanks, guys. I want to I’m going to go now to Vicki and to talk quite differently I think about entrepreneurial network through SheEO. So tell us, Vicki, what you’re hearing from your constituency, which I know is a global one.
Vicki Saunders, SheEO [00:16:56] Hi. I’m really happy to be here. So I’m Vicki. I’m a founder of CEO. And we are an organization of women, radically generous women around the world who are gifting capital into shared pools of funding. And then we go online and we select women who are working on the world’s To-Do list. So critical priorities. We’re facing business ideas to solve SDGs. And then we get behind them and we support them with our networks and our expertize and our buying power. They get a five year, zero percent interest loan from us and then all of this expertise. So we’re kind of redefining work as we go through. This whole thing has been quite fascinating. So we’re in five countries at the moment. Canada, the US, New Zealand, Australia and the U.K. all having completely different experiences of COVID-19. It’s quite fascinating from our what we’ve noticed in our own community is we’re obviously coming from a fairly privileged position. And so a lot of women, our network, have access capital that they’re gifting into create this new world. And most of us are have no challenge getting online. And so one of the things that’s happened is we’ve just seen a massive increase in an engagement in our community. So where before one of our big pain points was how do we act, how do we get in touch with each other? Because everyone is so busy. Now, all of a sudden, people are showing up to these weekly calls across five countries where we’re all helping each other and we practice this concept of asking and giving in our network. And so we’re resourcing each other to support each other. So at the very beginning of COVID, we did an all call for the 68 ventures that we funded across five countries or countries and did a quick red, yellow and green triage. How are you doing? What’s going on? Who’s who’s in a world of pain, who’s cautiously OK and he’s fine. And then we just started to to channel our resources to those who are in a world of pain. And I have just been blown away by the generosity in the community. We’re all in relationship with each other already. And so this crisis really brought people together to share resources. And so those that have people that they were going to have to lay off because of a massive reduction in business. We’ve other companies have been hiring them and people in the network are sharing resources. We’re bridge loans, you know, loaning to people. We haven’t had a single venture in our community go down. Everyone’s still in business. And that’s been quite amazing. And I this I’m still quite perplexed. I don’t know if any of you are like how much closer I feel and more connected I feel to people being isolated in my own home. Right where we’re getting on these calls. We’re getting into these groups and we do a lot of breakout rooms. So we’re not doing like one speaking to thousands. It’s like you’re getting in rooms of four to five people and starting to build relationships. And it’s people are talking about it is like this amazing blind date experience. Right. Like, you’re always surprised you’re in a room with three new people that you get to meet. And the universe’s life is like, click the button who you’re gonna get today. And it’s so it’s starting to ripple out relationships that are, I think, harder to build when you’re in the sort of traditional world of like face to face. I even just think about our team in a way that there are natural pairings that sort of occur. You sort of like goes to like there’s something that you see about someone. And in this world of like click the button, you’re now in a breakout room. There are new relationships building that maybe wouldn’t have happened in real life. So I find that quite fascinating. Again, speaking from total place of privilege, the freedom that this is offering and the flexibility to people to be able to deal with their lives in ways that I like, the nine to five kind of work didn’t. So we have people on our team and a lot of our ventures have, you know, moms with young kids. And it’s just insane, like how if you don’t have a support network around you, how do you deal with that? And so just how it’s created so much more flexibility in our workplace. We check in every morning at 10:00 a.m. and people come on and go, here’s what I’m going to be available from 11:00 till 2:00. And then I’ve got kids for lunch. And then, you know, 50 minutes later, it’s like actually meltdown. I’ll see you tomorrow, you know. And so everything completely changes. And it’s very much in the flow of like the trust and relationships that exist and how what we need to pay attention to. And that has just created so much more empathy, I feel. Across a lot of these relationships, there’s just people are just way more patient about it and recognizing that we’re humans. We’re not cogs and we’ll have to deliver what’s the productivity? So we’ve really shifted that language. I heard someone talking about this the other day. You know, what’s happened to your productivity? I’m like, whoa, whoa. Let’s talk about capability and capacity right now. Like, what capacity to have? And then we’ll work towards the capacity as opposed to the productivity. So I’m seeing a lot of opportunities for us to really transform how we talk about work, the relationships that we’re in and what is the same pace. Given the complexities of our lives.
Mary Rowe [00:22:11] I love your suggestion about empathy there, because I feel like see why I always say see is in the connective tissue business. But I also feel we’re in the urban empathy business and it’s hard because lots of things aren’t working for people, you know. So you’re describing a community that’s been able to stitch itself together and create lots of social capital, which you probably had beforehand. And as you say, you’ve got access to technology that’s working well for you. But the descriptions we’ve just had from the two other gals in situations where it has not worked as well, where it’s breaking down. I’m going to go to Armine and then Gretchen will. We’ll get you in and then we’ll have a bit of an all call. Armine, you’re going to give us, I know, a kind of a shot between the eyes here, I mean, about what’s really going on on the public policy front across the country. And what are you seeing in terms of the impact on work workers?
Armine Yalnizyan, Future of Workers [00:22:58] Well, as most of the people that are participating on this conversation know in Canada, we we did a pretty good job of getting money into people’s pockets to keep people at home so we could contain the contagion. But the people at it’s interesting that a lot of people think, you know, we should have cut everybody a two thousand dollar check. Just a gentle reminder that 60 percent of the labor force. Well, a little bit. A little bit more than 60 percent of the labor force kept working, didn’t see any change at all in their hours or their income. So it’s we’re really looking at about a third of the labor force that got knocked out. And that’s not just I’m not I’m at an unemployment rate, but people that lost their jobs and lost significant hours of work, of whom, you know, Mary, we have a wo-nal, here instof a ma-nal. And you mentioned at the outset that the people affected most were people of color and immigrants and all of that the people affected most were women. And we are not a minority group. We’re half the population. And more women got impacted by this definition that their work wasn’t essential. Even though more women are also part of the essential workforce. So I want to just stop for a second and think about the people that have been able to work from home, like Vickie, like some of us. It’s of the people that continue to work. Only 40 percent, less than half the people that continue to work through COVID were able to work from home. So if we’re talking about the future of work, it’s not going to affect most people. It’s going to actually be a very lucky group of people that can toggle between working in an office or working in a physical place and working from home. It is mostly office work, by the way. What we have seen in terms of the current and future of work is an alarming growth in unpaid work by women because women are doing not only unpaid work on the job and we’re doing so before, but now they’re doing more unpaid work in terms of childcare at home. And what is paid work for others? Teachers through home schooling. And we don’t know when that story is going to end. So if you haven’t heard me say it yet. Let me just lay out the context for why I say this over and over again in Canada. Fifty seven percent of GDP is driven by household spending. In the United States, it’s actually almost 70 percent because the United States exports less. So in an environment where business investment has disappeared, crickets from that front where export driven growth is not on the menu for some time to come, we’re either looking at a recovery because household spending recovers or we’re looking at a recovery that is fueled by government spending. And in both cases, Conservatives don’t want either of these things to happen. Can I just be completely blunt about that? They’re fine with women staying at home and not attending to childcare, and they’re also fine with governments cutting back to get their fiscal house in order. And I just want to say that spells depression. We’re not talking about an economic recovery. We’re talking about an economic depression and probably a mental depression, too, of a scale we haven’t seen in a long time. We can’t do it without more women getting back into work because women have become such a critical part of household income over the last 20, 30 years. We’ve gone from actually over the last 40 years we’ve gone from the norm of one breadwinner for a household to two. That’s the norm now. And if you knock out the ability of women to earn, you are basically saying we’re OK with household spending going down, household income going down, household spending going down. By the way, this isn’t a feminist issue. This is a business issue because if you have less disposable income in your household, you’re going to be hunkering down. You’re not going to be spending the stuff that you used to spend. That means tons of businesses are not going to survive this period of so-called recovery and reopening. So, as I have said since April, there is no recovery without a she-covery, and there is no she-covery without child care. And whereas everybody in the world seems to be able to imagine a recovery playbook that involves infrastructure, it’s always shovel ready, male dominated infrastructure we’re talking about now. We need childcare in the United States. It looks like half of the regulated childcare spaces, four and a half million spaces are poised to shutter because people have stopped paying user fees to get in because they can’t pay for something that they can’t use this they don’t have the income and they have estimated it would cost nine point six billion dollars every month just to preserve the existing capacity that they have. Of course, we’re gonna need more capacity because we need physical distancing. We need all sorts of new protocols, smaller so-called bubbles of kids and teachers in the reopening phase. But far from even knowing as much as the US does, Canada has no national plan, no national protocols. We don’t know what share of the childcare ecosystem is at risk of shuttering, and we have no plans on maintaining that. I’m just going to underscore we can have no recovery without a “she-covery”, and we can have no she-covery without childcare because the group of women who had the biggest losses in jobs and hours of work are people with kids under the age of 17, mostly actually kids under the age of six of preschoolers. So I’m just going to say there’s somebody that commented in the chat thing. What about transit? You know what? It happens if you don’t have a car. How do you recover? How do you participate? What we are seeing in this essential economy is that essential caring services and essential public infrastructure is part of an essentially functioning economy. And we need governments to step up to the plate with transit, with housing, with Internet, with health care. And for heaven’s sake, with childcare care, we actually need governments to play a bigger role for families to be able to play their old role and keep the economy going. So if you’re an economist, if you’re a woman, if you’re a mother, if you’re a business, you’ve got to be on the same page on this one.
Mary Rowe [00:29:19] OK, then, thanks Armine. So there you go. And there is no recovery without :she-covery” and there is no she-covert without childcare. You know, there’s so many different aspects to this conversation. I appreciate each of you is weaving in a different thread to it. And I’m going to go to Gretchen, who’s in sunny Chicago. I’m assuming it’s sunny over there to talk about the physical nature of work, because part of what I’m hearing us talk about is there are pros to working more from home, those who can. But then there’s this Armine just suggested half of the working population is still going to work. They’ve been providing essential services and various things, but they’re now going to work. They’re going to get there often on transit. Transit is a minute is going to have to be scaled back, I suspect, because municipalities are going broke. I don’t know if that’s the case in the U.S., but in Canada it is. And Gretchen, you’re a designer. You think about work spaces and I’m interested. Tell us what what your perspective is on this and what are you seeing in terms of really smart ideas about how this is going to be affected?
Gretchen Gscheidle, GM Gscheidle R+D [00:30:22] Thanks so much, and I’m just having a blast here and all the various perspectives weaving together is just fascinating. So thank you to my fellow wo-nal members as well. You know, as I look, you know, we’re just trying our best and good intentions are absolutely out there. But there’s a lot of making it up as we go. And, you know, beyond probable shortages and plexiglass that are obvious in different places. There’s a lot of opportunity. And again, we’re trying our best, but we’re making it all up. I’m curious. I saw the list of where people are physically located today. And one of the things that I even reached out for last night in in hopes of maybe bringing a couple talking points and other perspectives from elsewhere in the globe was reached out to former colleagues and collaborators in Australia, not only for the reasons of being that much ahead of things relative to the COVID recovery itself, but prior to the pandemic and everything else. My on the ground experience is the folks down under literally have been ahead of the curve in so many regards. And some of it is, again, the advantage that they’re experiencing right now relative to being an island and an island that is very far away from a lot of other islands and difficult to get to. And they didn’t necessarily have the perspective that, oh, they’re that much further ahead. But I’m really curious to hear, you know, as some of the offices down under and elsewhere are coming back online, what the various protocols and so forth are there. You know what? One of the things that occurred to me early on, especially as things were opening up in it, and it ties back to some of the populations that we’ve heard about. Absolutely. And the call so far is, you know, it used to be that housekeeping and custodial and so forth of making making the office type and presentable. And all that was happening after hours. I mean, ungodly often after hours and a lot of cases. And I think one of the things that is going to absolutely be more obvious. I mean, I saw it yesterday at my dentist appointment where the receptionist got up and was wiping down the door handles and so forth. It’s going to be happening in our midst and some of that builds trust and some of that builds comfort and so forth. And relative to my more specific world of furniture. Gosh, there there’s all different talks about where is the pendulum going to swing, not only on the broad spaces themselves, will they even exist? Will we go back to more enclosed spaces and so forth? It’s entirely possible. I always look at really kind of cross pollinating from different industries. And so I think I think what we’re experiencing right now with these fortunate populations that have the opportunity to either work from home or the office, it’s much like you see in the education environment, the higher education environment, where, you know, they’ll go to the campus buildings or they used anyway for the group instruction for those points in time where they needed the collaboration with the professor, the T.A. for additional guidance. And then the heads down focused work happened back at the residence hall, slash dormitory, etc.. So I think that sort of divide of tasks and activities, we will, in fact be happening moving forward as well. But another vertical that I absolutely want to bring up is health care from the standpoint of materials and practices and things like disinfecting, lighting and so forth. I think all of that could also make an appearance in the office workplace, as we have known it in the past. The challenge there being huge capital expenses to do it right and how much your business is really going to invest in all of that right away versus just kind of hold back. And we’re coping right now and we’ll continue to ride the coping side of things for a bit.
Mary Rowe [00:34:48] Gretchen, do you think I mean, each of these five are all working in very different circumstances and and for some some as Armine gave us the stats and the percentages, which I’m sure that the chatbox the people when we published the chat, we’ll get those statistics highlighted. But making it clear that there is a chunk of the population that actually goes has to go somewhere to work. They’re not able to sit and Zoom and do the work we do. So there’s a whole chunk of people that are still going to work. And if the economy reopens in a certain kind of way, which it seems to be in varying degrees in different parts of the world, do you think, Gretchen, that we’re going to go back to kind of congregate office settings to use? And if so, how how are they? I mean, my understanding is that right now you can go into some downtown exchange towers, some in Calgary and Toronto. I don’t know whether or not you find any Chicago, but you can go up to the 60th floor if you want to, but you have to book at and wait in line and do you see? I mean, I can imagine we’re all going to just hang out at home unless we have to go and work in a restaurant? Gretchen, do you see that? Are we going to get back to some kind of collaboration?
Gretchen Gscheidle, GM Gscheidle R+D [00:35:56] I absolutely do believe that we’re gonna to get back to some degree of normal. What the degree is is going to differ by organization, by culture. What what what they need to do, frankly, for their business to be propelled forward. You know, there there are other things to take into account, though, like staggered start times and so forth is as much for the queuing up for the elevators and lifts and what not as anything else. I happen to have dailed-in to another webinar from from a friend of mine who is an architect. And this was recorded, let’s say, in mid-June. And some of the conversation there was just really fascinating in terms of, OK, we’re starting to see some some offices go back to being repopulated, whether it be alternating days by function or otherwise. And there’s just kind of a critical mass. No one knows exactly, again, what that number is. But does it really make sense to go back to collaborate when only 20 percent are in the office? Cynthia was Cynthia was speculating. It’s probably closer to about 50. And so how do you get to that 50 again and then. Oh, gosh, is it is it like the breakout rooms that Vicki was talking about where we are across different functions in an organization, or is it just the Finance Club organization or just the marketing and so forth? There’s a lot again, and it goes back to my opening statement. We’re just going to have to be trying some things and and recognize that it’s much like software or product development. You’ve got to get it out there and try it. And no, it probably isn’t going to be 100 percent right out of the gate. But, gosh, we’re flexible beings in addition to social beings. And I think that’s that’s part of the key why we’re gonna go back, because we are social beings and we need that human contact.
Mary Rowe [00:37:55] OK. So I’m ready to hear whatever anybody else wants to chime in. And I’ll start by just asking a question about this. Do you know we have a whole thing at CUI called Bring Back Main Street caz we really believe in the local neighborhood and we feel that the local neighborhood is where you can rely and it’s the thing that’s right there helping you through these tough times. Local businesses, local anchor parks, all those different things that occupy Main Street. Can you imagine, Gretchen, do you think we would get to a place where instead of actually putting tens of thousands of people in a workspace, do you think we’ll ever get to a place where I’ll actually because I want to flee my cats who are running wild and I want to get out for a couple of hours where I could have a local, like you just suggested, a campus model. Could that, in fact, be in my neighborhood, a workspace? Could we see more decentralization? And Armine if that were the case, if we did find a way to do that, could we actually create small units of child care in? Could we create a complete neighborhood that would do that? So that’s to Armine and to Gretchen.
Gretchen Gscheidle, GM Gscheidle R+D [00:38:56] I think yes, absolutely. From a local standpoint, it certainly alleviate some of the commute issues that I know I’ve been seeing pop up in in the chat window and so forth. And it does afford more of that flexibilit again, that Vicki brought up, you know, for that situation where, OK, let’s say there is local child we need when something comes up, you know what? You probably could grab your three year old if necessary and take them home in that moment as well. So I think we will see that.
Mary Rowe [00:39:29] Does anybody imagine that? Armine and then I’m going to ask Anila if she can imagine that. Then go ahead Armine.
Armine Yalnizyan, Future of Workers [00:39:34] Well, I don’t know why we have an integrated early learning and child care into our public education system. It shouldn’t be a market driven process. And there are schools within walking and driving distance of everybody wherever they live. And so, to my mind, that is the spatial distribution of regulated, high quality early learning. And it should never have been a market choice. The only way it is a real choice for women is when they have the choice to either make it or stay at home and raise their kids. That’s when there is a real choice. Or I guess, bringing in a nanny. But I just want to go back to something Gretchen said that you’ve been kind of pursuing. Office jobs are the minority of jobs. COVID lifted the hood on this. Right. Most of what we do is not office work or academic work. It’s not paperwork. And I found that just absolutely shocking. How much of the work in the essential economy is not chatting and moving paper? It’s actually doing stuff. And the core of the essential economy is a triad of things that are human needs. It’s related to buildings and housing and just physical infrastructure. So building and construction is one element of the essential economy. It’s related to food. Everything from planting to harvesting to processing right up to restaurants. So food is another kind of cluster of essential business. And it’s related to caring, whether it’s child care, long term care, health care, mental health care, all the caring functions and of course, the care and feeding of the brain because we’re gonna need to learn our entire lives. These are the essential elements of the essential economy. And we systematically downplayed the caring the economy, which we couldn’t do during the crisis because we so desperately needed everybody from personal care workers and childcare workers for the essential workers to health care workers, doctors, nurses, surgeons and emergency people. But it kind of lifted the veil on what is the most important. So it looks also like the COVID has lifted the hood on. We prop Americans see strip malls lasting. We probably aren’t going to see a lot of brick and mortar lasting. So to Gretchen’s point into your question is, if we need less office space and we need less retail outlets, at least in strip malls, big ones, we’re gonna be probably left with a very but bipolar physical landscape, which will involve more small businesses in small settings like Main Street. But it will also involve big box stores where you can get the cheapest deal because people are going to be really scrambling to make ends meet. So they’re going to need the cheapest possible thing. And that’s never going to be on Main Street. That’s always going to be in a place where land is cheap to rent. So we’re gonna see a major upheaval of commercial recent real estate and we’re seeing major upheaval of downtown corridor office structures. And we don’t know how that’s going to play out to Gretchen’s point, but that will have a cascade effect on the economy as a whole. It will not be just a where are they going to go back to this or we’re not going to go back to this. It’s like however we moved through, this will have a cascading effect on finance, on real estate, on construction, on renovation, on all these other sectors that involve essential workers as well as nonessential workers. And we don’t know how this blitzkrieg is going to transform the economic landscape. Like when company just finally blown through the system. What is it that we’re rebuilding the economy from? I would suggest instead of having a main street focus, we have an essential economy-focus. how do we make sure everybody’s got food, everybody’s got housing, everybody’s got care. You build up from those basics, then you’re boosting the economy from the bottom up. And in a way, that’s must make sure that all the essential jobs are decent jobs. To Elizabeth’s point and to Anila’s points, it’s the immigrants, the migrant workers that make the essential economy go round. And we treat them as essential for our needs, but essentially disposable. That’s got to stop.
Mary Rowe [00:43:55] It’s kind of weird, you know, that the nonessential workers among us are the ones that have fared OK. That’s a rather sad irony, isn’t it?
Armine Yalnizyan, Future of Workers [00:44:04] I think it’s exposed.
Mary Rowe [00:44:06] Yes, well, exactly. Vicki, I can see your finger up. But I want to go to Anila first and then I’ll come to you. OK. Anila, I want to talk to you about the world’s to do list because Armine has just populated it for you. Anila when you talk about newcomer’s and what and what do you what are you imagining now and are going to be the challenges to getting newcomers integrated into whatever the heck the workforce is going to look like in the next five years?
Anila Lee Yuen, Centre for Newcomers [00:44:30] Well, you know. You know Mary, there are quite a few things that, you know, that that Armine talking to, talked about and Gretchen has talked about in terms of, you know, just the actual physical space. Right. So certainly we have a small bottle in terms of English language for newcomers where the government actually pays for child care so that people don’t have learning English as a barrier. Right. So so this is, you know, in terms of, you know, I would imagine, you know, these spaces where there’s less strip malls and whatever else, that community based child care is extremely important for newcomers to be able to access that. And one of the things that we know when that we’ve seen is that it’s very limited funding. So the majority of newcomers cannot access that funding unless they’re an English language class. And even then, there’s huge waitlists for that. So if we were able to somehow create an environment with more community based childcare so that more newcomers are able to actually get the training they need, are actually able to go to get the jobs, search for the jobs and all those other kind of pieces. I think that that’s, again, another boost to the economy. Ironically, a lot of the childcare workers are also newcomers. Right. So so in terms of that kind of boost is extremely important. The other piece that I really wanted to talk about is in terms of, you know, reopening the economy or starting, you know, these businesses and whatever else, a lot of it is related to the social services sector. Right. So all of us in the social services sector, we’re coming together and separately and looking at how do we support our clients, whether they’re newcomers, whether they are Low-Income Calgarians or Canadians or whatever that might look like. And even a lot of our social services are around people that are on EI or on CERP right now. Right. In terms of how do you get people back into the economy? Well, the only way to safely do that, and especially for a lot of people, like I said, that may not have access to online resources, may not be comfortable in online environment. You may need more one on one services. We need to do that in a safe environment. Center for newcomers, for example, we have a budget of 13 million dollars. So we’re a fairly large organization and have a lot of resources potentially available to us. We don’t have the money For the plexiglass. The plexiglass alone is thirty thousand dollars. Right. And so all of our funding is coming from government sources and is very restricted in terms of what we’re supposed to be doing. So even the nature of our social services, which are the backbone to that care environment that Armine was talking about, we have to really we’re spending a lot of time advocating in terms of of changes to our outcomes and our metrics, because we can’t get to those outcomes and those metrics or the community without first changing our physical environment to ensure that it’s safe for people to come back in. So even though in Alberta we’ve been able to stay fully open as an essential service. We’ve only had 10 percent of our staff in for the majority of out of 160 staff because we don’t have the resources to ensure that we have a safe environment for our staff and for our clients. So now, on July 20th, we’re going to a 50 percent model. And that’s been after doing a lot of advocacy and being able to shift money around and do different things. But our outcomes, we already anticipate, are going to be a lot different and potentially a lot lower in terms of our numbers of people employed, numbers of people that are, you know, those whose typical metrics. So I think as a society, we also have to look at what our key performance indicators in terms of a healthy society, and not only just look at the qualitative numbers in terms of, you know, we got X number of newcomers employed in the economy. Well, are these people, you know, do they have the housing? Do they have the food? And do they have the care? As Armine was talking about ;so important?
Mary Rowe [00:48:37] Yes, I can tell that this is going to be one of those city talks that I need to, you know, that I want to have go on for three hours, but it won’t be able to. sorry. But let’s go to Vicki and then to Elizabeth. Can you go ahead and intervene? And then I’m going to ask Elizabeth a question. Go for it.
Vicki Saunders, SheEO [00:48:50] So many things. Oh, my gosh. You’re all so amazing. So a couple of things that sort of come up. First of all, I just love the framing of the essential economy and those core elements we’re seeing like the majority of our ventures that we’ve funded. So women vote on the kinds of things that they would like to see the economy look like. And we’re finding a lot of ventures that are in these areas. Got care is a Canadian venture, which has teams of caregivers in remote communities delivering health care in-home at a much reduced price to the what the norms are. And just just seeing the kinds of ventures that we have. I think one of the reasons why we haven’t seen failures in our community is because they’re working on essential services that women recognize. Sized as being very important to creating that new world before another piece that I just find really fascinating around these elements is we have an organization in Australia called Neighbourlytics, which looks at how to create the data in a different way to look at how you create resilient communities. And in the past, these communities that we’re doing really well had like big infrastructure projects like stadiums or like a big rock concert venues, etc. And every city was trying to get these things because that helps with economic growth. And now those are dead. And these amazing neighborhoods which have like hundreds of meetings and like little places for people to connect, are doing incredibly well. And so we start to look like what is a resilient community look like in the future versus what it did literally three months ago. And so a lot of transformation happening in that space, which I think is fascinating. And then I just wanted to kind of go back to Arimine’s point very quickly around – I’ve made two presentations to House of Commons committees in the past month. One is the Finance Committee. One is the status of women’s committee. And I am sitting in the same room with sex trafficking, with shelters, violence against women, Indigenous community challenges that are happening around women and everything in government is like a bucket for women, is like everything here. So innovation, job creation, future of economic development is in the same group. And the amount of money that government is putting into these buckets compared to everything else is just such a tiny fraction to kind of come back to the whole childcare piece again. It’s one of the things I keep. This is so easy to solve. What are we waiting for? And, you know, we can go find a billion dollars to throw it like paying student volunteers and then we pay ten million dollars to violence against women in indigenous communities. And so I don’t know, like I’m thankful for the woman-all whatever we’re called today, the wo-nal, and to, like, figure out how to align these messages such that we dramatically shift where the resources are going in government. Because investing in women makes you can have just such a huge impact in the economy. We’ve created two hundred seventy six jobs out of 28 companies and our SheEO community and last year and we had 750 K from the government to do that. Twenty seven hundred dollars a job is what we’ve just created in our SheEO community compared to a hundred grand, which is the average. So it’s just like data. Narrative, the whole thing, and still it’s not shifting. So hopefully the pandemic will start to shift our thinking around what what makes a resilient society.
Mary Rowe [00:52:11] One of the best things about city talk is it makes people think and ask questions and they’re all going to Google. You guys like crazy and they really be looking all afternoon about what was that? What did she meet? And we’re going to put some of it up on the chat. So we appreciate we’re not going to tie it up in a bow at the end. Elizabeth, in terms of the whole rupturing, that’s going to happen to labor. What is happening in the labor movement, do you think, about how those kinds of relationships are going to be changing? I know you have an affiliation with them. I’m just curious. Is there talk about that? You you just talked about championing people from the migrant workers for whom there is no organized support. And I’m just curious what you think going forward, what that’s going to look like. ?
Elizabeth Ha, Ontario Federation of Labour [00:52:50] From the labor movement perspective, I know that even though were unionized, workers were protected by collective agreement. There are a number of layoffs even in Windsor. We you know, we lost a lot of jobs because they shut down, you know, one of the shifts. And that affects not only those workers, but it affects our feeder plants. So that affects the entire community. I know unions are on top of it. We’re, you know, trying to negotiate things. We’re always trying to protect the workers. I think their record would like we’re recognizing that there is a change. And I’m really looking at because there’s so many people affected. I think the good thing is if you look at history, things change because people are mad. So when people start losing their jobs, they start they start seeing and educating themselves and knowing how the budget is being allocated. So you look at I mean, we just heard about how, you know, a small budget is being given to women’s groups and shelters and health care or whatever, but look at where they’re actually putting that more money and why. So when you look at my guess going back to migrant workers, when the federal government’s giving farmers, you know, fifteen hundred per worker to quarantine and they’re not doing it. Who’s holding those people accountable? And people in our communities are starting to see that and they’re getting angry. And that’s where you’re gonna see a lot of change and you’re going to see people supporting our labor movement, our unions and pushing them, saying you need to re-allocate some of these funds, stop putting money into big businesses, big corporations that put you in these political positions. And I think that’s where you’re going to see real positive changes is when we as people in the community get together and we know what’s happening and we’re going to be vocal about, you know, what they’re doing.
Mary Rowe [00:54:54] And make the change. Lots of people in the chat box are saying -Laurel’s saying this and so is Pearson – come on, let’s have a part two. So, gals, here’s your challenge. Email me with your suggestion about what Part two would look like. I’m Mary Rowe or or you can always go to covidresponse@CANURB.org. or e-mail me those suggestions on how we what we should do with part two, because I’m agreeing with you. This is fascinating conversation. We’re going to run out of time. And I’m assuming if the wa-nal are going to win here, we need to be organizing with each other. We need to figure out what the strategy is. So in the last five minutes, we’ve got to ask each of you just one thought about one thing that you think all of us should be focusing on for the next hundred days. I’m going to start with you, Anila. One thing.
Anila Lee Yuen, Centre for Newcomers [00:55:40] How does whatever it is that we’re doing in terms of in your own life and in terms your own business, your own organization, your own community? How does it impact the most vulnerable in your community, including newcomers, including foreign migrants, including women, including people, you know, lower socioeconomic status, whatever that might look like? You know, what kind of an impact is that having? And if you have the privilege to be able to, you know, to be in a good position, how do you then bring up those communities and work with those communities?
Mary Rowe [00:56:14] Vicky, Vicky caught me in that and she’s noticed it’s not about winning. It’s about transforming. I hear you, Vicky and know one thing I the next hundred days,.
Vicki Saunders, SheEO [00:56:24] Break your bubble, get into relationships with people that you’re not normally in relationship. And if you have resources to spare and get them to those who need them,.
Mary Rowe [00:56:33] Just cautioning people. I don’t think he means at breaking the bubble that you’re like him. Don’t like your COVID bubble.
Vicki Saunders, SheEO [00:56:39] Sorry. That’s not what I meant. Right here, keep that here.
Mary Rowe [00:56:46] But to break your your your working years. Your working bubble. Right. Or who you’re working. Yep. Gretchen, what’s the one thing for the next hundred days.
Gretchen Gscheidle, GM Gscheidle R+D [00:56:57] You know, I I think you’re going to see a bit of a theme here, and I go back to a word that Vicki used earlier that ties in Armine, but empathy. And it’s really I mean, it’s simple, but people do need it. We’re at a vulnerable point in time. Not only have we been living with this for a few months, but it’s it’s becoming clear it’s gonna be a whole lot longer and difficult and and breaking people for sure. And I would say part of that empathy is simply saying thank you and genuinely. How can I help?
Mary Rowe [00:57:38] Elizabeth? The one thing for the next hundred days. What do you think?
Elizabeth Ha, Ontario Federation of Labour [00:57:42] I think I’m going to probably repeat what’s been said is empathy and also recognizing your own privileges in order to move ahead. I think this pandemic has really showed that our community is there and we learned a lot of things and we’re learning a lot of things and to recognize our own privileges. That’s where we can support each other and really make effective change for everyone.
Mary Rowe [00:58:07] Armine, one thing,.
Armine Yalnizyan, Future of Workers [00:58:10] If we can only do one thing and the next hundred days, let it be safe, accessible childcare, because without it we are going to roll back women’s equality by decades. We are going to guarantee that women are doing more unpaid work. We are going to guarantee that we are not investing in the people we need to invest in, not just so mommy can go back to work, but so that every child is learning ready when they enter school and learning supported as they go through school. If we don’t do this job in the next hundred days, we are staring down the barrel of an economic depression, which we pointed at ourselves. Explain to me why we don’t have a plan for this. This is a national problem. We need a national solution. And I’m so fed up with the fact that not enough people have learned how to sing the lyrics to the smash summer hit. No recovery without a she-covery, and there is no she-covery without child care. Let’s sing it together, ladies.
Elizabeth Ha, Ontario Federation of Labour [00:59:11] Mic Drop
Anila Lee Yuen, Centre for Newcomers [00:59:13] Exactly.
Mary Rowe [00:59:15] You heard it here first. They’ll be a part, too, for sure. If you if you guys are never coming back. As I said, please, people on the chat. Please send us suggestions on what you’d like to see. This is a much bigger conversation, obviously. And it’s obviously I have your task for us to be able to accomplish the challenges that each of you identified in terms of newcomers, migrant workers, entrepreneurs, and what the heck the future of office and shared space workspace is going to look like. And finally, what? How do we make a chic every happened and how do we move the needle on child care? So thank you so, so much. Really invigorating. I know there’s a lot of people’s head tops of people’s heads are coming off. That’s good. It’s all healthy. Thanks for being part of city talks. Thursday we come back for How We Move, which was touched on a bit in the chat. But these are all interlinked things that essentially economy, that the essential nature of the economy that our mean talked about is completely dependent on how are we can actually get around. And there’s all sorts of challenges to that, too. So city talk is really a pleasure for us to host. Thank you very, very much, Anila. Elizabeth. Vicky. Gretchen and Arimine for joining us. Thanks, everybody, for viewing. I’ll see you back here in two days. Same time for how we move. Thanks, everybody.
Anila Lee Yuen, Centre for Newcomers [01:00:27] Thank you.
Armine Yalnizyan, Future of Workers [01:00:29] Thank you.
Note to reader: Chat comments have been edited for ease of readability. The text has not been edited for spelling or grammar. For questions or concerns, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org with “Chat Comments” in the subject lin
From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at https://canurb.org/citytalk
12:03:02 From Canadian Urban Institute: Welcome! Folks, please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments.
12:03:53 From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at https://www.canurb.org/citytalk
12:04:20 From Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #citytalk @canurb
12:04:21 From Laurel Davies Snyder: Tuning in from Stratford, ON.
12:04:22 From Tanya Fink to All panelists: Hello from Vancouver, BC
12:04:28 From Abby S: Toronto! Hi Vicki!
12:04:39 From Vicki Saunders to All panelists: Hi Abby. Joining from Toronto.
12:04:41 From Meaghon Reid: Tuning in from Calgary! (hi Anila!)
12:04:42 From Théa Morash: Hello from St. John’s, NL!
12:04:44 From amanda sebris: North York!!
12:04:45 From vickie baker to All panelists: hello from Detroit Mi, v. baker
12:04:49 From Deirdre Pike: So excited to hear these brilliant women! Tuned in from Hamilton, Ontario!
12:04:49 From Ruby Carrico: Vancouver, BC
12:05:05 From Judith Taylor to All panelists: Hello from Toronto.
12:05:05 From Mary Ann Neary to All panelists: Mary Ann from Toronto
12:05:26 From Ron Richards: hi! Ottawa, ON
12:05:28 From Martha Sickles to All panelists: Martha Sickles, NYC Metro Chapter APA, Chair Housing and Neighborhood Revitalization Comm.
12:05:44 From Yolistli osario to All panelists: hi, from puebla, mex!
12:06:57 From Canadian Urban Institute: Reminding attendees to please change your chat settings to “all panelists and attendees” so everyone can see your comments. Thanks!
12:07:26 From kendall christiansen: Monitoring from Brooklyn/NYC (albeit relocated in central Maine); according to knowledgeable observers, Manhattan remains a ghost-town – CBDs look like Sunday mornings – even as the city attempts to re-open; movers are very busy relocating offices outside of the city.
12:08:41 From Caroline Poole, CUI Staff: Today’s panelists include:
Anila Lee Yuen: https://twitter.com/anilainyyc
Vicki Saunders: https://twitter.com/vickis
Armine Yalnizyan: https://twitter.com/ArmineYalnizyan
Elizabeth Ha: https://twitter.com/Elizabethhaha
Gretchen Gscheidle: https://www.linkedin.com/in/gretchengscheidle
12:09:00 From Abby S: Curious to hear what the fate of shared work spaces will be…more useful as those who work at home look for a respite outside of the home, or irrelevant as everyone who has the ability to work from home does so. Of course, not an option for everyone…and comes with a degree of privilege.
12:09:16 From Judith Perry to All panelists: Halifax! If one doesn’t have a car how is one supposed to access drive-in events? With limited bus transportation and no rail transportation how can one get out of the city for the “Staycations” that we are supposed to take?
12:10:54 From Abby S: cats too
12:16:43 From Canadian Urban Institute to All panelists: Cities represented by our registrants today: Arlington, VA, USA Barrie Brampton Burnaby Calgary City of Coquitlam City of Kawartha Lakes Comox Dourados Edmonton gander Greely Halifax Hamilton Kingston London Markham mississauga Montreal Nanaimo New York City Newmarket Niagara Falls North York Oakville Oakville, ON Oldcastle Orangeville Orleans Oshawa Ottawa Palm City Paris Perth Peterborough Pickering Puebla, Mex Richmond Hill Saskatoon Scarborough Smths Falls St. John’s, NL Toronto Vancouver VICTORIA Washington, DC Waterloo
12:19:57 From Abby S: This is what a feminist model looks like
12:30:33 From Laurel Davies Snyder: Amazing. Thank you.
12:30:46 From Abby S: How do we square a consumer driven recovery with the impact on earth’s resources? Not to take away from anything that Armine has said. But is there an alternative to a consumer driven recovery? Childcare includes families working in government infrastructure projects. Childcare is critical without question…and the impact on parents with school age children is incalcu
12:30:52 From Abby S: incalculable.
12:30:57 From Samira Farahani: Graet Armie, thanks
12:31:36 From Christina Sisson: Christina from the City of Kawartha Lakes, women have been impacted through care giving in general – senior care, child care, professional work – in office or from home (taking care of co-workers or reporting staff, etc.), friend care, personal care.
12:32:59 From Vicki Saunders to Abby S and all panelists: armine is fierce!!
12:33:01 From Vicki Saunders to Abby S and all panelists: love her
12:37:11 From Martha Sickles: Public transportation that makes cities sustainable and more equitable, is a great barrier in Covid times.
12:38:24 From Abby S: Will we return to a hierarchy within companies…those who are in person versus virtual?
12:38:30 From David Crenna: Excellent point! What is the transit path to viability?
12:39:09 From Canadian Urban Institute: https://bringbackmainstreet.ca/
12:40:29 From Abby S: Hear Hear Armine
12:44:51 From Abby S: what an amazing summary Armine…brilliant
12:44:53 From amanda sebris: Thank you all panelists and Mary Rowe – for reinforcing that this is the time for women to lead….at least until 2030.
12:45:38 From Laurel Davies Snyder: Essential Economy – great concept; coincides with the term “shovel-worthy” instead of “shovel-ready”.
12:48:40 From David Crenna: True! Especially now, there is a potential to build “bridges to nowhere”… Have to rank projects sitting on the shelf from that perspective…
12:49:45 From Canadian Urban Institute: You can find transcripts and recordings of today’s and all our webinars at https://www.canurb.org/citytalk
12:50:55 From Canadian Urban Institute: https://neighbourlytics.com/
12:52:02 From Andrea Calla: FYI: Here’s an interesting article on Strategy in this month’s Harvard Business Review: “How Businesses Have Successfully Pivoted During the Pandemic”.
The reality of how companies are dealing with the crisis and preparing for the recovery is one of pivoting to business models conducive to short-term survival along with long-term resilience and growth. Pivoting is a lateral move that creates enough value for the customer and the firm to share.
Link to full article:
12:53:05 From Canadian Urban Institute: Keep the conversation going #citytalk @canurb
12:53:30 From Abby S: Is there a pathway to citizenship for temporary workers?
12:54:53 From Laurel Davies Snyder: Can we have a Part II to this panel?
12:55:06 From Canadian Urban Institute: What did you think of today’s conversation? Help us improve our programming with a short post-webinar survey – https://bit.ly/2CAG8Ao
12:55:11 From Kirsten Frankish to All panelists: I second that – this is a fabulous conversation!
12:55:30 From MARYAM MOMENI: Amazing talk, thank you.
12:56:04 From Canadian Urban Institute: email@example.com
12:56:10 From Vicki Saunders to All panelists: we are not here to win. we are here to transform.
12:56:18 From Théa Morash: Thank you all – such an interesting conversation.
12:57:24 From Abby S: Fantastic conversation!
12:57:32 From Meaghon Reid: Thank you all!
12:58:22 From Anila Lee Yuen: Thanks Meaghon and everyone!:)
12:58:45 From Laurel Davies Snyder: Also, as a professional woman, questioning the “status quo”
12:59:11 From Abby S: Armine is AMAZING and so right!
12:59:41 From Jacqueline Canales to All panelists: Love Armine
12:59:46 From Stephanie Gonos: childcare is right, we need to support families
12:59:46 From Caroline Poole, CUI Staff to All panelists: YES YES YES
13:00:06 From Abby S: If we don’t create opportunities for children to go to school so parents (Mother) can get back to work…one way or another…we will have a generation of sadness and…
13:00:12 From Lindsay Stroud: Thank you all! I’m in for Part 2. Lots to learn, lots to discuss!
13:00:24 From Abby S: SHECOVERY
13:00:45 From Laurel Davies Snyder: #SHE/WECOVERY
13:00:59 From Marsha Paley: Thank you, Absolutely fantastic. SHE TOO.