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.
Good Medicine: Is the future of healthcare digital?
In Canada, we pride ourselves on our healthcare system—and the fact that equitable, quality coverage is available to all citizens. But the sector isn’t known for efficiency or innovation; wait times have long been an issue, as has a lack of interoperability between practitioners. The pandemic, however, has forced rapid change in the healthcare sector—opening up opportunities for innovation, and boosting the fortunes of several startups offering digital tech solutions.
In this episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, guest host Trinh Theresa Do speaks with three Canadian entrepreneurs who are working to reimagine how Canadian healthcare is delivered: Dr. Brett Belchetz, co-founder and CEO of virtual health app Maple; Hamed Shahbazi, founder and CEO of Well Health Technologies; and Anna Chif, co-founder and chief strategy and product officer for telemedicine company Dialogue.
In February 2020, fewer than a quarter of family physicians in Canada made themselves available by email, and just four percent provided video visits. Three months into the pandemic, virtual care represented more than 70 percent of the ambulatory care provided. The pandemic has also spurred rapid digitization of doctor’s offices and clinics from coast to coast to coast. The question is: how much further can this transformation go?
New Frontiers: How Canadian Tech is Shaking Up Space
When we think of space, we think of big moments in time — like that first walk on the moon, or February’s historic landing of a robotic explorer on Mars. But space is also big business, with the new space economy — filled with big corporations, small startups and everything in between — projected to grow to a trillion dollars by 2040.
In this episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, guest host Trinh Theresa Do speaks with two Canadian entrepreneurs making waves in space: Mike Greenley, CEO of space tech pioneer MDA (maker of the iconic Canadarm); and Dr. Sara Spangelo, the Winnipeg-born founder and CEO of Silicon Valley startup Swarm Technologies, whose tiny communication satellites promise affordable global connectivity. We also get the lay of the land — or universe — from Manon Larocque, Executive Director, Strategic Policy and Domestic Affairs, at the Canadian Space Agency.
As Mike explains in the podcast, it used to cost about $18,000 a kilogram to launch something into space. Today, it’s down to $3,000 — with projections it could get as low as $500. Soon, any Canadian business with a bold idea will be able to launch into space — and open up new economic frontiers in the process.
The Creativity Economy Part 2: From the Classroom to the Boardroom
Can it be taught or is it something you have to be born with? How can students maintain it while transitioning to the more highly-constrained corporate world? And how do some of Canada’s most successful companies harness and foster it? Those are just a few of the questions that will be answered, as Disruptors, an RBC podcast, continues its special series on creativity.
On this episode, host John Stackhouse is again joined by co-host Trinh Theresa Do for a series of conversations with some truly iconic Canadian organizations. They’ll explore the importance of ‘integrative thinking’ with the help of Josie Fung, the executive director of I-Think at the Rotman School of Business. They’ll discuss how creativity is at the root of Canada’s incredible contributions to the world of animation, with the president of Sheridan College, Janet Morrison. They’ll talk to Tom Waller from Lululemon and Brittany Forsyth* from Shopify, to learn how the two companies hire and retain creatives -- and foster environments in which creative types can flourish. They’ll also speak with Julien Laferrière from video-game giant Ubisoft Montreal, and hear from Richard Florida, the noted urban studies theorist behind the 2002 book “The Rise of the Creative Class.”
If you haven’t heard it already, be sure to listen back to the first episode in this two-part series for a more foundational discussion about creativity, featuring a compelling line-up of experts from organizations including Cirque du Soleil, the Creative Destruction Lab, Acumen Law, OCAD University and the Metalworks Institute.
BONUS: Why Blockchain Holds the Key to a Greener Planet
If people know anything about blockchain technology, it’s the astounding appreciation in the value of bitcoin in recent months—a cryptocurrency that uses blockchain as a way of transparently and instantaneously recording peer-to-peer payments. But blockchain is much more than mere financial tool. And according to many people invested in the environmental sector, it might just hold the key to better climate change solutions.
In this special Earth Day episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, guest host Trinh Theresa Do speaks with two experts who know the climate beat well: Joseph Pallant, founder of the Blockchain for Climate Foundation and director of climate innovation for Ecotrust Canada; and Carolyn DuBois, executive director of The Water Program of The Gordon Foundation.
While technology is no panacea—and our guests confront the very real issue of blockchain’s environmental cost, as well as its many benefits—the work of Joseph and Carolyn promises a brighter and greener future for many people around the world.
The Creativity Economy Part 1: A (New) Power Skill for the 2020s
It’s a word that has almost as many definitions as it does applications: creativity. The Cambridge Dictionary calls it “the ability to produce or use original and unusual ideas.” According to Wikipedia, it’s a “phenomenon whereby something somehow new and somehow valuable is formed.” To Merriam-Webster, it’s simply “the ability to create.” Here at RBC, we consider it the marriage of novelty and value. But regardless of how you define it, one thing is clear: creativity could be the next ‘it’ skill of our time, critical to Canada’s economic prosperity in the decades ahead.
This episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, is the first in a special, two-part series on the “Creativity Economy” in which we now find ourselves as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic accelerating technological and societal changes already underway due to the 4th Industrial Revolution. Join host John Stackhouse and co-host Trinh Theresa Do as they sit down for a series of conversations with a dynamic and inspirational array of guests including the CEO of Cirque du Soleil, Daniel Lamarre, Professor Ajay Agrawal from the Rotman School of Management’s Creative Destruction Lab, Kyla Lee from Vancouver’s Acumen Law, Sara Diamond, the President Emerita of OCAD University, and Gil Moore, drummer and vocalist for the legendary rock band Triumph, and founder of Metalworks Institute.
Together, they engage in a thorough exploration of the importance of creativity, its role in business and innovation, and why it matters now more than ever. They also discuss which companies are fostering it well, what lessons we could learn from them, and how we can all inject a little more creativity into our lives. Be sure to check back for part two of the series, featuring conversations with Lululemon, Shopify, Ubisoft, I-Think, and more.
Charging Ahead: Canada’s Role in The E-V Revolution
Have you ever felt the g-forces of an electric car with its accelerator pressed all the way to the floor? Or maybe even more exhilarating — the realization that you’ll never pay for another tank of gas again? After decades as a cornerstone of Canada’s economy, the automotive industry is in the midst of transformational change as carmakers and consumers around the globe pivot to electric vehicles.
On this episode of Disruptors, an RBC podcast, host John Stackhouse takes a deep dive into the rapidly-evolving world of EVs and the supply chains Canada needs to create to be a player in the growing, global market. For the first part of the conversation, John is joined by Sarah Houde, the CEO of Propulsion Quebec, and Kostyantyn Khomutov, the CEO of Ottawa-based GBatteries, to discuss the current state of play, the opportunities ahead, and what needs to happen to take advantage of them. Then for part two, David Paterson from General Motors Canada slides into the passenger seat to give us a big-picture perspective, and share his company’s vision for a fully electrified future.
From government policies and our country’s abundant supply of raw minerals to range anxiety, charging infrastructure, and battery technology — no topic is off-limits, as our guests lay out a compelling roadmap to help Canada and Canadian companies plot a path forward into a cleaner, greener future.
Fabulous content, guests, host!
Production values are top notch. Also, John is an incredibly polished, engaging, knowledgeable, and charismatic host! The topics are always spot-on for me, and the depth and breadth of coverage of each topic seems ideal. Although I would love more episodes, more frequency, I would not want it at the possible degradation of quality. Highly recommended!
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.