Concordia University Presents

The Walrus Talks Disruption (Toronto 2018)

Toronto 7 p.m. ET, Tuesday, November 6, 2018

The Walrus Talks is a national series of events about Canada and its place in the world. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders.

Questions about the Walrus Talks? Read our FAQ here.

General Admission: $20
Students/Seniors: $12

Isabel Bader Theatre
93 Charles Street West
Toronto, ON

The rapidly-changing landscapes of technology, learning, research, identity, and more.


  • Mark Abley, poet, journalist, non-fiction writer
  • Mustafa Ahmed, writer, poet, and musician
  • Yasmin Jiwani, Professor, Communication Studies, and Concordia University Research Chair in Intersectionality, Violence and Resistance
  • Rohit Khanna, president, Catalytic Health
  • Vincent Martin, Professor and Concordia University Research Chair in Microbial Engineering and Synthetic Biology
  • Tanya Talaga, journalist and author
  • Tranna Wintour, comedian

Mark Abley is a Rhodes Scholar, a Guggenheim Fellow, and the author of more than a dozen books of prose and poetry. His latest book, Watch Your Tongue: What Everyday Sayings and Idioms Figuratively Mean, was published in October by Simon & Schuster. In January, the University of Regina Press will publish his memoir, The Organist: Discovering My Father in Music and Melancholy. Mark is the author of the 2018 O’Hagan Essay on Public Affairs, published in the fifteenth anniversary issue of The Walrus. The article, “Beyond Bilingualism,” is an examination of the Official Languages Act and its relevance in contemporary Canada. Mark lives in Montreal.

Yasmin Jiwani is a full professor in the Department of Communication Studies at Concordia University in Montreal. She is the author of Discourses of Denial: Mediations of Race, Gender and Violence, as well as co-editor of Girlhood: Redefining the Limits, and Faces of Violence in the Lives of Girls. Her work has appeared in a wide variety of journals and anthologies. Her research interests include mediations of race, gender and violence in the press, as well as representations of women of colour in popular media. She is currently the Concordia University Research Chair in Intersectionality, Violence and Resistance.

Rohit Khanna is the founder and managing director of Catalytic Health. He holds a BA in psychology from McGill University, an MBA from the Queen’s University business school, and an MS in health economics, policy, and management from the London School of Economics and Political Science and is currently completing his master of public health in epidemiology from the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. Rohit has been an early adviser to numerous health care start-ups that have gone on to achieve wide success, including Bloodbuy, Surface Medical, Symanta, and

Vincent Martin is a professor of biology at Concordia University. He established the Concordia Centre for Applied Synthetic Biology and the Genome Foundry, a unique robotics facility that accelerates the process of building with DNA and editing genomes. Vincent Martin earned his MSc in environmental biology from the University of Guelph and his PhD in microbiology from the University of British Columbia. In 2014, he was elected to the Royal Society of Canada, College of New Scholars, Artists and Scientists.

Tranna Wintour is a comedian, producer, and writer. She has performed in festivals across Canada, and for two consecutive years, Tranna and her comedy soulmate, Thomas Leblanc, have performed their cabaret shows to sold-out crowds in Off Just For Laughs. Tranna and Thomas also host a fabulous podcast called Chosen Family, which cracked the iTunes comedy top 10. Upon seeing Tranna’s solo show at the Duplex in New York City, legendary performer Sandra Bernhard proclaimed: “A star is born!”

Tanya Talaga has been a journalist at the Toronto Star for 20 years, covering everything from city news to education, health care, foreign news, and Indigenous affairs. She has been part of two National Newspaper Award−winning teams: in 2013, with a year-long project on the Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh; and in 2015 with Gone, a series of stories on missing and murdered Indigenous women and girls. Her first book, Seven Fallen Feathers: Racism, Death, and Hard Truths in a Northern City, won the 2018 RBC Taylor Prize for non-fiction.

Mustafa Ahmed is a spoken-word artist, poet, and former member of the Prime Minister’s Youth Council. He was the youth poet laureate of the 2015 Pan Am and Parapan Am Games in Toronto and performed across Canada with We Day alongside Kendrick Lamar, Big Sean, and Orlando Bloom. Mustafa uses art to address topics such as youth empowerment, mental health, Islam, and immigration. He seeks to unleash the creativity of Canada’s young people. Mustafa lives in Toronto.