DiscoverThe Conversation Piece
The Conversation Piece
Claim Ownership

The Conversation Piece

Author: The Walrus

Subscribed: 155Played: 1,814


Need something new to talk about? Subscribe to the podcast that challenges the way you see everything in ten minutes or less. The Walrus Talks is a national event series that sparks conversations on the issues that matter most to Canadians. *The music in this podcast has been licensed and is called Intelligent Molecule by LexPremium.

44 Episodes
It’s hard, separated from each other, living under the threat of a pandemic, witnessing unrest and argument, to feel empowered. But the truth of us is that each of us has power. Over ourselves for sure. Over our situations, often more than we think. If you’re feeling at the low-end in terms of empowerment, Sandy Hudson - organizer, writer, and the founder of Black Lives Matter Toronto - is about to give you the boost you need.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Most of the discussion when it comes to education these days is whether students should be in classrooms or learning virtually, but who they are learning from is an ongoing issue, one that needs to be fixed at the root level. Or it will continue to effect both learners and teachers post-pandemic. Who is teaching? Who gets to go to University? Who gets tenure? And who is leading academia? Deb Saucier is the President and Vice-Chancellor of Vancouver Island University and she spoke at The Walrus Talks Inclusion in 2019.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
We all decide how we want to show ourselves to the world. But who gets to define who you are? In her talk, Samra Habib wants us to own our identities--even if it means not always being accepted by the greater community we belong to. As a queer Muslim woman, she’s reimagined her community to go beyond geographical borders. And at a time where we’re online more than ever, community connections linking people to distant places in the comfort of their own homes, have become commonplace.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Everybody has their own origin story. Whether that was crossing a sea, or moving around Turtle Island, we each have our own beginning that brought us here. So why we do we make anyone feel like an outsider? In her Talk, Carol Off urges us to take a step back and look at where we came from. In this time when we can’t get on a plane, travel to see loved ones, or start our next adventure, we can stay connected by sharing stories from different times and different places. To identify with a stranger and help make life a little easier. Carol Off is a journalist and host of CBC’s As It Happens.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
In a world obsessed with instant gratification, Teva Harrison reminds us that there is potential in the quiet moments, the ones without goals or deadlines. She urges us to look at nature and appreciate the small successes of each day: the kindness of a stranger, a chance to do a good deed, a laugh shared with a friend—these are all achievements. Harrison compares the realization of our potential to flowers that grow after the snow melts away, our actions determining when we will blossom. Teva Harrison, was an award-winning writer and graphic artist and she spoke at The Walrus Talks Success in 2018. Though we lost her to cancer in 2019, she continues to inspire with her words and her art.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Is there a straight line between healthcare and housing in Canada? Andrew Boozary is a primary care physician who has an on the ground perspective on healthcare in Canada as we navigate this pandemic. In his Talk, he has a lot to say about that line, where we fall short and the magnification of these failures when faced with a pandemic. Boozary is also the Executive Director for social medicine and population health at the University Health Network.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
As the weather outside becomes snowier and the holidays approach, it gets easier to recognize privilege - right in front of our eyes. The warm home, family gatherings (no more than 10), the ability to give gifts. But, what's not so easy to see are the full shelters, the nursing homes that can’t have visitors, and long lines for the food bank. At a time when we’re all suffering at different levels, do we have capacity to dig deeper for those that are suffering more? Valérie Plante is the mayor of Montreal and she spoke at The Walrus Talks at Home at the Broadbent Institute's 2020 Progress Gala in November.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Canadians represent 0.48% of the global population, and we’re on track to get even smaller on the world’s stage. In her talk, Shari Austin proposes that Canada’s population needs to triple in less than 100 years. If it doesn’t the country could be facing an onslaught of economic problems. So what do we do? Shari Austin is a consultant and former CEO of Century Initiative, she spoke at The Walrus Talks Disruption in 2018.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
It wasn’t that long ago that cannabis was illegal in Canada. To many detractors, it was seen as a drug that promotes laziness and was more popular among youth rather than a legitimate medicine that can reduce suffering. But tens of thousands of Canadians have regained their ability to function because of medical marijuana. People who were once bedridden are now going outside, playing with their kids, and sleeping at night. So called "normal" activities are made possible again through legal use of medical marijuana. Hilary Black is the Chief Advocacy Officer at Canopy Growth.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Canadians sometimes congratulate themselves on being “better” in comparison to other countries - more democratic, less violent, more open to new ideas. But when topics like racism, violence against women, and sexual abuse get brought up, the room - and the Zoom, goes silent. Julie S. Lalonde is a women’s rights advocate and public educator.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
LIVING ROOMS is our new digital series looking at the transformation in where and how we live. Read, listen, and watch at You can’t talk about homes and housing without talking about homelessness. It’s a problem that has plagued Canada for too long. Short term solutions cannot eradicate a problem so deeply rooted in our society. In her talk, Kaite Burkholder Harris says that the solution is to look at fixing the context, instead of the person. Burkholder Harris is Executive Director of the Alliance to End Homelessness in Ottawa.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
We train machines for a particular task but you modify the task just a little bit and they fail. Intelligence, it turns out, is hard to recreate. Yann LeCun is a CIFAR fellow, an AI Engineer and a VP at Facebook.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Season Two Trailer

Season Two Trailer


Season Two of The Conversation Piece launches next week, and with The Walrus Talks at Home in full swing, we have even more ideas (in under 10 minutes) to treat your ears to.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Our thinking about where people live and why has been entirely flipped by this pandemic, but it could just as easily flip right back if a vaccine becomes readily available. In 2015, people were rushing to the city, giving up big houses and spacious yards for small condos and convenience. The cost of their time spent commuting to and from the city outweighed the benefits of living in the suburbs. Now, mid-pandemic, people are leaving the city in herds. Remote work has changed the way people live, and ultimately, where they live. What is the true cost of where you live, and what will you give up in order to save time and money? Cherise Burda is the Executive Director of City Building, at Ryerson University.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
It's hard not lose ourselves in our own thoughts, especially in an extended state of isolation with no end in sight. How many friends have you lost touch with since this all started? How are you keeping hope alive until we’re be able to feel those connections again? This is CIFAR fellow and UWO professor Adrian Owen.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Filmmaker Atom Egoyan

Filmmaker Atom Egoyan


People from all over the world call Canada home, weaving together cultures from across the globe to create the Canadian identity. But, with this blended cultural identity that we are so proud of, what does it mean to understand your own cultural history? Is it time to redefine multiculturalism? Filmmaker Atom Egoyan spoke at The Walrus Talks National Tour: We Desire a Better Country in May of 2017.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Learning requires exploration of one's identity, and according to our next speaker, this is a First People’s principle of learning that applies to all of us. So on this international day of translation, and at this time when we can’t greet each other in person and with physical contact, this is an opportunity to communicate better with each other. To identify each other and ourselves with clarity and humility. This is Paige Raibmon, CIFAR fellow and professor in the Department of History at UBC and she spoke at The Walrus Talks Boundaries in 2019.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw

Dr. Deena Hinshaw


We’ve all had to change and adapt in different ways during the coronavirus pandemic. Dr. Deena Hinshaw is the Chief Medical Officer of Health for the Province of Alberta and has been the trusted voice for Albertans during the pandemic, calmly delivering daily briefings on the virus. And telling Albertans what measures they should take to prevent the spread of COVID-19. One of the biggest lessons of these past several months has been how a public health crisis can impact the way we live. Dr. Deena Hinshaw was the keynote speaker at our recent Leadership Forum event.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Brenda Andress

Brenda Andress


Sports is a universal language in the world. From Halifax to Hydrabad, Nunavut to Nairobi. And what also seems weirdly universal is the support of men’s teams over women’s. Instead of wallowing in this vast discrepancy, Brenda Andress wants us to see it as a place to grow from. A rallying cry to mobilize in support of women in sports. This is Brenda Andress - former commissioner of the Canadian Women's Hockey League, she spoke at The Walrus Talks Women of Distinction.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Annie Kidder

Annie Kidder


As many kids head off to school - in whatever form that takes for them in the midst of a pandemic - it’s easy to pass off the issue of education to the actual humans involved - the parents, the kids and the teachers. But according to Annie Kidder, we all need to be thinking about educating the next generation of Canadians. Annie Kidder is the Executive Director of People for Education and she spoke at The Walrus Talks Resilience in 2014.  See for privacy and opt-out information.
Download from Google Play
Download from App Store