Category Archives: uncertainty

The public decision-maker in the face of uncertainty: towards the technical democracy?

The development of uncertainty resulting from scientific and technical innovation is a particular challenge for the public decision-maker. The time when he could decide on a major program and impose it on the people is gone forever. As authority cannot be based on knowledge anymore, a new approach is needed that requires the involvement of the stakeholders to the decision.

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How I Learned to Stop Worrying (about Rules and Procedures) and Love Ambiguity and Uncertainty

Uncertainty, defined as the indeterminacy of the future, is almost universally experienced as a major problem among philosophers as well as among businessmen and politicians who wish, in the famous words of Descartes, a philosopher, “render ourselves the lords and possessors of nature.” But it has not always been so. Renaissance humanism in the fifteenth and sixteenth centuries had a very different attitude, embracing the complexity, diversity and chaos of the world with interest. Yet, everything changed in the seventeenth century, when humanism gave way to rationalism. Why? The answer to this question is provided by the work of the philosopher Stephen Toulmin.

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My new Forbes piece: Are You Near Your Altamont Moment? How Catastrophic Surprises Transform Business Identities

My latest article on Forbes is a reflection on the role of catastrophic events in the transformation of people and organizations’ identities, based on the example of the ill-fated Rolling Stones’ Altamont festival in 1969. It is available here.

My new Forbes Piece: 1962, The U2, and You: A Risk Management Lesson from the Cold War

My new Forbes piece shows that by looking at the origins of the Cuban Missile Crisis, one can learn valuable lessons on Risk management. Read it here.