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What on Earth is Going on? is a podcast for the curious, where small talk is banned and tangents are prized. Strap yourself in for genuine dialogues with people who think deeply and are ready to tackle the big questions, such as broadcaster Terry O'Reilly, economist Miles Corak and journalist Jessica Vomiero.

Join Ben Charland to peel back the headlines and ask, what are the forces, people and ideas that shape the human story today? Have things always been this nuts, or are they getting crazier by the day? From the Mafia to the Beavertonwomen in politics to women in leadershiphistory to artificial intelligence, and entrepreneurship in the digital age to the art of wheelchair fencing, just what on Earth is going on?

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Sep 6, 2019

What does it mean to have a good conversation about politics, democracy, our place in the world, Donald Trump and sports? How do we bring disparate and distinct voices into that dialogue, and keep it fresh? The Walrus, a weekly Canadian magazine, has been trying to figure it out.

Ben is in Toronto to chat with Jessica Johnson, executive editor and creative director of The Walrus, about democracy, conversation, and the magazine's unique and ever-evolving response to "what on earth is going on?"

About the Guest

Jessica is the executive editor and creative director for The Walrus. She is an award-winning journalist who has worked with a range of North American publications, including The Globe and Mail, National Post, Saturday Night, Lucky, Elle, and The New Republic. Her work has also appeared in the BBC and Medium. Jessica was named executive editor of The Walrus in 2017. She is also a visiting professor at the University of St. Michael's College in the University of Toronto.

Learn more about Jessica or follow her on Twitter (@ejessicajohnson).

Mentioned in this Episode

The Quote of the Week

"Conversation is a meeting of minds with different memories and habits. When minds meet, they don't just exchange facts: they transform them, reshape them, draw different implications from them, engage in new trains of thought. Conversation doesn't just reshuffle the cards: it creates new cards."
- Theodore Zeldin