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17
Apr

Speaker Feature: Robert Steiner

Meet Robert Steiner, one of Talk Boutique’s Keynote Speakers. Robert is a journalist, author, and communications pundit who has worked for the Wall Street Journal. He has held a number of senior campaign positions in Canadian politics including acting as the principal speechwriter for Hon. Paul Martin, managing the Liberal Party of Canada’s new media campaign in 2000 and working for Prime Minister Jean Chrétien.

What is the role that conversation plays in your life?

Conversation allows me to bear witness to the miracle of the world around me in all of its resilient messiness. When I was younger, I was taught that conversation starts with one’s ability to express oneself. I no longer believe that’s quite correct. As a journalist, and later as an educator, and above all as a father and a husband, I have learned that conversation is rooted in one’s excitement for listening. Sometimes I get so excited as I listen that I jump in too soon. But I keep learning – conversation is covenant: it only exists if all the parts have the chance to play their full role.

How would your friends describe you in 3 words or less?

Slow at e-mail.

What do you enjoy doing in your free time/what are your hobbies?

Most of my time, and most of my joy, is with family. But I’m learning guitar, writing my first songs and running regularly for the first time. I love to read. We ski. And I love doing at least one adventurish expedition in Northern Canada each year, if I can manage it with a friend. Travel is a biggie too.

What is your personal philosophy?

Love yourself so that you can love others. Also, don’t binge more than two episodes at a time – even on a long weekend.

What is something you can’t live without?

Gratitude.

What is your favourite TED/TEDx talk and why?

Dave Isay’s Everyone around you has a story the world needs to hear, because he’s absolutely right that everyone has a story – and our job, as human beings, includes living in wonder at the stories around us.

What are you most proud of?

The relationship I share with my wife, Amanda, and the cycle of inspiration that I believe moves in all directions between us and our two children: Adam and Sasha.

Salon Series: Truth, Lies & Complicity

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