Disruptors, an RBC podcast, is an ongoing podcast series hosted by SVP John Stackhouse about reimagining Canada’s economy in a time of unprecedented change. It features thought-provoking conversations with Canadian business and innovation leaders about planting the seeds of a new economy.
The Intangibles Economy: How to Make Canada an IP Powerhouse
On this episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, host John Stackhouse sits down for a no-holds-barred conversation with one of Canada’s most outspoken tech and innovation advocates: Jim Balsillie, a businessman, philanthropist, former co-CEO of Research in Motion, and Chair of Council of Canadian Innovators. Balsillie believes there’s simply too much at stake to continue the Canada’s current approach to innovation, which he says has allowed foreign companies to cannibalize our businesses, pulling the benefits of IP research and development out of the country. Balsillie believes we’re at a pivotal moment, in which our economic prosperity, digital sovereignty, even our national security, could be impacted for years to come.
From Connected Cows to Smart Cities: Enabling the 5G Economy
On this episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, host John Stackhouse examines the true potential of this next-generation of wireless networks, as well as the apps and devices they will enable, with the help of the President of Bell Mobility, Claire Gillies. Together, they tackle the full spectrum of questions surrounding 5G, including why it’s really more of a “revolution” than an evolution, and how it will transform everything from healthcare to agriculture. You’ll definitely want to hear about the driverless combine John once saw rolling across the open prairie in Saskatchewan. Or about how 5G might finally make it easy to park downtown.
Can an Algorithm Be Racist? The Growing Push for Ethical AI
From facial recognition software that fails to recognize women and people of colour, to Twitter algorithms which seem to prefer white faces in photo previews, there’s been no shortage of negative headlines about artificial intelligence over the past few months. But whether we like it or not, AI is at work all around us, all the time, and there’s a growing movement to make sure it’s being used in an ethical way.
A new survey from RBC’s world-class artificial intelligence research center, Borealis AI, reveals that most businesses in Canada believe it’s important to implement AI responsibly, but 93% experience barriers in doing so, like cost, time, or lack of understanding. And barely over half of them have someone on the payroll who’s responsible for ethical data and AI practices.
On this episode of RBC Disruptors, host John Stackhouse re-connects with the head of Borealis AI and RBC’s Chief Science Officer, Dr. Foteini Agrafioti, to learn about a new online hub called RESPECT AI, aimed at making open source resource code, tutorials, academic research, and lectures available to the entire AI community. He also sits down for a frank and challenging conversation about the risks and rewards of AI with Ruha Benjamin, a sociologist and an Associate Professor of African American Studies at Princeton, and Saadia Muzaffar, a Canadian entrepreneur, author, and the founder of TechGirls Canada.
To learn more about Borealis AI, the work it’s doing, and its new RESPECT AI campaign, you can visit www.borealisai.com. RBC’s Thought Leadership Group has also published a new paper exploring ethical challenges in AI, which can be found at rbc.com/thoughtleadership. Ruha Benjamin’s website features a wide range of research and resources related to her studies on race, justice, and technology. For details on how Saadia Muzafffar’s non-profit organization is breaking down barriers for diversity and equity in science and technology, go to techgirls.ca.
You can hear previous episodes of Disruptors on the subject of artificial intelligence here:
AI for Good: Battling Bias Before it Becomes Irreversible
AI For Good: In Conversation with Foteini Agrafioti
Apps, Anxiety, and Adolescence: Youth Mental Health in the Age of Covid
It was already a challenge, even before the pandemic: helping young people and their families navigate Canada’s complex, fragmented mental health system. But experts say COVID could also serve as a catalyst for much-needed change, an opportunity to make meaningful improvements. Just like the rest of us, young people are spending more time than ever in front of screens; up to 7.5 hours per day, in the case of high school students. But those same apps and social media sites that are taking up more of our days could also be a force for good, as long as we use the right ones, in the right ways.
In honour of World Mental Health Day, this episode of RBC Disruptors delves into the potential risks and rewards of our growing dependence on technology during the pandemic. Host John Stackhouse sits down with two leaders in the field of youth mental health; Doctor Joanna Henderson, clinical psychologist, and director at the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health in Toronto, and Doctor Yuri Quintana, the Chief of the Division of Clinical Informatics at the Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and an Assistant Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. He also hears from Shauna MacEachern, the executive director of Frayme, which leads a global network that connects young people with mental health and social services here in Canada and around the world.
Together, they discuss the explosion in the number of health and wellness apps that are available, how those apps can and should be evaluated for effectiveness, and what else needs to happen in order to break down barriers to accessing mental health services in Canada. You’ll also hear about the importance of collaborating with youth, and involving them in the development process, in order to ensure their needs are being met by a system that has historically failed to do so.
To learn more about the organizations mentioned in this episode, and the important work they’re doing, you can visit their websites:
The Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH)
Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center
Homewood Research Institute
Frayme: Youth Mental Health Resources
You can read the announcement about RBC’s partnership with HRI to study the effectiveness of mental health apps HERE.
If you or someone you know is in need of mental health support, help is available. Visit the Government of Canada’s
Mental Health Support page for links and phone numbers.
The SheEO Model: How Female Entrepreneurs Can Lead the Recovery
Canadian women entrepreneurs are a dynamic and powerful economic force. After all, women own and operate almost one-third of all firms in Canada, and they start businesses one-and-a-half times more often than men, driving more than 117-billion dollars of economic activity per year. In other words -- if we want full economic recovery, we need to make sure female entrepreneurs are being given the tools they need. In this episode of Disruptors, powered by RBC, John Stackhouse speaks with Vicki Saunders -- founder of SheEO, an organization of "women supporting women-led Ventures working on the world’s to-do list,” about how different funding models and community-based networking can make a difference. He also speaks to Nita Tandon, founder, and CEO of Dalcini Stainless Incorporated, and Chenny Xia, co-founder of Gotcare -- Canada's largest self-directed home care provider, about how women do business differently, and the importance of the triple bottom line.
Some of the great organizations RBC partners with, to support women in business:
SheEO, RBC Canadian Women Entrepreneur Awards, Stand Up Ventures, Fortune’s Most Powerful Women and Dress for Success, and Catalyst.
8 Ways COVID is Still Disrupting the Economy
On this episode of RBC Disruptors, host John Stackhouse discusses the newly-updated report with one of the members of the RBC Thought Leadership Team who helped write it, Strategist Theresa Do. They’ll also hear from special guests, including the CEO of the Toronto Symphony Orchestra, Matthew Loden, Juno Award-winning singer/songwriter Jill Barber, the global head of public relations for Expedia, Nisreene Atassi, and influential sports marketer Mary De Paoli, who also happens to be an Executive Vice President and Chief Marketing Officer at RBC. Join them, for a fascinating exploration of COVID’s ongoing impact on the economy, and on our lives in general.
Customer ReviewsSee All
I enjoy John’s style and approach to the topics and guests, I also appreciate how he keeps the content Canadian and Global at the same time.
John Stackhouse is a well composed host and always does a good job of letting the experts share their knowledge.
Super informative and interesting podcasts spanning many relevant topics !