CBC Podcasts & Radio On-Demand

Spark on CBC Radio One Nora Young helps you navigate your digital life by connecting you to fresh ideas in surprising ways.


Canada, ON


Spark on CBC Radio One Nora Young helps you navigate your digital life by connecting you to fresh ideas in surprising ways.






CBC Radio: Spark P.O. Box 500, Stn. “A” Toronto, Ontario M5W 1E6 416-205-7021


Being Human Now - Work

We keep hearing that AI is going to revolutionize jobs. But what if the language of inevitable automation hides the ongoing need for distinctly human skills?


Confronting bias and privacy for better tech tools

Along with huge advances in data-driven technologies like machine learning and digital health, there are troubling concerns about our data privacy in healthcare, and persistent problems with bias in artificial intelligence. So how do we get the tools we want with the ethics we need?


How 'compassionate ageism' made its way into designing new tech

By some measures, nearly 90% of Canadians 65 and older use the internet every day. And yet, the design of new technologies and platforms often leaves out the needs, desires and interests of seniors. But if older people are using technology, why aren't they factored into its design?


The extraordinary power of terrestrial radio

In honour of World Radio Day, we explore the magic behind one of the most important technological creations in history, the innovations it inspired and its enduring power in an increasingly digitized world.


How to set our imagination free to build the technological futures we want

Imagination is often dismissed as childish, or a frill. But it also lets us picture alternative futures, and technologies that haven't been invented yet. So how do we harness our imagination? And in an age where Big Tech promises to solve our problems for us, how do we use our imaginations to build the futures we want?


Being Human Now - Memory

In a world where our digital tools keep an accurate record of handy facts and events, what is our fragile, fallible human memory good for?


Pushing the limits of athletic performance

The competition in sports equipment is heating up — with everything from high-tech "super shoes" for marathoners to "smart blades" for ice skating. Beyond the hype, how much difference can these innovations make to you and me?


Surprising reasons to be optimistic in 2024

Sure, the tech we use every day is littered with disinformation, bad behaviour and privacy violations…but it's not all bad news! To mark the 600th episode of Spark, we look at the surprising reasons to be optimistic in 2024 — from quantum computing to learning from video games.


Predicting the present

How sci-fi can help us harness the power of imagination and visionary storytelling to inspire real-world innovation and frame our collective visions of the future. An updated episode from June 2023.


Bring a little more balance to your digital life in 2024

Is it possible to control our compulsive—and reflexive—use of our digital tech so we can savour the space for rest, relaxation and restoration? We offer a start of the year check up, exploring tech overuse and how to restore some balance to our busy, digital lives.


Being Human Now - Belonging

The feeling of belonging is a core, human drive. And feeling excluded is painful. But has our desire to belong—and how we try to achieve that—changed in digital culture?


Surprising new uses for DNA tech and the deep questions they raise for our human future

DNA-based technologies are increasingly used for real world, high impact purposes—from tracking biodiversity, to designing crops for climate change, to treating debilitating diseases. How do we democratize the availability while mitigating the risk?


The Fight For Your Right To Repair

Since most things in our life now are electronic and increasingly rely on software, they're not as easy to repair or noodle around with as mechanical devices once were. And sometimes you can't repair them even if you know how, because you're just...not allowed to. So this week, we look at the right to repair movement: fixing yer stuff in a digital age.


Gamifying investment and sports betting

Thanks to fun apps and celebrity endorsements, the gamblification of sport has long been on the rise and continues to grow. And, there's a whole spate of fintech apps that are hot on the trend as well. So what are the advantages and downsides of gamified investment and sports betting?


Intimacy - Being Human Now, part 3

How long do you wait to text after a date? What did that emoji *really* mean? Is it healthy to feel emotionally attached to an AI chatbot or celebrity you follow on social media? Our tech nourishes intimacy, but it can also be a minefield.


Designing tech for everybody

The most vulnerable users can offer designers insight into safety and security loopholes in their tech, which leads to better products for all.


20th century tech still powers our 21st century world

The technology that powers modern life is vulnerable to severe disruption. A look at what it will take to modernize and secure our aging electrical grid, as well as how to combat the growing ransomware industry.


Rage Against the Machine

From knitter revolts to unionizing content moderators, online communities are rebelling against the constraints, labour abuse, and bad behaviour of tech platforms.


Being Human Now 2: Death

Despite the growing digital dimension of our lives, death is still a largely analog experience. A look at the uses and limits of tech at the end of life and in the afterlife.


Supertalls and superhighways

Stacking up the social and ecological impacts of our tallest buildings and expansive road networks, and how roadway innovation, alongside building vertical cities, can combat urban sprawl and protect wildlife.