Nassim Nicholas Taleb to speak at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival 2020
Taleb is an American statistician whose academic work focuses on issues connected with probability, randomness and uncertainty. The only thing we can be sure of in the future is crisis, he claims, but that turbulence can become our strength.
In his bestselling book "Black Swan: The Impact of the Highly Improbable," Taleb writes:
What I call the Black Swan is an event with the following three characteristics. Firstly, it is unusual because it goes beyond the domain of our usual expectations, as no element of the past clearly indicates its possible occurrence. Secondly, it has a drastic impact on reality. Thirdly, despite the lack of typicality of this event, our nature forces us to seek a justification for its occurrence after the fact in order to make it explainable and predictable.
According to Taleb, societies can't react well to Black Swan events because they focus too much on the past, looking for errors. He writes that "risk management" assumes certain models and certain averages, and that it's wrong to think that tomorrow will be the same as today.
In another of his books, "Antifragile," Taleb argues that when companies and organizations avoid stress, their "muscles" become weaker and weaker, which can accelerate their undoing in a constantly changing environment.
He distinguishes between two types of stress: negative and positive. Positive stress is repetitive but manageable, and it creates new opportunities. The concept of antifragility involves continuous testing, building resilience, and constant change.
Hear Taleb discuss these ideas and more at the Business Insider Global Trends Festival. Get your tickets today.