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What will it take for the next generation to be successful?

Walrus Talks present eight diverse perspectives, including thoughts from four UCalgary alumni
March 14, 2017
University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon, third from left, at the Walrus Talk with, from left, Brittany Harker Martin, Chima Nkemdirim, Mark Hopkins, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Lauren Voisin (front), Aaron Park, Zahra Al-Harazi, Eric Termuende, Manjit Minhas, Nadia Fatah, and Walrus magazine publisher Shelley Ambrose. Photos courtesy The Walrus

University of Calgary President Elizabeth Cannon, third from left, at the Walrus Talk with, from left, Brittany Harker Martin, Chima Nkemdirim, Mark Hopkins, Mayor Naheed Nenshi, Lauren Voisin (front), Aaron Park, Zahra Al-Harazi, Eric Termuende, Manjit Minhas, Nadia Fatah, and Walrus magazine publisher Shelley Ambrose. Photos courtesy The Walrus

Nadia Fatah speaks at the Walrus Talk about how to empower future leaders.

Nadia Fatah speaks at the Walrus Talk about how to empower future leaders. 

From thinking like an immigrant and perfecting your pitch to embracing failure and finding leadership learning in unexpected places, the Walrus Talk in Calgary on March 9 explored how to develop the skills young people need to succeed in the decades to come.

Hosted in various cities across Canada by The Walrus Foundation — a registered charitable non-profit with an educational mandate to create forums for matters vital to Canadians — Walrus Talks generate real community conversations about issues that affect the future of our nation. Each event offers thoughtful, inspiring thinking from scholars, writers, performers, scientists, artists, and business leaders — in seven-minute snapshots.

As part of our ongoing 50th Anniversary celebrations, the University of Calgary partnered with The Walrus to present the Calgary stop on the national tour, featuring four alumni among the eight speakers:

Mark Hopkins, BA’05, co-artistic director, Swallow-a-Bicycle Theatre, encouraged wise leadership that chooses the right lessons — not all of them — from earlier generations to prime the next one for success. Watch now.

Bri­ttany Harker Martin, PhD’12, assistant professor of leadership, policy, and governance at UCalgary, shared her research on socially empowered learning, showing that kids who are encouraged to play, learn from failure, use their imaginations, and pursue their own passions, are ultimately more engaged. Watch now.

Aaron Park, BSc’07, BEd’11, director of bands, Calgary Stampede Foundation, believes the lessons learned  and character built through marching band — leadership, community care, responsibility, commitment to group success — can indeed change the world. Watch now.

Eric Termuende, BComm’14, founder of Dryver, sees great opportunity in bringing people together based on who they are, not what they are. Want to attract and retain next-generation talent? Combine wants, needs, and personal values; create a sense of belonging; build an authentic community. Watch now.

Nadia Fatah, youth program developer of the Somali-Canadian Women and Children Association in Edmonton, explained what it’s like for newcomers to Canada to build a life and career. In addition to compassion, education, inclusion and mentorship, she believes that new immigrants need equal access to opportunity. Watch now.

Zahra Al-Harazi, UNICEF Canada Ambassador, shared her journey as an immigrant to Canada, pointing out that Canadian-born young people are now competing against highly motivated immigrant youth to succeed. She stresses the importance of knowing how to hustle, being flexible, working hard, helping others, feeling gratitude and being resilient. Watch now.

Manjit Minhas, dragon on Dragon's Den and co-founder of Minhas Breweries, Wineries, and Distillery, encouraged the next generation to be practical and to take the time to invest in their pitch — researching, practising, perfecting it so that it is the most compelling and concise story they can tell about who they are and what they want. Watch now.

Lauren Voisin, 12-year-old founder of Robots Are Fun and future electrical engineer, started her company when she was eight and believes that kids need mentors, collaborative communities, and permission to fail, in order to succeed.  Watch now.

The University of Calgary’s 50th Anniversary celebrations continue until the end of April 2017. Learn more about what’s happening at ucalgary.ca/celebrate.