Mission Critical is a podcast hosted by Bay Street Bull Editor-in-Chief Lance Chung about the purpose and values that drive today's most inspiring leaders. From innovative entrepreneurs to cultural game-changers, each episode will introduce you to someone new who is defining their community and redefining the status quo.
Chris Hadfield (Astronaut): What Can Astronauts Teach Us About Perspective?
As a decorated astronaut, engineer, communicator, author, and musician, Chris Hadfield’s illustrious career has made him one of the most renowned and universally beloved figures in Canadian history. His reputation spread into the international mainstream after becoming the first Canadian to walk in space, flying two Space Shuttle missions and serving as commander of the International Space Station. He then cemented himself into pop culture history for his legendary performance of David Bowie’s Space Oddity while floating aboard the ISS, garnering over 27 million views on Youtube.
Inspired by witnessing the famed Apollo 11 moon landing on television when he was a child, Chris’ achievements have helped encourage the next generation of explorers and scholars. His books, which include three national bestsellers in The Darkest Dark, An Astronaut’s Guide to Life, and You Are Here have become some of the most valuable resources available for those searching for fascinating and accessible introductions to the field.
His influence on young Canadians and the realm of space exploration at large is simply incalculable. And as we continue to embark towards a future full of more question marks than ever before, the presence of strong leaders and scientific thinkers such as himself is more necessary than ever before.
In this episode, Chris joines Lance to talk about his otherworldly experiences, the importance of big-picture perspectives, the future of space exploration, and what it was like writing his latest book (and first fiction), The Apollo Murders.
Kyle Dubas (General Manager, Toronto Maple Leafs): How to Manage a Team of Elites
At just 35 years old, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has firmly established himself as one of the most influential minds in professional hockey. But those who have followed Kyle’s career know that being the youngest person in the boardroom is nothing new to the executive. Kyle began his hockey career by becoming the youngest agent ever certified by the NHL Players Association before working his way up the ranks as an OHL executive at just 25 years old. He then moved up and was promoted to the general manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs, the 17th in the club’s history.
His identity as an executive has always been defined by bold – and sometimes unpopular – decisions, many of which are featured in the new Amazon Prime Video original series, All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs.
On today’s episode, Kyle discusses what viewers can expect from the series while offering his philosophies on leadership, managing criticism, fostering young talent, and a wealth of other insights into the world of hockey and business. .
Aurora James (Founder, Fifteen Percent Pledge): How Can We Create More Shelf Space for BIPOC Brands?
Aurora James is a force to be reckoned with. Those of you who are tuned in to the world of fashion will likely recognize her name as the designer behind sustainable accessories brand Brother Vellies, a favourite amongst fashion heavyweights like Beyonce, Zendaya, and Solange (to name a few). You may also recognize her for gracing the cover of American Vogue’s coveted September issue in 2020 and, more recently, as the designer behind US congresswoman Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez’s 'Tax the Rich’ gown worn to the 2021 Met Gala. But beyond the fold of fashion, she’s also been hard at work to create real and meaningful change within the larger community.
In 2020, the Toronto-native and New York City transplant started her non-profit, the Fifteen Percent Pledge, in direct response to the wave of corporate statements issued during the Black Lives Matter movement. Focused on keeping these businesses accountable to racial equity, Aurora challenged the corporate community to commit at least 15 percent (which is roughly the proportion of the Black population in America) of their shelf space to Black-owned businesses. Today, that has manifested in a movement that has seen some of the world’s largest retailers sign on to help decrease the racial wealth gap.
On today’s episode, Aurora and Lance talk about progress, community, and what it means to take the pledge.
Erin Bury (CEO, Willful): Everything You Should Know About Getting a Will
Death is inevitable. The one true guarantee in life is, ironically, the end of it. So why don’t we plan better for something that is so obviously going to happen? Willful is a Toronto-based startup that is looking to normalize our conversations around death. That is, how we prepare for, talk about, and deal with death. Their first product (as their name may suggest) is an online platform that makes the process of creating a legal will more affordable and convenient for individuals to access.
In today’s episode, Willful CEO and co-founder Erin Bury joins Lance to talk about how she’s grown her company, destigmatizing death, and everything you need to know about creating a will.
Harley Finkelstein (President, Shopify): How Are You Future-Proofing Your Business?
Harley Finkelstein lives and breathes entrepreneurship. As the president of global e-commerce platform Shopify, he's not only witnessed countless entrepreneurs launch their own companies, he’s had a direct hand in helping them lift off. It’s part of Shopify’s bigger picture to cultivate a thriving and vibrant economic ecosystem by empowering entrepreneurs and the small business community. On today’s episode, Harley joins Lance to talk about the power of entrepreneurship, how to overcome imposter syndrome, and future-proofing your business.
Jeanne Gang (Founding Principal, Studio Gang): How Can Architecture Be Used as a Force for Social Change?
Architectural design is like a language. There’s a lot that we can learn about ourselves and the society we’re a part of simply by observing the structures around us. It tells us about what we value as a society, how we gather and migrate throughout the day, how we work, how sustainable we are, and more. It’s a snapshot of culture, our history, and our future.
Joining us on the podcast today is world-renowned architect Jeanne Gang, the founding principal and partner of the award-winning Studio Gang. Named one of 2019’s most influential people in the world by TIME magazine, Jeanne's work is recognized for its forward approach to design. She’s a changemaker that has championed social impact strategies to improve ecological biodiversity in cities and close the gender wage gap within her industry.
Today, Jeanne joins Lance to talk about great design, using architecture as a force for social change, and her first project in Canada, One Delisle.