Wordfest Presents David Johnston

Wordfest Presents David Johnston

Wordfest Presents David Johnston

Hosted by David Gray

Apr 11 @ 7 PM - 8:15 PM MT 
Memorial Park Library, 2nd Floor
1221 2 St SW

Wordfest is thrilled to present the Right Honourable David Johnston, 28th Governor General of Canada, with the book the world needs now: Empathy. The conversation, which starts at 7:00 PM MT, will be hosted by journalist and adventurer David Gray. Owl's Nest Books will be on site and Mr. Johnston would be delighted to sign copies of Empathy for you after the event. 

We are grateful to Penguin Random House Canada for making it possible for Wordfest to connect you with this great Canadian.

About Empathy: Turning Compassion into Action

The 28th Governor General's most personal and timely book to date: a passionate and practical guide for turning empathy into action.

As the world stumbles through the most severe pandemic of the last century, threatened by teetering economies, torn by political division, separated by unequal access to resources, and wrestling with issues as diverse as racism, gender, cybercrime, and climate change, the nations that best adapt and prosper are those in which empathy is fully alive and widely active. Written for a post-pandemic world, Empathy is a book about learning to be empathetic and then turning that empathy into action. Based on the personal experiences of author David Johnston, the book explores how awakening to the transformative power of listening and caring permanently changes individuals, families, communities, and nations.
A how-to manual for a world craving kindness, Empathy offers proof of the inherent goodness of people, and shows how exercising the instinct for kindness creates societies that are both smart and caring. Through poignant stories and crisp observations, Johnston contends that “Everyone has power over some things that other people don’t. When they learn ways to turn that power into action, they change the future dramatically.”
With clear and practical focus, Empathy looks at a host of issues that demand our attention, from education and immigration, to healthcare, the law, policing, business ethics, and criminal justice. In each of these areas, Johnston highlights the deeper understandings that have arisen during the COVID-19 crisis, with sharp emphasis on the positive and negative lessons now in crisp focus. Convinced that empathy is the fastest route to peace and progress in all their forms, he ends each short chapter with a set of practical steps the reader can take to make the world better, one deliberate action at a time.

About David Johnston

One of Canada's most respected and beloved governors general, David Johnston is a graduate of Harvard, Cambridge, and Queen's universities. He served as dean of law at Western University, principal of McGill University, and president of the University of Waterloo. He is the author or co-author of 25 books, holds honorary doctorates from over twenty universities, and is a Companion of the Order of Canada (C.C.). Born in Sudbury, Ontario, he grew up in Sault Ste. Marie. He is married to Sharon Johnston and has five daughters and 14 grandchildren.

About David Gray

David Gray is a journalist, photographer, and adventurer. For many years, he was the host of the top-rated morning radio program The Calgary Eyeopener.

Over his career with CBC he has filed stories from around the world. His radio and television documentary work has won national and international awards. His latest project is called GraydioCanada, a traveling podcast that will launch this fall.


• “Former Governor General David Johnston believes in the Simple Act of Kindness” - The Globe and Mail