True Growth Presents

The Walrus Talks Innovation

Saint john Monday, October 26, 2015, 7 p.m. AT



    “The Social-Innovation Terroir of Canada” by Al Etmanski, community organizer, social entrepreneur, and author
    “Innovate to Compete, or Compete to Innovate?” by Perrin Beatty, Canadian Chamber of Commerce
    “Evolving Landscape of Aboriginal Business” by JP Gladu, Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business
    “The Future of Sewage” by Marq de Villiers, award-winning author and journalist
    “Create Your Own Myth” by Monica Adair, Acre Architects Inc.
    “Is Data the Future of Urban Democracy?” by Fady Atallah, Infinite City
    “Creativity as a Skill Set” by Sarah Prevette, Future Design School
    “Supporting Our Youth through Failure” by Rachel Mathis, Invigorate Leaders

And more!


Monica Adair co-founded Acre Architects in Saint John, which celebrates New Brunswick’s cultural identity through architectural excellence and public advocacy and was named one of Twenty and Change’s top emerging design firms in Canada. Monica is McGill University’s Gerald Sheff Visiting Professor in Architecture, a former member of Team Canada for the 2012 Architecture Biennale in Venice, and a contributor to the W Network’s television series Majumder Manor.


Fady Atallah is a creative-industry entrepreneur who has founded and managed companies in digital media and cultural innovation. He advises business owners and senior managers on all aspects of digital strategy: data, content, technology, and branding. Through the Infinite City label he co-founded in 2014, Fady promotes urban interventions to reclaim public space and promote well-being.


Perrin Beatty is president and CEO of the Canadian Chamber of Commerce. He previously held the positions of president and CEO at both Canadian Manufacturers and Exporters and the CBC. In 1972, he was elected to the House of Commons as a Progressive Conservative, and in 1979, he was appointed minister of state (treasury board) in the Joe Clark government. Perrin is a member of the advisory council of the Canadian Defence and Foreign Affairs Institute, he sits on the boards for both the Canadian International Council and Mitsui Canada, and in 2008, he was named chancellor of the University of Ontario Institute of Technology.

Photo by Paul OrensteinPaul Orenstein

Marq de Villiers is a veteran journalist who has reported from many parts of the world, including Africa and the former Soviet Union. He was the editor and later publisher of Toronto Life magazine and the editorial director of Where Magazines International, in Los Angeles. He has written fifteen books, many on natural history or African themes, but one, The Heartbreak Grape, on wine and another, Blood Traitors, on the American Revolutionary War. His most recent title is Back to the Well: Rethinking the Future of Water (Goose Lane Editions, 2015). Marq was born in South Africa and is a graduate of the University of Cape Town and the London School of Economics. He holds an honorary degree from Dalhousie University and is a member of the Order of Canada. He lives in Eagle Head, Nova Scotia.


Al Etmanski is a community organizer, social entrepreneur, and author of several books, including the recent bestseller Impact: Six Patterns to Spread Your Social Innovation. He co-founded Social Innovation Generation, a unique living laboratory, and as co-founder of Planned Lifetime Advocacy Network, he campaigned to establish the world’s only registered disability savings plan, which now has more than $2 billion worth of funds on deposit. He is an Ashoka Fellow and a faculty member of Northwestern University’s Asset-Based Community Development Institute. He and his wife, Vickie Cammack, recently received the Order of Canada for social-innovation leadership and their work with people with disabilities.


Jean Paul (JP) Gladu, president and CEO of the Canadian Council for Aboriginal Business, is Anishinabe from Thunder Bay and a member of the Sand Point First Nation, on the eastern shore of Lake Nipigon. JP has over two decades of experience in the natural-resource sector, and he has worked with Aboriginal communities, NGOs, businesses, and governments across Canada. He is a regular contributor to the National Post’s Entrepreneur section online and an experienced negotiator who has led several business-development projects in northern Ontario.


Rachel Mathis founded Invigorate, offering leadership programs for high school students, when she was nineteen years old. She validated the product through a pilot program and is now preparing to expand across New Brunswick. She believes that age is no barrier to leadership capability: the sooner we encourage leaders to innovate, the brighter our future will be.


Sarah Prevette founded the well-known online properties Sprouter and BetaKit (acquired) and co-founded BrandProject LP, an investment firm specializing in early stage start-ups. To empower youth to pursue big ideas, Sarah recently launched Future Design School, offering entrepreneurial programming and materials for educators and students. Inc. magazine named Sarah one of the top entrepreneurs in North America and Canadian Business included her in its Top 20 Power Elite.

Enterprise Saint John Logo 2013 (1) copy
Port Saint John (CMYK) copy

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, 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.

In 2015, The Walrus Talks will be held in Calgary, London, Winnipeg, Montreal, Edmonton, Ottawa, Toronto, Halifax, and Victoria. They will address themes including vice, creativity, the Arctic, the animated city, the Aboriginal city, being human, play, and water.

The Walrus Talks 2015 will feature more than 100 speakers from all walks and from across the country. The Walrus Talks are sponsored by forward-thinking members of the private and public sectors whose support enables the Canadian conversation and encourages dialogue on a wide range of issues.

Dates, details, and ticket information are available at