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Weekly Speaker Program

October 16, 2017: Todd Hirsch, Chief Economist of ATB Financial

Robyn Braley introduced our speaker, Todd Hirsch. Todd is the Chief Economist of ATB Financial and has an honours BA degree in Economics from the University of Alberta and an MA in Economics from the University of Calgary. He has worked as an economist at numerous organizations, including the Canadian Pacific Railway, the Canada West Foundation and the Bank of Canada.

For almost a decade he taught Economics at the University of Calgary. He is also the author of three books and numerous publications, as well as being on the Board of Governors of the University of Calgary, and is the chair of the Calgary Arts Academy. He previously spoke to our club a couple of years ago.

Todd's topic was, "The Alberta Economy is Recovering: Reality or Illusion?" He contrasted various assertions supporting each viewpoint, eventually coming to the conclusion that, while neither was overwhelmingly true of false, a preferable viewpoint was that Alberta's economy is evolving. That is, it is moving from one set of operating principles to another based on development in technology.

This evolution is the premise of Todd's latest book entitled "Spiders in Space". This isn't a science fiction horror story as you might imagine. Instead, it is a story of how people and animals adapt successfully to significant changes in circumstances. The example in the book is based upon is the sending of spiders into space and how they adapted to building webs under conditions of weightlessness.

Todd's talk was interesting and thought-provoking. More information can be had at his website:

Mike Carlin thanked Todd and, since he already has a Boltman, he was given an Operation Eyesight gift certificate.

  • Todd Hirsch and Ben Kormos Todd Hirsch and Ben Kormos

reported by Larry Doyle

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