Todd's presentation topics range from trends and analysis of
the current Canadian and global economy, to presentations
from themes in his books.
He is also able to customize topics for specific audiences.
1. Alberta's Economy in 2021: Tools to help us understand what's coming next
With 2020 behind us, it's fair to say that there's never been a year like it. But now, what lies ahead in 2021? With great uncertainty still weighing down the economy, it's difficult to predict how and when it will recover. What tools can help us understand the new environment that will emerge? And what will the new economy look like?
2. THE FUTURE OF WORK: How will articifial intelligence, robotics and automation change the way we work? What does "employment" look like in the future? And how do we need to readjust our notions of work, jobs and activities?
3. THE ECONOMICS OF COMMUNITY: Why re-learning the importance of strong community will save the economy -- and our future standard of living.
4. SHIFTING GLOBAL REALITIES: Is the era of neo-liberalism, expanded trade and multi-lateral trade deals coming to a close? What might these trends mean for Canada? And what could be done to avoid economic slowdown?
5. TOPICS FROM HIS BOOKS:
SPIDERS IN SPACE: Successfully Adapting to Unwanted Change (2017)
In 2011, a little spider named Esmeralda made history. She was one of a pair of golden silk orb-weaver spiders, brought up to the International Space Station by NASA scientists to study how spiders will behave in zero gravity. Will they try to spin webs? Will they even be able to spin webs? Building a traditional web depends on gravity as the spider lowers herself down on her silk threads. What happened in zero gravity? Esmeralda struggled at first, but didn’t give up. After some false starts, she figured out how to spin webs in space. She adapted!
Like the spiders, Canadians have been thrust into a new economic environment—and not everything in this new environment is pleasant and predictable. Traditional manufacturing has been altered forever by global supply chains and low-cost competitors. Prices for our natural resources have fallen and may not recover soon. In many ways, a lot of the Canadian economy feels like it has lost its gravity. But like Esmeralda, we have to find ways to cope—and even thrive—in an environment that’s changed forever.
In their 2017 book “Spiders in Space” authors Todd Hirsch and Robert Roach explore the idea of adapting to very sudden and unwanted change. Through profiles of Canadian entrepreneurs, businesses, educators, athletes and community leaders, we learn about the traits of great adapters. These stories of “spiders spinning webs in space” are both inspirational and instructional.
The Boiling Frog Dilemma: Saving Canada from Economic Decline (2012)
Canada is stuck in old ways of thinking—ways that will prevent us from achieving our economic potential and cause us to fall behind in the global race for long-term economic success. Like the metaphor of the frog in the pot water, gradually heating up and approaching a boil, Canadians have a decision to make.
A lot hangs in the balance. It is our economic success that underpins our ability to provide a just society, material prosperity, meaningful work experiences, and aid to those less fortunate. We need a new approach to thinking about ourselves, our businesses, and our country that goes
beyond the traditional “quick fixes” such as a cut to corporate taxes or a new government economic plan.
Jumping out of the pot doesn’t come without cost. We need to develop a culture of creativity, a
bold international approach, a renewed focus on entrepreneurialism, more risk-taking, greater
flexibility, the drive to be at the top of the global value-chain, green efficiency and stronger civic
bonds will keep Canada an economic leader able to provide meaningful work opportunities, a
rising standard of living, and a stronger society.