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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: 2018
Dec 29, 2018

Our final episode of 2018 is a look back at how some of the year’s “big picture” risks played out and a look ahead at 2019 in geopolitics, technology, the economy and society. My guest is Daniel Wagner, who I have had the pleasure of having on the show half a dozen times now. We did an episode in the same format at this time last year and it was fun and interesting, so thought we should do it again.

If you don’t know Daniel, he is the founder of Country Risk Solutions and a prolific author and commentator. We get into a variety of things including the USA, China, Saudi Arabia, cybersecurity, technological change, sex robots, and a few things to be positive about as well.

Show notes:

Daniel and Keith Furst’s latest book:  AI Supremacy: Winning in the Era of Machine Learning

www.ai-supremacy.com

Daniel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/countryriskmgmt

Daniel’s company, Country Risk Solutions: http://countryrisksolutions.com/

Ep. 91 with Daniel and Keith Furst, Ep 69,  Ep 57Ep 17 and Ep 10 with Daniel Wagner

Dec 24, 2018

Today, we take a little trip to a place called “Moneyland”. Moneyland is a virtual place – but it is also very real. In fact, it is the third richest “country” in the world.

Moneyland is the title of the Times of London’s Business Book of the Year, written by our guest Oliver Bullough. Oliver is an award-winning investigative journalist. He previously wrote two non-fiction books on Russia’s history and politics.

The book’s full title is Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Rule the World and How to Take it Back. It is where many of the world’s mega rich, particularly kleptocrats in a variety of countries characterised by high levels of corruption, hide and spend their stolen wealth.

As you will hear from Oliver, Moneyland is a lawless, stateless place. It is also one that the West’s own institutions have helped to create, and in the process undermine the foundations of Western stability. We cover that and more in this enthralling conversation, including:

  • What Moneyland is and how it got created;
  • How Moneyland works – how kleptocrats can steal, hid and spend their ill-gotten wealth (and do things like buy passports);
  • Tax havens and how they work;
  • The role of the West in creating Moneyland, and how Moneyland is undermining democracy;
  • What we can do to fight back against Moneyland

Show notes:

Moneyland: Why Thieves and Crooks Rule the World and How to Take it Back

Oliver on Twitter

A Kleptocracy Tour of London with Oliver

Kleptocracy Tours

Viktor Yanukovych

Francis Fukuyama

Walid al-Juffali

The Eurobond

Gabriel Zucman’s The Hidden Wealth of Nations

Civil Society Groups:

            Global Witness

            Transparency International

            Corruption Watch

            FACT Coalition

            The Hudson Institute’s Kleptocracy Initiative

            Sherpa

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Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Dec 10, 2018

I try to find words and concepts that encapsulate my guests, what they are about, and what we cover in each episode. In thinking about this one, the word that kept coming back to me was “mindset”. My guest is ultra endurance athlete Chris Solarz. Chris has set nine world records, including the total combined time for marathons on all seven continents, number of stairs climbed in 12 days, fastest time to visit all 468 stations in the New York City subway system, and more. He has completed hundreds of marathons, the Ultraman triathlon, the Epic 5 challenge, and recently raced the Deca Man, 10 Ironman distance triathlons in 10 days.

So, who is this guy? Is he some type of professional ultra endurance athlete? Actually, no. Chris is married, a father of three and a Managing Director at a hedge fund. This is where the concept of mindset comes in. Chris has an incredible way of prioritising and integrating family, his passion for endurance sport, and his career. Of course, this isn’t easy, as you will hear. However, there is a lot we can take away from the mindset that Chris has developed and apply it to any aspect of life.

We get into that. Chris talks about his background, how he got into running and ultra endurance events, some of the world records he has set and more. However, this isn’t a conversation about endurance training. It is about motivation, family, overcoming obstacles, managing time, prioritising, decision-making, and much more.

I feel very privileged to bring this one to you. Chris is very authentic and insightful. I think you’ll love it.

Show notes:

Chris on LinkedIn;

Interview with Chris in The Week;

Chris’ 12 hour treadmill world record;

Chris’ stair climbing world record;

Chris at the Epic 5;

Arthur Lydiard;

“It’s Okay to be Good and Not Great” by Brad Stulberg

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Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Nov 18, 2018

This one is a conversation about personal risk-taking, “skin in the game”, democracy, values, geopolitics and much more. It is a conversation that resonates based on what is happening across much of the world – particularly the rise of populism and authoritarians like Philippine President Rodrigo Duterte, Brazil’s Jair Bolsonaro, and the entrenchment of old hands like Vladimir Putin and Turkey’s Recep Erdogan, to name a few. However, it is also a conversation about personal and collective values and taking risks based on these. It, therefore, offers many lessons across a variety of contexts.

My guest is Philippine Congressman and opposition member Gary Alejano. Before becoming a Congressman, Gary was a soldier in the Philippine Marine Corps and risked his life in various combat operations. He was awarded the Medal of Valour for his service to his country.

In 2003, he was one of a group of young officers who led a mutiny to protest corruption in his country’s armed forces. Yes – I said this one is about risk-taking. This was known as the “Oakwood Mutiny” (named after the luxury Manila hotel Alejano and his colleagues occupied). It was an incident that received worldwide attention.

We talk about that. We also talk about his becoming a Congressman and getting into politics – including the negative perception people in the Philippines have about their politicians (which of course, is a phenomenon many people have about their politicians across most countries in the world, particularly now!). We also discuss:

  • Opposing his President’s bloody and ineffective “war on drugs”, which by some estimates has led to the deaths of over 20,000 people;
  • What is happening inside the Philippines;
  • Fake news, democracy and authoritarianism;
  • China and geopolitics in the region;
  • Running for a Senate seat next year;
  • Taking acute personal risks in public life;
  • Much more!

I came away from this thinking that Congressman Gary Alejano is one of the world’s good guys. I hope you enjoy this fascinating conversation.

Show notes:

Gary Alejano’s page

                On Facebook

                On Twitter

                On YouTube

The Philippines “War on Drugs”

Rappler

Antonio Trillanes

The Oakwood Mutiny

Philippine v China South China Sea Arbitration case

"debt-trap diplomacy"

Failure of the UN’s 10 year War on Drugs

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US listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

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Like what you heard?

Subscribe and/or leave a rating and review on iTunes: http://apple.co/1PjLmK

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Subscribe on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ben-cattaneo

Follow the podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiskThings

Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Nov 10, 2018

It’s great to be back with another episode! This one is about quite a few things, but if I had to define it with one word, it would be fear, and what happens when we take on our fears in the face of uncertainty. My guest is Deepak Shukla. Deepak is many things – CEO of Pearl Lemon SEO, an award-winning Search Engine Optimisation company, an ultra endurance athlete, a rapper, and many other things.

If there is anything that underpins what Deepak is about, it is a willingness to face his fears and to do difficult things – and the power in doing that. Deepak grew up in London, is the son of immigrant parents and as you will hear, followed a non-linear and unconventional path. It is one that has led him to some interesting places in his career and life. This has included the TEDx stage, kick-boxing in Brazil, ultramarathons, Ironman triathlons, a stint as a tax consultant, his rap career, and loads more.

 We get into all of that and along the way cover some valuable ground about facing uncertainty, managing your career, having an experimental mindset, dealing with mental health challenges (which we as men need to speak more openly about), entrepreneurism, and more,

Show notes:

Deepak’s website;

Pearl Lemon SEO;

Deepak’s rap channel;

DJ Luck and MC Neat - A Little Bit of Luck;

Books mentioned:

            The Four Hour Work Week;

            Rich Dad, Poor Dad;

The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari;

The Alchemist;

The Secret;

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Join our Decision-making course and get a discount using the code “ALLTHINGSRISK”

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Get your free audio book and 30 day free trial at Audible:

US listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

UK listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _

Like what you heard?

Subscribe and/or leave a rating and review on iTunes: http://apple.co/1PjLmK

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Subscribe on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ben-cattaneo

Follow the podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiskThings

Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Oct 21, 2018

This one is all about travel. Without question, travel is awesome. We can and should explore this amazing world and all that it has to offer. However, we need to travel safely and intelligently. And, for certain types of travel, we need to build some foundations so we can push the envelope.

That’s what we get into today with Lloyd Figgins. Lloyd is a travel risk expert, adventurer, author and speaker. He is a fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a respected authority on travel risk and crisis management. He makes regular appearances on the BBC, ITV and Sky News.

He has also led many expeditions to some of the most interesting yet hostile parts of the world, including the jungles of Colombia during that country’s civil war, helped evacuate clients during a coup in Madagascar, and as you will hear, face a direct threat to his own life in Syria a few years ago. Lloyd is also an adventurer, having rowed across the Atlantic Ocean in a plywood boat!

This episode however focuses on Lloyd’s recent book The Travel Survival Guide: Get Smart, Stay Safe. This is a great handbook, which draws on Lloyd’s direct experiences, for anyone planning an overseas trip. It is loaded with practical advice on everything from aircraft safety, accommodation, medical emergencies, natural disasters, crime and much more.

We get into all of that and as you will hear, Lloyd believes in taking the measures he recommends not to detract from travel experiences, but to push the boundaries and enhance them. If you need any confirmation of that, the foreword to the book was written by Sir Ranulph Fiennes, the world’s greatest living explorer.

This was a very interesting conversation that I am sure you will enjoy.

Show notes:

Lloyd’s website;

Lloyd on Twitter;

The Travel Survival Guide: Get Smart, Stay Safe;

Lloyd’s company LFL Risk Mitigation;

Sir Ranulph Fiennes;

The Royal Geographical Society;

How burglars use social media to commit crimes;

The TRIP Group;

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Follow the podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiskThings

Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Oct 19, 2018

Some thoughts on what it means, and how, to make decisions “like a human being”.

Show notes:

Bruce Lee’s 1971 interview with Pierre Berton;

Ruth Chang’s TED talk on how to make hard choices;

The microbiome its links to neurobehaviours;

Cardiovascular exercise and the brain;

The benefits of meditation;

Headspace App;

Calm App;

Our podcast episode with Adam Connors on networking;

Our podcast episode with Tom Hardin, AKA “Tipper X”

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Get your free audio book and 30 day free trial at Audible:

US listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

UK listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _

Like what you heard?

Subscribe and/or leave a rating and review on iTunes: http://apple.co/1PjLmK

Subscribe on Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/all-things-risk/the-all-things-risk-podcast

Subscribe on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ben-cattaneo

Follow the podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiskThings

Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Oct 2, 2018

This conversation is absolutely fascinating. In fact, it blew me away. My guest for this episode is science, nature, and travel writer David Quammen. David’s books have included The Song of the Dodo, The Reluctant Mr. Darwin which chronicles’ Charles Darwin’s reluctance to publish his On the Origin of Species, Spillover which later informed shorter books Ebola and The Chimp and the River: How AIDS emerged from the African Forest. David has also written hundreds of articles for the likes of National Geographic, The New York Times, Rolling Stone, and The Atlantic, amongst others.

The bulk of this episode however relates to David’s latest book The Tangled Tree: A Radical New History of Life, which explores the dramatic revisions in our understanding of life’s history on this planet caused by recent discoveries of genome sequencing and the story of a scientist called Carl Woese. You will also hear about the concept of ‘horizontal gene transfer’ amongst others which revolutionises our understanding of the human genome, how we think about all species of life on earth and other profound and radical implications.

David has a wonderful knack in his writing and speaking for making science understandable and pleasurable to absorb. We get into all of that and much more including:

  • David’s background in writing and how he got into writing about science and nature;
  • Pandemics and what we know and don’t know about them, drawing heavily on David’s recent writing on the Ebola outbreak in West and Central Africa;
  • The various themes of The Tangled Tree;
  • The role of personalities in science – to quote David “science itself, however precise and objective is a human activity”;
  • The risks and implications of some of the findings described in The Tangled Tree;
  • Much, much more

Show notes:

David’s website;

David on Twitter;

The Tangled Tree: A Radical History of Life on Earth;

Review of the Tangled Tree in the New York Times

Spillover;

Ebola;

The Chimp and the River: How AIDS Emerged From the African Forest;

The Reluctant Mr. Darwin;

Horizontal gene transfer;

Carl Woese;

Barbara McClintock;

CRISPR

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Get your free audio book and 30 day free trial at Audible:

US listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

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Have you made a big decision lately? We’d love to hear how you did it – take this short anonymous survey.

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Like what you heard?

Subscribe and/or leave a rating and review on iTunes: http://apple.co/1PjLmK

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Subscribe on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ben-cattaneo

Follow the podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiskThings

Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

 

Sep 11, 2018

Browse through anything about Artificial Intelligence and machine learning and chances are, you will run into two types of articles: First, you will find all the thought pieces by the likes of the Big 4 accountancy firms, major consultancies, the World Economic Forum and others that discuss all the opportunities that AI provides. Second, you will find very technical articles for the “techies” that focus on the ins and outs of these technologies. What you will struggle to find are pieces and conversations about the key risks and related implications these technologies create with a broader audience in mind. Until now. Today, we talk AI Supremacy.

If you are a long-time listener to the show, then the names Daniel Wagner and Keith Furst should be familiar to you. Both have appeared on the podcast previously (and in Daniel’s case, he has appeared a record four times on the show) and join me again today. The two have recently teamed up to write AI Supremacy: Winning in the Era of Machine Learning. This is a book that makes AI accessible to a broad audience and opens up a conversation that we desperately need to have. I am delighted to bring this one to you.

The book is loaded with fascinating insights and we get into many of these in this episode including:

  • What AI, machine learning and neural networks are;
  • The opportunities AI brings to a range of industries including financial services, manufacturing, healthcare and law;
  • AI in policing and “predictive policing”
  • The risks associated with AI and governance, ethics and privacy;
  • AI and sex and relationships – the world in which we live is going to get weirder in this regard!;
  • International relations and AI – the “race” for AI supremacy;
  • What China is doing in this space and why is leading;
  • What most other countries are not doing and what this means;
  • Governance of AI and what we should be doing to manage its risks;
  • Much more!

Show notes:

The book AI Supremacy: Winning in the Era of Machine Learning

www.ai-supremacy.com

Keith’s firm, Data Derivatives

Keith on LinkedIn

Keith on Twitter 

Daniel on Twitter: https://twitter.com/countryriskmgmt

Daniel’s company, Country Risk Solutions: http://countryrisksolutions.com/

Ep 83 with Keith Furst

Ep 69,  Ep 57, Ep 17 and Ep 10 with Daniel Wagner

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US listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

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_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _

Like what you heard?

Subscribe and/or leave a rating and review on iTunes: http://apple.co/1PjLmK

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Subscribe on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ben-cattaneo

Follow the podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiskThings

Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Sep 3, 2018

As a podcast host, you are not supposed to have favourite episodes – but you still do. This is one of those. I have the pleasure today of bringing you my conversation with Annie Duke. Annie is a decision scientist and former professional poker player. In fact, for two decades, she was one of the best in the world. In 2004, she beat a field of 234 players to win her first World Series of Poker (WSOP) gold bracelet. In 2010, she won the prestigious NBC national Heads Up Poker Championship.

However, this is not an episode about poker – well it isn’t and it is. As you will hear, poker is a game that mimics life. That is because it is all about making decisions under conditions of uncertainty. Therefore, this is a conversation about making decisions. In fact, Annie has a background in cognitive psychology and received a prestigious National Science Foundation fellowship prior to her poker career. She currently is working on many projects in the realm of decision science including with the likes of Phillip Tetlock, a giant in this field.

Earlier this year, Annie’s book was published – Thinking in Bets: Making Smarter Decisions When You Don’t Have All the Facts. It is an excellent book which I highly recommend. We get into a number of the concepts Annie discusses in her book and much, much more including:

  • Annie’s origin story as a poker player and decision scientist;
  • The concept of “resulting” and how we apply this to lives – very useful stuff!
  • “Decision quality” – and why this is so important. Annie discusses an example that comes from American football: the Seattle Seahawks’ coach Pete Carroll’s decision to throw a pass late during Super Bowl 49 which ultimately cost them the game. Contrary to popular opinion, this was a high quality decision that turned out badly – Annie explains why and why we do this type of thing in other domains.
  • Ways in which we can make better decisions;
  • The importance of thinking in probabilities;
  • Why “thinking in bets” is so powerful;
  • Much more! 

Show Notes: 

Annie’s website

Thinking in Bets – Making Smarter Choices When You Don’t Have All the Facts

Annie on Twitter

www.howIdecide.org

Poker players Howard Lederer, Dan Harrington, Erik Seidel

Chris Moneymaker

UBS’ 2018 World Cup prediction model

Hindsight bias

Malcolm Gladwell on “pulling the goalie”

Phillip Tetlock

Charlie Munger

Decision trees

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf by John Coates

 _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ _

Get your free audio book and 30 day free trial at Audible:

US listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

UK listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

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Like what you heard?

Subscribe and/or leave a rating and review on iTunes: http://apple.co/1PjLmK

Subscribe on Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/all-things-risk/the-all-things-risk-podcast

Subscribe on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ben-cattaneo

Follow the podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiskThings

Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Aug 19, 2018

Today, we talk fraud. If we think about some of the most prominent frauds in recent history – from the Bernie Madoff scandal, the LIBOR case or the collapse of Enron, they all seem to have a number of complexities to them. However, as you will hear, all fraud follows a simple logic. That logic is based on trust.

 My guest is Dan Davies. Dan is a former regulatory economist with the Bank of England. He has worked at a variety of investment banks and always had a fascination with the many larger-than-life financial scandals in we have all hear about. Scandals like the collapse of Barings Bank caused by rogue trader Nick Leeson (and the subject of the film “Rogue Trader” featuring Ewan McGregor), the Swiss Nazi gold case, and many more.

Such is Dan’s fascination with fraud that he recently wrote a fascinating book on the topic entitled Lying for Money: How Legendary Frauds Reveal the Workings of Our World. This is a very readable book that gives you almost everything you need to know about fraud. Nassim Taleb, of Black Swan fame says that “if you want to learn to fend fraud, read this. And if you want to commit fraud…don’t. But if you absolutely must, read this first.”

We get into the various topics covered in the book including:

  • The concept of the “optimum level of fraud” in and economy – this sounds counter-intuitive but because both fraud and economic growth depend on trust, there will always be a level of fraud in an advanced economy;
  • The types and characteristics of fraud;
  • The mechanics of different types of fraud, including lots of examples;
  • Rogue traders;
  • Why frauds have a “snowball effect”;
  • The role of primal, human emotions in fraud
  • Much more

Show notes:

Lying for Money at Amazon’s UK site

Dan on Twitter

Frontline Analysts

Mentioned during the episode:

The Barings Bank collapse

The Nazi gold case

The Savings and Loan scandal

Silk road

The Speed of Trust by Stephen Covey

The Smartest Guys in the Room – The Amazing Rise and the Scandalous Fall of Enron by Bethany McLean and Peter Elkind

The Hour Between Dog and Wolf by John Coates

The 1980s Medicare fraud

The UK Payment Protection Insurance (PPI) Scandal

“ Enron’s Open Secrets” by Malcolm Gladwell

Fred Goodwin

The Kray Twins

Triumph of the Optimists by Elroy Dimson, Paul Marsh and Mike Staunton

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Get your free audio book and 30 day free trial at Audible:

US listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

UK listeners: get your free trial and audio book at Audible

_ _ _ _ _ _ _ _ __ _ _ _ _ _ _

Like what you heard?

Subscribe and/or leave a rating and review on iTunes: http://apple.co/1PjLmK

Subscribe on Stitcher: http://www.stitcher.com/podcast/all-things-risk/the-all-things-risk-podcast

Subscribe on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ben-cattaneo

Follow the podcast on Twitter: https://twitter.com/RiskThings

Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Aug 7, 2018

Today, it’s all about creativity, design, marketing and careers. That, and authenticity, a now over-used word. In the past, we’ve talked about “inauthentic authenticity” – the appearance of authenticity to create some type of one-sided sales or marketing benefit. This is a practice that one sees regularly online which can create risks and unintended consequences – for all sides in the equation. We need more people who speak their minds and are genuine.

My guest today is exactly that. Meet Michael MidKnight. Michael is a Design and Marketing Consultant with his brand Mik Tek Studios, Career Advocate with his series Recruitamentary and a fellow podcast host. We cover the art of marketing, value of genuine authenticity and enjoy the rich depths and importance of storytelling for an experience - Lion King references included!

If Marketing, Sales, Design, Creative Thinking or a wide range of humorous takes on his industry experience as a whole, this would be the episode for you worth listening to. And even if it isn’t there are loads of great insights applicable to many other aspects of our lives.

Show notes:

Mik Tek Studios: www.miktek.tv

LinkedIn: www.linkedin.com/in/michaelmidknight  

YouTube: www.youtube.com/miktekstudios

Mik Tek Studios on Facebook: www.facebook.com/miktekstudios

Instagram: www.instagram.com/miktekstudios

Twitter: www.twitter.com/miktekstudios

Mik Tek Studios Podcast is on iTunes, SoundCloud and Google Play, search for ‘miktekstudios’)

Recruitamentary:

website: www.recruitamentary.com

YouTube: www.youtube.com/recruitamentary  

Facebook: www.facebook.com/recruitamentary  

Twitter: www.twitter.com/recruitamentary  

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UK listeners: get yours here

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Like what you heard?

Subscribe and/or leave a rating and review on iTunes: http://apple.co/1PjLmK

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Subscribe on Soundcloud: https://soundcloud.com/ben-cattaneo

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Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Jul 24, 2018

Today, it’s all about communication. That, and mountaineering – because these two things are so intertwined. Well, they will seem to be once you listen to my conversation with our guest Chuck Garcia. Chuck is an executive coach, professor at the Graduate School of Engineering at Columbia University, and a speaker. He worked for many years at Bloomberg – and started before it became the giant financial news and media company that it is today. He has worked very closely with its founder Michael Bloomberg.

Chuck is also an avid mountaineer and this conversation is primarily one around the parallels between mountain climbing and effective communication – and there are more than you realise. There are so many in fact, that Chuck has written a wonderful, best-selling book on the topic called A Climb to the Top: Communication and Leadership Tactics to Take Your Career to New Heights.

We get into that and much more including:

  • How Chuck started his career and the early days at Bloomberg;
  • Mountaineering and his expeditions;
  • What makes a great leader;
  • Some very difficult conversations he had following the 9/11 attacks which tragically claimed the lives of three of Chuck’s colleagues;
  • Climbing expeditions to honour fallen colleagues
  • The perils of knee-jerk reactions – both in climbing and communicating;
  • Agility versus planning;
  • Much more!

Show notes:

Chuck’s website;

Chuck’s book: A Climb to the Top: Communication and Leadership Tactics to Take Your Career to New Heights;

Chuck on LinkedIn

Climb Leadership International

Michael Bloomberg

Mount Rainier

Mount Elbrus

The Seven Summits

Into Thin Air by Jon Krakauer

The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People by Stephen Covey

Peter Drucker

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Jul 21, 2018

We start this episode with an important announcement – that this is an episode brought to you by Audible. Listeners in the UK and US can get a free 30 day trial to Audible and a free audio book:

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As we are talking about books, I thought I’d share with you some recommended books that I have read and am currently reading, and some that I am about to read:

Red Card: FIFA and the Fall of the Most Powerful Men in Sports by Ken Bensinger

Lying for Money: How Legendary Frauds Reveal the Workings of Our World by Dan Davies

Signals: How Everyday Signals Can Help Us Navigate the World’s Turbulent Economy by Pippa Malmgren 

An Astronaut’s Guide to Life on Earth by Chris Hadfield 

The Sports Gene: Inside the Science of Extraordinary Athletic Performance by David Epstein

Enlightenment Now: The Case for Reason, Science, Humanism and Progress by Steven Pinker 

How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan 

Endure: Mind, Body and the Curious Elastic Limits of Human Performance by Alex Hutchinson 

Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb

The Cyclist Who Went Out in the Cold by Tim Moore

How to Not Die by Dr. Michael Greger and Gene Stone

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Jul 1, 2018

We have released this episode right in the middle of the 2018 World Cup in Russia. You might love football (and you may call it “soccer”). You might revel in Lionel Messi’s unbelievable skills or Cristiano Ronaldo’s athleticism (even though both are now gone from the tournament). Perhaps you play the game. Perhaps your children do. Maybe you support your local club side, one of the big European teams, or both. Your national team’s performance might have a lot of meaning for you.

Conversely, you might not care about the game at all. You might be appalled by the amount of money in it, or the fact that people spend far too much time obsessing over it. You might be all of the above. 

Regardless, what is often called “the people’s game,” or “the beautiful game,” has a very dark side. It is a side that you should know about because it affects our world. That side is corruption, which we talk about in this episode.


My guest is Ken Bensinger. Ken is an award-winning investigative journalist. He has worked at the Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times and now at BuzzFeed News. He was a Pullizer Prize finalist. He has recently written Red Card: FIFA and the Fall of the Most Powerful Men in Sports.

Red Card is an enthralling account if the FBI’s investigation into FIFA, football’s global governing body, arguably the most powerful institution in all of sports. The book shows the greed, arrogance and self-interest of those who ran the sport for decades, and how a determined investigation brought this small cabal to justice. It is also a book that asks questions about the role of big money and politics in sport, including geopolitics.

We get into that and more, including:

  • How the book came about;
  • How FIFA’s structure facilitates corruption, including why that structure has similarities with organised crime syndicates;
  • How the money flowed and how the corruption worked – and very plausibly, how it still might be working today;
  • How the USA got involved in investigating FIFA;
  • Whether or not FIFA is cleaner now;
  • Things Ken is watching out for in Russia 2018;
  • Parallels to the Russia/Trump investigation;
  • Similarities to Russia’s athletics doping scandal;
  • Risks to the sport;
  • Whether or not it is “ok” to watch the World Cup;
  • Plans for a movie;
  • Much more!

Show notes: 

Ken on Twitter

Red Card: FIFA and the Fall of The Most Powerful Men in Sports – UK edition, US edition here

The 2015 FIFA corruption case

The 2018 and 2022 World Cup bids

Christopher Steele and the Trump Dossier

Sepp Blatter

Chuck Blazer

Jack Warner

Jeffrey Webb

Gianni Infantino

Brazil’s Odebrecht corruption scandal

The Foreign Corrupt Practices Act

The Icarus Documentary about Russia’s systemic doping in sport

The Russian athletics doping scandal

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Jun 19, 2018

We often think of outcomes as binary – either they happen, or they don’t. Think about something you want to happen – this could be a career, relationship or personal goal. Now imagine that at some point in the future, you will learn about the outcome of that objective. You get to that future point, and the outcome is a “no”.

Now imagine that you can do something about that – but that this requires you to run a type of weird marathon. At every kilometre marker, you once again get to learn about the outcome to the goal you have been pursuing. In all likelihood, that outcome will once again be a “no”. However, you also know that if you keep running, at some point you will get to a “yes”. You just don’t know when. What is the strategy you take to maximise the number of kilometre markers you reach? How do you get through all of those “nos”?

This is in many ways, the story of this episode’s guest, actor Matthew Del Negro. If you were to read through the list of Matthew’s television credits, it reads like a list of some of the most acclaimed and popular shows in American, and world, TV history:

  • The Sopranos,
  • Law and Order;
  • The West Wing;
  • CSI: Miami:
  • Criminal Minds;
  • And most recently the Amazon Prime series Goliath

You might think that Matthew’s success was either pre-ordained or that it was the result of a massive lucky break. As you will hear however, that is not how it went down. Matthew had to go through many “nos” (perhaps 10,000 of them as goes the title of his own wonderful podcast), to get to the point where he could call himself “an actor”.

This is a conversation about perseverance and resilience. It’s not only about the necessity of having a passion and self-belief, but it is also about practical strategies and tactics necessary to achieve great things in the face of long odds.

Show notes:

Matthew’s website

Matthew’s 10,000 Nos podcast

Matthew on Twitter

Goliath

Frank Vincent

The Big Leap by Gay Hendricks

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Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

Jun 5, 2018

This is a wonderful conversation under the banner of “resilience”. My guest is Stephanie Harris. Stephanie is an author and a self growth and progress coach. She is a South African based in New Zealand and specialises in supporting those experiencing grief – that could be grief caused by the death of a loved one, friend or pet – but it also could be caused by a major setback.

Stephanie book Death Expands Us is based on her personal experience dealing with the sudden loss of her brother. She wrote the book she wished she had when she was going through that loss. Losses and setbacks will happen at various points in our lives and yet, we are often not taught the valuable life skills associated with dealing with them. This is where Stephanie’s work comes in.

As you will also hear from Stephanie, a loss could come from not only a death, but also the end of a relationship, the loss of a job, or many other things. We talk about all of that, as well as the way in which our minds and bodies interact under these circumstances in a very honest and valuable conversation. 

Show notes:

Stephanie’s website

Stephanie’s book Death Expands Us

Stephanie on Twitthttps://stephanieharriscoaching.com/er

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May 21, 2018

In our previous episode with Justin Recla on cryptocurrencies, we mentioned that we were going to broaden out the conversation on finance, the global economy, technology and how all of that is changing us. This is exactly what we do in this episode – and then some.

My guest is Keith Furst. Keith runs a firm called Data Derivatives, which focuses on implementing financial crime systems. He is an expert in anti-money laundering, fraud and financial abuse. However, Keith also has a background in philosophy and brings a wide-ranging and insightful perspective on the world in which we live. If you are interested in understanding the changes we are going through in finance, our economy, and in technology, I think we will enjoy and get a lot out of this episode.

We cover all of the above and more including:

  • If the global financial system is safer now than in 2008;
  • Where the next risks to the global economy may come;
  • The benefits and limitations of cryptocurrencies;
  • How the crypto world may evolve;
  • The perils associated with technology and social media;
  • Income and happiness
  • Much more!

Show notes:

Keith’s firm, Data Derivatives

Keith on LinkedIn

Keith on Twitter – he is admittedly less active here!

The EU General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR)

The US opioid epidemic

Mark Blyth – “the Hamptons are not a defensible position”

The Steiner Education Approach

“Deaths of Despair”

Income and Happiness

“Digital Amnesia”

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May 15, 2018

Sometimes, certain iconic film scenes serve as appropriate metaphors for phenomena in real life. In this episode, we talk about the world of cryptocurrencies. In searching for the appropriate comparative movie scene, I first considered the Matrix’s red pill / blue pill scene. Depending on what you think about cryptocurrencies, you might have varying viewpoints on whether they represent the red pill – emancipation from an artificial reality or the blue pill – a blissful, yet false fantasyland.

However, in speaking to Justin Recla, my guest in this episode, it actually dawned on me that the world of cryptocurrencies most closely resembles the cantina scene from Star Wars. You might find the best fighter pilot in the galaxy, but you are more than likely to run into many of the unsavoury characters crawling around the place. This is where Justin’s work comes in.

Justin is a former counter-intelligence officer with the US Army. Following a career in the military he and his wife Tonya (also my guest in episode 62), brought those skills to the business world. As of late, Justin has focused on cryptocurrencies. Through something called Crypto Bit Verified, a service of his firm Clear Business Directory, Justin conducts due diligence and vetting on cryptocurrency opportunities.

Whatever your views on cryptocurrencies are – if you think they are the future of finance, fairy dust, or just don’t know – one thing is clear: the media attention they have attracted has brought with it all manner of scams, ineptitude and other risks that many crypto investors either don’t see or don’t want to see. Justin’s work helps people distinguish between those opportunities that have a fighting chance, from those that have none at all.

We get into all of that in this episode. Justin shares his background, talks counterintelligence and how those skills are applied to crypto due diligence and vetting, the world of cryptocurrencies, the types of frauds and scams out there, how investors can protect themselves, and much more.

Show notes: 

Clear Business Directory

CryptoBit Verified

Justin on LinkedIn

Cryptocurrency due diligence Facebook group

Satoshi Nakamoto

The Security and Exchange Commission’s alert “Ponzi Schemes Using Virtual Currencies”

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Apr 29, 2018

This conversation will completely change the way you think about networking. Yes, we all know networking is important. But it isn’t about how many LinkedIn connections you have or about attending so-called “networking events”. True networking is about developing authentic connections with others and starting these from the vantage point of giving, not taking. It’s also an art that is increasingly being lost.

Fortunately, Adam Connors is bringing it back. Adam is a master networker and the founder of a firm called Networkwise.  Adam has a diverse background having worked in finance, recruitment and as an entrepreneur. The thing that has connected his endeavours is his ability to connect with people in a deep, meaningful way.

Adam joins me in this episode to talk networking and the power of a strong network. From a risk and uncertainty perspective, a strong network provides one with the ability to pivot quickly in the event of an unexpected setback, as well as the ability to take advantage of opportunities we didn’t even know were out there. What’s even better is that great networkers aren’t born, they’re made.

 Adam discusses this and more, including:

  • Adam’s background;
  • The importance of one’s reputation and credibility;
  • Career paths;
  • Working with athletes and entertainers;
  • The premise and power of networking;
  • Networking for “introverts”;
  • Networking, risk and uncertainty;
  • The power of giving;
  • Adam’s attitudes to risk and uncertainty;
  • Much more!

Show notes: 

Adam’s site – Networkwise: www.networkwise.com

Adam’s podcast - Conversations with Connors

Adam on LinkedIn

ESPN’s 30 for 30 – “Broke”

Jim Rohn

Dunbar’s Number

Give and Take: An Evolutionary Approach to Success by Adam Grant

The UK’s Minister for Loneliness

Ep. 38 of All Things Risk with Tom Hardin

Lou Holtz

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Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com

 

Apr 20, 2018

This episode is a conversation about the media and advertising in our digital age as much as it is about entrepreneurism, risk-taking and decision-making. My guest is Howard Bareham. Howard is a long-time media, advertising and sales expert who has worked for and with some of the biggest names in the business – for instance Saatchi and Saatchi and WPP.


Howard has had an extraordinary career starting from the ground floor of the industry and working his way up. Recently however, Howard made a bold move and decided to start his own firm, Bareham Media. Shunning the perception that “Howard doesn’t do that”, he has moved ahead and discusses his decision to do so, how he has planned for this and provides a number of other insights that will help anyone making a major decision and taking some new risks. We talk about:

  • Howard’s background in advertising and media, including an infamous “packet of Pole mints” incident;
  • How advertising and the media have changed – and how they haven’t (BTW – this episode was recorded before the Facebook and Cambridge Analytica scandal);
  • His entrepreneurial journey;
  • Networking and prospecting;
  • Enlisting the support of family and friends;
  • Negotiation and deal-making
  • Loads more!

Howard is very engaging and I am sure you are going to get a lot from his experience and insights.

Show notes:

Bareham Media

Howard on LinkedIn

Paul Weller

Saatchi and Saatchi

Wireless Group

WPP

The Peter Principle

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Find all episodes here: www.allthingsrisk.co.uk

 

Apr 1, 2018

Dictatorships and “strong man” leadership is on the rise across the globe. In addition, and particularly in the West, entrenched special interests are very prominent. Indeed, it appears that democracy is in retreat.

How can dictators, with their stranglehold on power through military force, control of media and financial clout be toppled? How can entrenched special interests be overcome? In fact, how can any kind of civic change happen – be that improvements with your local rubbish collection, or overcoming grand corruption? Meet Srdja Popovic.

Srdja is a political activist from Serbia and one of the founders of the Otpor! (“resistance”) movement in the country in the 1990s. Otpor helped topple then dictator Slobodan Milosevic in 2000 through its strategies of non-violent resistance.

In fact, if you were to try and predict what might bring down the Milosevic regime in the mid 1990s (he held the de facto power in the country before he officially become president in 1997), you certainly would not have bet on the official opposition which was divided and ineffective. You might have bet on the 1999 NATO bombings facilitating this. However, it was a grassroots movement that started small and employed non-violent resistance and in particular, a lot of humour which served as a crucial factor in toppling the Milosevic dictatorship.

We talk about all of that but this is a wider discussion. Srdja himself was arrested and beaten and too a lot of risk. However, he and his compatriots had created an unstoppable force. There are many lessons in all of that – including how to disperse the risks associated with resistance to dictatorships.

Now, Srdja co-runs the Centre for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS) which advocates non-violent resistance to promote human rights and democracy. Srdja speaks all over the world and runs workshops. He is the author of Blueprint for Revolution: How to Use Rice Pudding, Lego Men and other non-Violent Techniques to Galvanize Communities, Overthrow Dictators, and Simply Change the World.

We discuss: 

  • Non-violent resistance, including some tactics and strategies;
  • Democracy in our current global condition;
  • Spreading risk in opposition movements;
  • Laughtivism versus political satire;
  • Fake news
  • Much more!

Show notes:

Centre for Applied Non-Violent Action and Strategies (CANVAS)

Check out CANVAS’ extensive list of “must reads”

Blueprint for Revolution

Srdja’s TED talk

Interview with Srdja in The Guardian

Otpor!

Gene Sharp

From Dictatorship to Democracy by Gene Sharp

Gene Sharp’s 198 methods of non-violent resistance

Freedom House’s Democracy Index

Slobodan Milosevic

The Russia Toy Protest

Why Civil Resistance Works: The Strategic Logic of Nonviolent Conflict by Erica Chenoweth and Maria Stephan

Nothing is True and Everything is Possible: The Surreal Heart of the New Russia by Peter Pomerantsev

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Mar 26, 2018

Adventure is about much more than excitement and novelty. It is also about facing challenges and solving problems. It is about venturing into the unknown. It is about moving forward following setbacks. It is about making decisions, and dealing with risk. And yes, adventure can be about wonderful, curious, and frustrating things in far-off lands. This episode is about all of those things and more.

My guest is adventurer, teacher, writer and political risk consultant Oscar Scafidi. In 2016, he and Alfy Weston kayaked the full length of the Kwanza River, the longest river in Angola – from the source all the way to the Atlantic Ocean. They did this for and with the Halo Trust, a charity that removes land mines around the world. The remoteness of the journey, natural and human hazards, the country’s civil war legacy and associated land mine problem meant that this was no ordinary journey – it was fraught with risks.

Along the way, Oscar and Alfy were chased by hippos, sank their kayak, dealt freezing temperatures (yes, you read that correctly) and even got arresting at gunpoint. We get into all of that as well as:

  • Angola’s post-colonial history of civil war and the tragedy of land mines in the country;
  • Where Alfy and Oscar got the idea to do this journey;
  • Preparations, including the risks they faced;
  • The journey itself;
  • Lessons Oscar took away;
  • Much more!

Show notes:

www.Kayakthekwanza.com

Kayak the Kwanza, the book

Kayak the Kwanza on Facebook

Kayak the Kwanza on Twitter

The Halo Trust

Kayak the Kwanza Documentary on YouTube

Another Day of Life by Ryszard Kapuśiński

Science weighs in on “bad vibes”

Episode 5 with Tarran Kent-Hume – Kayaking the Amazon – did you know that Angola and Brazil were once part of the same land mass?

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Mar 18, 2018

Have you ever scrolled through the comments section of an article or a Twitter thread and wondered – “where do these ‘trolls’ come from?” If you’ve ever wondered that causes these often hateful, toxic and often mis-informed opinions, you are not alone. My guest this week wondered the same thing. In fact, he made a book and documentary film about this phenomenon.

Meet Kyrre Lien, a 27-year old Norwegian journalist and documentarist. Last year, Forbes magazine named Kyrre one of the 30 young media entrepreneurs “defining the every shifting world of news and content.” Kyrre spent three years researching, and travelling the world to meet and spend time with the “Internet Warriors” – read internet commentators or less charitable, trolls. The “Internet Trolls” became the title of the book and documentary.

 

The project took Kyrre from his native Norway to the UK, middle America, the Ukraine, Russia and Lebanon. These people let him into their homes and lives. The film certainly captures many of their often hateful views, but it also captures many of their inconsistencies and contradictions, along with the loneliness and even humanity of its subjects.

One might think that a project like this gives some of these people even more of a platform to voice hateful views – and in a sense that may be true – but it is not a project about celebrating these people. In fact, when I watched it the sentiment I often had was one of pity.

Kyrre talks about all of this in the episode, going from the origins of the project, how he put it together, through to its broader implications. He also discusses his approach to risk, having been to the Donbass region of the Ukraine to cover the Ukraine-Russia conflict. This is a fascinating conversation that reveals a number of insights.

Show notes:

The Internet Warriors

Kyrre’s photography webpage

The Internet Warriors Book

Article in the Guardian: “Internet Warriors: Inside the dark world of online haters

Kyrre on Twitter

“EGRIP” – How to engage with someone we disagree with

Ep 76 with Gleb Tsipursky

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Mar 4, 2018

 

This is a conversation that emphasises a number of positive things we can do in the face of fake news, lying politicians, disagreements and decision-making. My guest is Gleb Tsipursky and if that name sounds familiar, it might be because he was our guest in episode 45.

Gleb is a professor, a science communicator, the co-founder of Intentional Insights, a non-profit that seeks to promote science-based truth-seeking, meaning and purpose. He is also the co-founder of something called the Pro-Truth Pledge. This is a pledge to share, honour and encourage truth. All Things Risk has taken the pledge, as have many prominent thinkers such as Steven Pinker, Jonathan Haidt, and Peter Singer (in addition to many politicians).

Gleb is also a prolific author having published articles in Newsweek, The Guardian and Psychology Today. He has also recently authored The Truth-Seeker’s Handbook, which shares strategies and tools to help us ensure that our views are aligned with reality. This includes things like avoiding thinking errors and by engaging constructively in conversations with others.

Gleb joined me and we talked about all of those things as well as:

  • Why we ignore facts;
  • The problem with social media;
  • How we can become more truth-focused as a society;
  • The trouble with “debates”;
  • How to engage people who may not agree with us;
  • Probabilistic thinking;
  • The skill of collaboration;
  • The Pro Truth Pledge
  • Tons more!

Show notes:

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iTunes

 

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