Speaker Profile : Nora Young, 2012 WIBN Conference



The unofficial version of Nora…

1. Tell us about your business. 
Spark is a radio show and podcast about technology, trends and fresh ideas. It airs across Canada on CBC Radio One on Sundays at 1:00 and Wednesdays at 2:00, and lives online at cbc.ca/spark. Spark focuses not on product reviews and gadgets, but on the culture of technology. We look at how it’s changing the way we live, work, and play. Spark also focuses on “fresh ideas”: new thinking about old problems, and unconventional approaches to the challenges of 21st century life in Canada.

2. Tell us about yourself.
Beyond Spark, my interests involve exploring how technology and society intersect, and how we can help direct technology to the ends we seek, rather than being steamrollered by it. It’s a topic I explore in print, most recently in my book, The Virtual Self (McClelland and Stewart) and in public talks. I love talking to people about the challenges and opportunities people see in technology in their own lives.
In addition to my professional work, perhaps as an antidote to all that tech, I love cycling, yoga, and being in nature. Born and raised in Toronto. 

3. What motivated you to do what you do in business? Was there an “aha” moment or a moment of innovation?

What interests me about media is the chance to explore new ideas. I am passionate about discussing innovation and fresh thinking, which, now more than ever, is coming from all over the world in many different forms. My ‘penny drop moment’ as the creator of Spark is that there are a lot of people just like me: people who are eager to learn, who want to focus on creativity, insight, and innovation. That extends beyond the ‘listener experience’ to opening up the making of the show to our engaged community members. 

4. How do you overcome challenges and obstacles in your business?Challenges and obstacles are part of life, and part of my work as a journalist. I try to connect to the ‘puzzle solving’ aspect of challenges.

5. What are your greatest strengths as an entrepreneur?
I would say my belief in the power of creativity, and an absolute willingness to trust in the creativity and intelligence of the people around me, and the audience we create for.

The Official Nora Young
NORA YOUNG is a writer-broadcaster, producer, and documentary-maker. She was the founding host and producer of Definitely Not the Opera and currently hosts CBC’s national radio show Spark. She is fascinated with the intersection of technology and culture: how changing technology affects the way we see ourselves, and each other. Nora is the author of “The Virtual Self: How Our Digital Lives Are Altering the World Around Us”.
Personal website: NoraYoung.ca
Spark website: cbc.ca/spark
Twitter: @Nora3000

LinkedIn: LinkedIn.com/NoraYoung



  1. norayoung.ca | At the Corner of Technology and Culture - April 12, 2012

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