The All Things Risk Podcast

The All Things Risk podcast explores the themes of risk, uncertainty and resilience as applied to sports, the arts, current affairs and just about any other domain. We feature long-form conversations with interesting guests who have loads of fascinating stories, tips and tools.
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Now displaying: October, 2016
Oct 17, 2016

Imagine that an obstacle (like a wall) that has been in your way is removed.  Would you take that risk you’ve always been meaning to take?  How about when you no longer find joy in what you are doing?   What steps would you take to change it?

Meet Anke Herrmann.  Anke is my guest on Episode 26. She is an entrepreneur and coach and lives in Andalucia Spain where she runs her own studio specialising in making custom flamenco dance costumes.   Anke takes both an inspirational and very practical approach to these types of questions.  And, while we’re on the topic of uncertainty and obstacles, Anke took her first (and biggest) risk in February 1989.  Born and raised in East Germany, she moved across the Iron Curtain to West Germany.  At the time, no one had any idea how long the Eastern Bloc would remain closed to the world.

When the Berlin Wall came down later that year, a world of opportunities opened up for her and she took full advantage.  She lived in Australia and the UK and has worked in areas as diverse as translations to software development.  Throughout her career and life, she seemed to know when and how to make a change. Eventually, she found her way to Granada, Spain where she opened her studio.

We talk about all of this in a fascinating conversation that I am sure you will not only enjoy, but get a number of pearls of wisdom that you can apply in your own life.  We discuss:

  • Growing up in East Germany before the fall of the Iron Curtain;
  • Moving to West Germany
  • Taking risks and balancing certainty with uncertainty;
  • How and why she decided to move to Spain;
  • The beauty of flamenco;
  • Lessons in entrepreneurship
  • Coaching others (Anke helps self-employed creative women “kick the stress out of their business”)
  • Loads more!

Show notes:

Anke’s site:

Anke’s coaching:

Anybody interested in learning how to sew flamenco dance costumes?

Anke on Medium:

Anke on LinkedIn:

Anke on Twitter:

Anke on Facebook: or

Anke on Pinterest:

Anke on Instagram:


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Oct 10, 2016

Where does the rise of anti-elite sentiment, as evidenced by Brexit and Trumpism come from? Why and how have much of the Western world, particularly in the EU, been told what to do by a bunch of technocrats?  Why is government debt not like household debt? And why is austerity (the policy of cutting back public spending) dangerous?

This episode is a “big picture” conversation with a focus on the global economy. Don’t worry - you don’t have to be an economist or a financier to only follow and enjoy it. However, you do have to think critically to get a lot of it. Fortunately, my guest will help you do that.

He is economist, researcher and author Mark Blyth.  Mark teaches political economy at Brown University in Rhode Island, USA. If you were to place a bet on Mark ending up teaching at an Ivy League school, you would have received long odds.  Mark was born and grew up in Dundee, Scotland in relative poverty. As he puts it, “probabilistically speaking, I am as an extreme example of intragenerational social mobility as you can find anywhere.” He is a product of the welfare state.

Mark’s background is part of the story.  Mark’s book Austerity: History of a Dangerous Idea discusses the history of the (empirically wrong) theory that cutting public spending (austerity) can spur economic growth.  You may have seen video clips of Mark talking about austerity and describing The Hamptons as “not a defensible position” in describing the anti-elite sentiment and the results of the Brexit vote in the UK.

Mark is not only knows his subject, he is very engaging and entertaining. He’s the economics and political economy professor you wish you had.

We have a fascinating and fun conversation that covers a lot of very important ground:

  • Mark’s background;
  • The history and practice of austerity;
  • Technocracies;
  • The Euro and Europe’s future;
  • Brexit, globalisation and anti-elite sentiment;
  • His outlook and the risks he sees to the global economy (it's much more positive than you might think);
  • Loads more!

 Show notes:


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Oct 3, 2016


We have long-form conversations in large part because we get to go deep with our guests.  Today, we almost get to do that literally as we go under the surface of the ocean and discuss a fascinating world.  My guest is maritime historian, shipwreck expert and author Taylor Zajonc.  Taylor is an incredibly interesting guy and we have the rare opportunity to talk about topics that are both fascinating and have few people know as much about them as Taylor.

At the age of 19, Taylor was part of an expedition to explore the deepest archeological site on the planet – a trading ship three miles (over four km) under the ocean’s surface in the Bermuda Triangle in the 1800s. 

Having done this, it was clear that Taylor was not going to become an accountant!  Instead, he became a shipwreck researcher and has now studied numerous shipwrecks (from The Titanic to many others).  We talk about all of this in this very interesting conversation that covers:

  • What the ocean floor looks like several thousand meters below the surface;
  • Risk in undersea expeditions;
  • Insights into the commonalities in the causes of shipwrecks;
  • Wilderness survival – Taylor is also a trained wilderness survival expert;
  • The psychology of human beings when everything goes wrong;
  • Becoming an author and his inspiration for writing his first novel The Wrecking Crew.

And loads more!

Taylor is very interesting and a lot fun.  I am sure you will enjoy the conversation!

Show notes:

Taylor’s site:

Taylor on Twitter:

Taylor’s first book The Wrecking Crew:

Taylor’s upcoming sequel Red Sun Rogue:

Taylor’s interview with Outside magazine:

Article in National Geographic referencing Malcolm Gladwell’s “cockpit culture” theory in his book Outliers:


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