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The Conversation Piece

Author: The Walrus

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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.

35 Episodes
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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 acast.com/privacy 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 thewalrus.ca/livingrooms. 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 acast.com/privacy 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 acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Season Two Trailer

Season Two Trailer

2020-10-2801:20

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 acast.com/privacy 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 acast.com/privacy 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 acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Filmmaker Atom Egoyan

Filmmaker Atom Egoyan

2020-10-0708:41

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 acast.com/privacy 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 acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Dr. Deena Hinshaw

Dr. Deena Hinshaw

2020-09-2307:11

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 acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Brenda Andress

Brenda Andress

2020-09-1609:02

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 acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Annie Kidder

Annie Kidder

2020-09-0909:54

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 acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Writer Noor Naga

Writer Noor Naga

2020-09-0211:01

Writing is a responsibility in many ways, perhaps none more so than when we think about the cultural expectations inherent in writing as a minority - of any kind. As a woman, as LGBTQ, as a person of colour, as a person with a disability. As writers, what is our responsibility to the rest of our culture? And why does it seem so much heavier than that of CIS-male writers? Noor Naga is a writer and a poet and she spoke at The Walrus Talks “The Future of the Arts,” in 2018.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Natural talent is overrated - at least according to singer-songwriter Corb Lund. He works hard to create it and believes that work - that constant challenge to focus and refine - is what separates the artists from the rest. And that art itself needs to be accessible to everyone, even the people that don't see country music as art.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Writer Emma Donoghue

Writer Emma Donoghue

2020-08-1909:15

We're all creative creatures, but what can we do when our creativity feels stalled? Join us in this hilarious pillow talk with the muses as Emma Donoghue shares the playful, demanding, sexy, unexpected sides of creativity and the ways we can strengthen our connection to making the things we love. This is Emma Donoghue from The Walrus Talks Creativity in London, Ontario.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Lauren Voisin

Lauren Voisin

2020-08-1207:25

Lauren Voisin was a scientist, innovator, entrepreneur, and all before she graduated high school. When she was only 8 years old, Lauren founded her own robotics company. By age 13, Lauren was a U.N. speaker. She was a champion of inexpensive access to technology and stable internet for Canadian youth. She believed in introducing kids to subjects like robotics and coding early on. She passed in April, but with the Lauren Foundation, her legacy continues to inspire young women to innovate and create.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
It’s hard, as we go into the triple digits of days that some of us have been at home, isolating from friends and society, to maintain hope. When Olympian Waneek Horn-Miller talks about the health issues endured by the Indigenous people of Canada, she emphasises that hope is what gets her through. Her mother taught her that. She was a Hope-maker. Here’s Waneek Horn-Miller speaking at The Walrus Talks Health in 2016.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Songwriter Bif Naked

Songwriter Bif Naked

2020-07-2908:20

Anger is one of those emotions that transcends age, race, and political affiliation. Everyone is angry. Feeling trapped in a global pandemic will do that to you. But we can get so caught up in expressing our anger. To balance that, maybe our optimism has to be outrageous. Almost unreasonable… because the bad things in our lives are more reasonable than we know, teaching us lessons we may not see.  Here’s Canadian songwriter Bif Naked at The Walrus Talks Quality of Life.   See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
The barriers to building inclusion can feel insurmountable. Especially when people are trying to be politically correct by ignoring differences. According to inclusion professional Ritu Bhasin, we need to notice the differences between us and learn about them, rather than deny that they exist. Ritu Bhasin is a speaker, author, and a leadership and inclusion specialist and she spoke at The Walrus Talks Resilience.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Maybe it was easier to avoid heated debates before we were all living under pandemic rules. Or maybe this is just the result of our small bubbles of safety, but when we have different opinions.. getting caught up in Twitter arguments or disagreeing with family members, it’s easy to forget about what the other person is going through. In this talk, Mustafa Ahmed reminds us that human rights begin with human and that just because disabilities like mental health are seemingly invisible, they are still very much disabilities we need to be aware of.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
Something that gets brought into stark focus at a time like this is the value of things. The value of being able to hug a friend you haven’t seen in a long time. The value of being able to work from home and stay positive. The value of adapting to this new environment. Cobb spoke about the inherent value of things VS what they are financially valued at. Special thanks to the National Gallery of Canada, Shaw and Indspire for their support of The Walrus Talks.  See acast.com/privacy for privacy and opt-out information.
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