May 31, 2019 by Speakers' Spotlight
In the News: Talking Accessibility, Vaccinations, and Humanity’s Hidden Blind Spots
We have an impressive roster of speakers who are often featured in the media as contributors and experts in their fields. Here’s a round-up of some select media coverage in May 2019:
This month, Roberta Bondar — the first Canadian woman in space as well as an environmental advocate — was promoted to a Companion of the Order of Canada.
“A world-acclaimed photographer, she has demonstrated commitment to environmental sustainability through her stunning works that reconnect people to our natural world,” the announcement read in part. “Leading by example with the establishment of her eponymous foundation, she is a champion of education and the environment.”
With the increase of measles cases, professor Timothy Caulfield has been in the news talking about the importance of vaccinations and the danger of the anti-vaxx movement.
He wrote a piece for The Conversation, which was also published by The National Post, exploring the increase of teenagers getting vaccinated against their parent’s wishes.
He also joined Breakfast Television Toronto to discuss measles vaccination:
David Chilton spoke at The Globe and Mail’s Small Business Summit in Toronto this month. He, along with a panel of Canada’s leading entrepreneurs, shared their best tips and advice with an audience of budding entrepreneurs.
“The biggest myth we see in startup-land is that it’s all about the idea,” says David Chilton, author of The Wealthy Barber and CBC’s Dragons’ Den veteran. But, he points out, it can be more cost-effective to buy an existing business than to start a new one. And ideas that work elsewhere can be adapted to your own market.
Gerry Dee is celebrating his 20th anniversary as a stand-up comedian this year. He reflected on the ups and downs of comedy journey with CTV’s Your Morning and Breakfast Television Toronto.
It was also announced that Gerry Dee will be hosting Family Feud Canada for CBC Television!
As part of Accessibility Week, May 26-June 1, celebrated accessibility advocate Rick Hansen launched a new campaign through the Rick Hansen Foundation called “Everyone Everywhere” in an effort to improve accessibility across Canada.
He spoke with CTV News about an interactive poster he put up in Toronto as part of his new campaign with unique capabilities to ensure its accessible to everyone. This included having text at an eye level so people in wheelchairs can read it, text in multiple languages, a braille pad, and even a recording of someone reading it. Watch his interview below:
Rick also spoke with Global National about his campaign and his continued work to breakdown barriers Canadians with disabilities are still facing.
Science journalist Ziya Tong released her much-anticipated book The Reality Bubble this month, which dives deep into some of humanity’s biggest blind spots. Here’s a round-up of some media she’s done around her new book:
- “The Curious History of Crap—From Space Junk to Actual Poop” via Wired
- “Why We’re Unwilling to Confront the Dirty Truth About Eating Meat” via The Revelator
- “Sorry to Burst Your Bubble, But You’ve Got A Blind Spot As Big As The Planet” via Grist
The Canadian Women’s Soccer Team is playing in the FIFA Women’s World Cup this month, with Christine Sinclair as their captain. Christine used this opportunity to callout Canada’s lack of support for female soccer players, despite being a top world team via The Globe and Mail.
“We continue to be one of the powers in women’s soccer, yet we’re probably the only top-12 team that doesn’t have a professional system. That disappoints me,” Sinclair said.
Christine is also close to breaking the record for all-time leading scorer in international women’s soccer.
- “Canada’s Christine Sinclair: Portrait of a reluctant record setter” via Sportsnet
- “Sinclair Says She’s Been Waiting for This Canadian Team” via TSN
Following the release of his new book The Algorithmic Leader, Mike Walsh wrote an article for the Harvard Business Review on how technology can actually make managers worse. Without careful consideration, he says, we may end up in a “data-driven dystopia”.
There are a million ways that algorithms in the hands of bad managers could do more harm than good: How about using an algorithm to set your work rosters so that the number of hours is just below the legal threshold for full-time employment? Or automatically sending emails to people when they are more than five minutes late to work? Or nudging people to work during the time they normally spend with their families by offering incentives? Or using sensors to monitor warehouse workers and then warning them when they take too long to stack a shelf? Or constantly adjusting the color temperature of your office lighting so that your employee’s circadian system thinks that late afternoon is still morning?
Don’t think these kinds of things would happen? It’s already happening. Amazon, for example, has received two patents for a wristband designed to guide warehouse workers’ movements with the use of vibrations to nudge them into being more efficient. IBM has also applied for a patent for a system that monitors its workforce with sensors that can track pupil dilation and facial expressions and then use data on an employee’s sleep quality and meeting schedule to deploy drones to deliver a jolt of caffeinated liquid so its employees’ workdays are undisturbed by a coffee break.
Jana Webb joined The Morning Show to share easy ways to incorporate meditation and yoga into their daily routine.
Liane Davey joins the “On Balance” podcast to discuss a better way to engage in and resolve workplace culture.