Disruptors, an RBC podcast, is an ongoing 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.
Doubling Down: The Definitive Decade for Climate
The climate transition is complex, not just for countries and economies, but for households and individuals.
Across the country, Canadians are engaging more with climate action — though we’re still not doing enough to help ourselves and the warming planet.
Canada’s climate capital needs to double to $60 billion in annual investments, and if this is going to be the decade that paves a sustainable path, we’ll need to fund, scale and support innovative green technologies.
On this episode, we're taking a deeper dive with leaders from three Canadian clean tech companies; Stephane Germain, President at GHGSat; Apoorv Sinha, CEO of Carbon Upcycling; and Louis Tremblay, CEO of FLO EV Charging to discuss the opportunities and challenges for their respective industries and what that means for our nation.
Davos Discourse: AI Takes Centre Stage
The World Economic Forum (WEF) is known for its annual gathering of global leaders, policymakers, CEOs, and academics — convening to address the most pressing issues facing people and the planet.
“Rebuilding Trust” was the theme this year, though the topic of the week was artificial intelligence — dominating the dialogue on the world stage and the advertisement space in the streets.
The pursuit of productivity was on everyone’s mind and each AI session was jam packed. But how much of it is hype versus reality?
To help make sense of it all, we hear from these pioneers and visionaries on the ground in Davos; Erik Brynjolfsson (Stanford Digital Economy Lab); Michelle Zatlyn (Cloudflare); Ashvin Parmar (Capgemini); Anna Paula Assis (IBM); Nicholas Thompson (The Atlantic); and Andrew Ng (Coursera).
Hydrogen Horizons: Powering a Green Path Forward
The green hydrogen race is on, and billions are at stake. Countries big and small view hydrogen as an opportunity to convert wind, solar, gas and nuclear into molecules that they can sustainably ship around the world.
The hydrogen promise extends beyond reducing our carbon footprint and developing cleaner sources of energy; it’s also about reimagining a new industrial model for our economy, opening avenues for economic growth and job creation.
Canada is a country filled with vast renewable resources, but first we must navigate the complexities of the technology, economics and politics associated with a shift to clean energy adoption.
Is green hydrogen the next great Canadian energy export and will it be the tech innovation of the decade?
We’re joined by Gene Gebolys, CEO at World Energy and Marco Alvera, CEO at Tree Energy Solutions (TES) — two global energy pioneers betting on Canada’s green hydrogen potential, from the windswept Atlantic coast to the Mauricie region of Quebec. We also hear from the CEO at the Canadian Hydrogen and Fuel Cell Association, Ivette Vera-Perez.
New Year’s Promise: Pragmatic Shift to a Digitally Charged Future
2023 was a year of disruptive change, with the cost-of-living crisis, rising geopolitical tensions, the ongoing climate emergency and rapid technological transformation.
Amid the murky backdrop of increasing challenges and negative outlooks, there is also hope and opportunity; a tech resurgence is brewing that’s expected to rise like a phoenix from the Silicon ashes; AI is a dynamic reality shaping the future; cleantech advancements are a driving force for progress; and innovative technologies seek to revolutionize the way we connect, create and work to solve some of our most pressing issues.
To come this year on Disruptors, we’ll continue speaking with champions of change and icons of innovation as they navigate the twists and turns of an increasingly disruptive world.
2024 isn’t just a new year, it promises to be a pragmatic shift into a digitally charged future.
Climate Crossroads: Unpacking the Dialogue in the Desert at COP28
Amid the backdrop of an increasingly polarized geopolitical landscape, growing socio-economic
challenges and intensifying climate conditions, the 2023 United Nations Climate Change
Conference (COP28) hosted its largest ever summit in Dubai with 100,000 attendees.
Each COP provides a global stage for nations to collectively address urgent climate issues and
foster international cooperation — with the outcomes intended to shape national policies,
commitments, and strategies to secure a sustainable future for generations to come. And while
these climate talks are critical, what matters most is how countries turn diplomacy into tangible
climate action to ensure climate ambitions don't get left in the sand.
On this special edition of Disruptors, John Stackhouse is in the hot seat as this year's climate
talks come to a close. He is joined by the RBC Climate Action Institute's, Trinh Theresa Do to
provide key takeaways and insights from his time on the ground and what they mean for
Canada in the race toward net zero.
Bridging the Growth Gap with AI Innovation
AI has created a dynamic landscape that presents risks and rewards for our nation, and this is Canada’s chance to reimagine its approach in a way that allows us to increase efficiency, remain competitive and enable economic growth.
As a nation, we must leverage AI’s true transformative potential to foster an innovative workforce for the future — so business and society can thrive in a world of increased digital disruption.
This episode of Disruptors is a recording of a recent session of the Business + Higher Education Roundtable (BHER), a not-for-profit organization that represents some of Canada’s biggest employers and leading educators tackling some of the most pressing issues facing Canadian prosperity. The roundtable's recent annual meeting, hosted by Valerie Walker (CEO at BHER) featured commentary from Dave McKay (CEO at RBC), Anthony Viel (CEO at Deloitte Canada), Mara Lederman (COO at Signal 1) and Joel Blit (Professor of Economics at UWaterloo) with a focus on AI themes such as the practicality of adoption, workforce implications, ethics and accuracy, and Canada's challenges in becoming a global leader.
My go-to podcast for Canadian innovation
Love this podcast and John is a great host! It consistently sheds light on innovative topics like new tech and climate action — really insightful with great delivery.
Timely and insightful. An engaging podcast that’s a must listen every week.
I have been living outside of Canada for 15 years but since I discovered Disruptors, I feel a new intellectual connection to my country so thank you!
One reaction to episode 14 on the possibility of a cashless economy in Canada and its impact on financial inclusion. Given that innovative technology enables financial transactions to take place via mobile phones (while ensuring KYC) without bank accounts, a cashless economy would actually empower millions of underprivileged MSMEs to generate revenues and pay suppliers/staff without the cost of physical movements. This could accelerate the transition from the informal to the formal economy, especially for immigrants. In the Caribbean where I live, this would provide access to the 30million visitors who visit the region every year but don’t like to carry cash around. Banks are just too slow and chicken to embrace the new market.
One suggestion for future content: the digitalization of the economy, and the services economy in particular, requires proactive leadership that is not only concerned about compliance to regulations but also their social responsibility. When the car industry became mainstreamed, thousands of people had to die before regulations imposed seatbelt, airbag,etc. The private sector can shape the digital economy before regulators react by imposing background checks on participants, cybersecurity, and capacity building of partnering entities. Such exemplary leadership will build comparative advantage that will also sustain our values as Canadian over the next century.
Continue the great work!