- Why Tomorrow Never Comes by Joseph Boyden, Giller Prize–winning author
- The Future of Canada by Diane Francis, bestselling author and journalist
- The Future of Brand by Terry O’Reilly, CBC Radio host and advertising expert
- The Future of Not Being Afraid of the Future by Shad, Juno Award–winning musician
- The Future of Your Hand by Michael Sikorsky, mobile app developer
- The Future of Survival Through Nature by Les Stroud, musician, filmmaker, author, and TV’s Survivorman
- Physics and our Future by Neil Turok, director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics
- The Future of the Past by Aritha van Herk, novelist, teacher, and editor
With Nii’danamska Brent Scout of the Blackfoot-Kainai Nation (Blood Tribe), providing an opening blessing.
Joseph Boyden’s first novel, Three Day Road, was selected for the Today Book Club, and it won the Rogers Writers’ Trust Fiction Prize, the CBA Libris Award for fiction, the Amazon.ca/Books in Canada First Novel Award, and the McNally Robinson Aboriginal Book of the Year Award. It was also shortlisted for the Governor General’s Literary Award for fiction. His second novel, Through Black Spruce, won the Scotiabank Giller Prize and the CBA Libris Awards for best fiction and best author of the year. His most recent bestseller, The Orenda, was shortlisted for the 2013 Governor General’s Literary Award and has garnered rave reviews across Canada. Boyden divides his time between Northern Ontario and Louisiana.
Diane Francis is the editor at large at the National Post, a blogger with the Huffington Post, and a distinguished professor at Ryerson University’s Ted Rogers School of Management. Diane has written ten books on white-collar crime, politics, immigration, economics, and finance, including the bestseller Who Owns Canada Now: Old Money, New Money, and the Future of Canadian Business and Merger of the Century: Why Canada and America Should Become One Country. Diane is a seasoned television and radio guest and commentator; a visiting fellow at Harvard University’s Joan Shorenstein Center on the Press, Politics, and Public Policy; a media fellow and participant at the World Economic Forum in Davos; and a previous media advisor at Silicon Valley’s Singularity University, in Mountain View, California. She is a three-time winner of the National Journalism Award for energy writing, and she has also won the Western Ontario Newspaper Award for environmental writing, the National Newspaper Award for business writing, the Edward Dunlop Award of Excellence, and the National Citizens Coalition’s Freedom Award. She was named Chatelaine’s Woman of the Year in 1992, and she has received honorary doctorates from Saint Mary’s University, Niagara University, Sheridan College, and Ryerson University.
Terry O’Reilly began his career as copy chief for FM 108 radio in Burlington, Ontario, then went on to become an award-winning copywriter for Toronto advertising agencies Campbell Ewald, DDB Canada, and Chiat/Day. He created campaigns for many of the top brands in the country, including Labatt, Molson, Bell Canada, Goodyear Tires, Tim Hortons, Volkswagen, Nissan, and the Hudson’s Bay Company. In 1990, Terry co-founded Pirate Radio and Television, a creative audio production company specializing in scripts, sound, and music for radio and television commercials. Pirate grew to a staff of fifty, with eight recording studios in Toronto and New York City. Terry has won a few hundred national and international awards for writing and has directed such notable actors as Alec Baldwin, Ellen DeGeneres, Kiefer Sutherland, Bob Newhart, Martin Short, and Drew Carey. Terry delivers keynote addresses on marketing issues to companies and organizations in all sectors.
Shad is a critically acclaimed MC, known for his humour, honesty, and intelligence. He wrote his first songs while completing his undergraduate studies in business at Wilfrid Laurier University. He later used the winnings from an unsigned-talent competition to record his debut album, When This Is Over (2005). His follow-up, The Old Prince (2007), established him as one of the most respected North American MCs, and his third record, TSOL, won the Juno Award for rap recording of the year and was shortlisted for the Polaris Music Prize. In September 2013, Shad released his much-anticipated fourth record, Flying Colours. Between tours and stints in the studio, Shad worked on a master’s degree in liberal studies at Simon Fraser University, graduating in 2011.
Michael Sikorsky likes to make apps. Currently he spends the majority of his time working on all things mobile in the company he co-founded, Robots and Pencils. He was named a 2013 Ernst and Young Entrepreneur of the Year, one of Alberta Venture’s 50 Most Influential People, and one of Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40. Robots and Pencils has made numerous award-winning and bestselling apps, including Spy vs Spy. Michael has spoken at venues all over the world, including the Harvard Business School, MIT, Stanford University, the University of Calgary, and Hong Kong Cyberport. He holds a computer engineering degree from the University of Alberta and is a proud member of the Entrepreneurs’ Organization.
Les Stroud is best known as the award-winning producer and star of the hit TV series Survivorman. A celebrated keynote speaker, musician, and author, his books, Survive!: Essential Skills and Tactics to Get You Out of Anywhere—Alive! and Will to Live: Dispatches from the Edge of Survival, have made the New York Times Best Seller list. Les is a proud member of the prestigious Explorers Club and a fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society. Stroud has received Fanshawe College’s Distinguished Alumni Award and was nominated for the Premier’s Award for Excellence.
Neil Turok has worked in a number of areas of theoretical physics and cosmology, focusing on developing fundamental theories and new observational tests. He is currently the director of the Perimeter Institute for Theoretical Physics, and he has previously served as professor of physics at Princeton and chair of mathematical physics in the Department of Applied Mathematics and Theoretical Physics at Cambridge. With Stephen Hawking, he developed the Hawking-Turok instanton solutions, describing the birth of inflationary universes. Most recently, with Paul Steinhardt at Princeton, he developed a cyclic model for cosmology and co-authored the popular science book Endless Universe: Beyond the Big Bang. For his contributions to theoretical physics, Turok has been awarded a prestigious TED Prize and a Most Innovative People Award at the 2008 World Summit on Innovation and Entrepreneurship. He is a Canadian Institute for Advanced Research fellow in cosmology and gravity and was selected to deliver the 2012 CBC Massey Lectures.
Aritha van Herk is a novelist, teacher, and editor. Her novels and essays have been published and praised nationally and internationally; her work is the subject of dozens of studies, theses, and papers; and she is the author of hundreds of reviews and articles on contemporary literature and history. She has received the Seal First Novel Award, the Grant MacEwan Authors’ Award, and the Georges Bugnet Award, and she is currently a professor at the University of Calgary.
The Walrus Talks is a national series of events produced by the charitable, non-profit Walrus Foundation as part of an educational mandate to provide forums for conversation on matters vital to Canadians. The Walrus Foundation produces The Walrus magazine, the most awarded publication in Canada, as well as producing content at thewalrus.ca, on Walrus TV, and on stages from coast to coast to coast.
The Walrus Talks format features eight speakers for seven minutes each on various themes relating to a single topic. Each event offers lively, thoughtful, inspiring, riveting, smart, new thinking from scientists, writers, performers, scholars, and leaders of business and the arts. Each Talks event is followed by a spirited reception with attendees and participants.
The Walrus Talks delivers fresh ideas and new ways of looking at big issues. The Walrus has no “wings.” Our speakers are chosen to reflect a range of experiences and viewpoints, but they all have one thing in common: the desire for real conversation about issues that affect the future of Canada. Our goal is for audience members to think “I never thought about it that way” when the Talks are over.
Dates, details, and ticket information are available at thewalrus.ca/events.