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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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May 15, 2023

Today, we talk about how big things get done. A ‘big thing’ can mean a large infrastructure project, an IT project at work, or something in your personal life like a home renovation, a big adventure, or an event you’re organising. The sad truth is, the vast majority – in fact, almost – big projects end up over budget, delayed, and they don’t provide the planned benefits. This is something well-researched and backed up by data. It is the ‘Iron Law of Mega Projects’ as you will hear.

That’s the bad news.

The good news is that joining us on this episode of the podcast is Professor Bent Flyvbjerg who is the world’s leading megaproject expert. Prof. Flyvbjerg teaches at the University of Oxford and the IT University of Copenhagen. He has consulted on over 100 megaprojects costing $1 billion or more and has been knighted by the Queen of Denmark. He is the co-author of the fantastic new book How Big Things Get Done – The Surprising Factors Behind Every Successful Project From Home Renovations to Space Exploration.

Bent joins in what I think is a fabulous conversation in which he shares:

·      The Iron Law of Mega Projects;

·      Why projects ‘don’t go wrong, they start wrong’;

·      Why projects are not goals in and of themselves and what we can learn from legendary architect Frank Gehry;

·      What the Tour de France teaches up about risk;

·      What lego has to do with all this;

·      Much more!

   Show notes:

Prof Bent Flyvbjerg

How Big Things Get Done

Bent on LinkedIn

Thinking, Fast and Slow

Availability bias

Frank Gehry

Pixar

The Bilbao Guggenheim

The Sydney Opera House

Reference Class Forecasting

Robert Caro on LBJ and Robert Moses

The Black Swan

Madrid Metro

SSRN

Academia.edu

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Drop us a note: allthingsrisk@gmail.com 

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Our free course module “How to Set Up Any Decision for Success” from our upcoming course How to Make Decisions With Calm and Confidence

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