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
Vancouver Convention Centre
999 Canada Place
The energy economy, our collective impact and finding paths to a sustainable future.
- Chris Turner, author and strategist
- Cheryl Cardinal, director of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation, office of the Minister, Minister of Natural Resources Canada
- Colton Kasteel, research and project coordinator, Gathering Voices Society
- Merran Smith, executive director, Clean Energy Canada
- Leor Rotchild, executive director, Canadian Business for Social Responsibility
- Annette Verschuren O.C., chair and CEO, NRStor Inc.
- Nicholas Parker, founding managing partner, Global Acceleration Partners
Chris Turner is an author, speaker, and strategist, providing Canada’s authoritative voice on climate change solutions and the global energy transition. His latest book, The Patch: The People, Pipelines and Politics of the Oil Sands, is a national bestseller. He is also the author of the bestsellers The Leap: How to Survive and Thrive in the Sustainable Economy and The Geography of Hope: A Tour of the World We Need, both of which were National Business Book Award finalists. His 2014 book How to Breathe Underwater, an essay collection, won the City of Calgary W.O. Mitchell Book Prize. His feature reporting on energy, climate, and sustainability issues has won nine National Magazine Awards and appeared in The New Yorker, the Guardian, the Globe and Mail, The Walrus, Canadian Geographic, and many other publications. He lives in Calgary.
Cheryl Cardinal is the director of Indigenous Relations and Reconciliation for the Office of the Minister of Natural Resources Canada, and previously served as president and CEO of the Indigenous Centre of Energy.Â Cheryl is Cree and Coast Salish and a member of the Sucker Creek Cree First Nation in Alberta, with family ties to the Tsartlip and Snuneymuxw First Nations in British Columbia. She graduated from the University of British Columbia with a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science and History.
Colton Kasteel is a research and project coordinator with Gathering Voices Society, working with First Nations communities to combine traditional ecological knowledge with market-based policy tools. He studies international economics with a focus on climate policy at the University of British Columbia, where he also manages the UBC Alma Mater Society’s Sustainability Projects Fund. An award-winning youth leader, he most recently served as a UNFCCC youth delegate to COP23 with the British Columbia Council for International Cooperation, and as acting coordinator of the UNFCCC Youth Constituency (YOUNGO) Finance Working Group. He lives in Vancouver.
Merran Smith is the founder and executive director of Clean Energy Canada, a leading think tank advancing clean growth and climate solutions through its work with leaders in industry and government and with civil society influencers. She is a fellow at Simon Fraser University’s Morris J. Wosk Centre for Dialogue. Merran serves on the International Clean Energy Ambassador Corps, the B.C. government’s Climate Solutions and Clean Growth Advisory Council, and Natural Resources Canada’s Generation Energy Council. She is the recipient of numerous distinctions, most recently the 2017 Lifetime Achievement Award from Clean Energy B.C. She lives in Vancouver.
Leor Rotchild spent nearly a decade as a sustainability and corporate responsibility advisor in the energy sector before co-founding an environmental startup and consulting to organizations on how to collaborate to solve complex challenges. He currently serves as executive director forÂ Canadian Business for Social Responsibility, a professional association for forward-thinking companies across Canada. CBSR facilitates important conversations, collaborations, and thought leadership to address the challenges of our time and promote responsible Canadian businesses as a force for good in the world.
Annette Verschuren O.C. is the chair and CEO of NRStor Inc., a progressive energy storage development company. She is the former president of The Home Depot Canada and is a board member of Liberty Mutual Insurance Group of Boston, Air Canada, Saputo, Canadian Natural Resources Limited, CAMH Foundation, the Rideau Hall Foundation, and MaRS Discovery District. Annette is the chancellor of Cape Breton University and is on the advisory board of the Verschuren Centre for Sustainability in Energy and the Environment. She also sits on the Canada-U.S. Council for Advancement of Women Entrepreneurs and Business Leaders and the NAFTA Advisory Council, and co-chairs the Smart Prosperity Initiative.
Nicholas Parker is the founding managing partner of Global Acceleration Partners, a financial enterprise addressing needs for clean energy, food, water, and smart infrastructure in emerging economies. He is also the founder of the Planet Exponential Impact Collaborative. Nicholas introduced the cleantech concept to the finance and business community in 2002 while launching Cleantech Group, through which he mobilized over six billion dollars while creating a global innovation ecosystem. He has launched, invested in, and advised numerous other sustainability ventures, funds, and organizations, in addition to writing several books.