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Michele Wucker            


Michele Wucker Michele Wucker is an award-winning global thought leader with three decades of experience as a think tank executive, financial journalist, and geo macro analyst. She is the author of THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore (2016).

She is the founder and CEO of Gray Rhino & Company, which helps organizations to identify and strategize responses to risks that are neglected despite -or more often because of- their size.

She also is the author of LOCKOUT: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right and WHY THE COCKS FIGHT: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola. She has been honored as a 2009 Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a 2007 Guggenheim Fellow.

Her previous positions include Vice President for Studies at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; President of the World Policy Institute, which she re-launched in 2007; Latin America Bureau Chief at International Financing Review; and Adjunct Associate Professor at Columbia University's School of International and Public Affairs. Her writing has appeared in publications around the world including CNN.com, The Guardian, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She has been interviewed by many media including National Public Radio, CNN, CNBC, MSNBC, and Fox News. She has delivered speeches in 15 countries on five continents.


I received so many warm comments from your master class. Everything from “highly relevant” and “practical” to “greatly informative and instructional” to “expert,” “right on point” and “eye-opening." – Anthony Vlahos, ExecuNet

Your presentation was engaging and thought provoking; we have received a lot of compliments on our speaker choice! – Ruth Elmore, The Business Continuity Institute

An engaging, insightful speaker! Michele Wucker is able to demystify complex global happenings in a breezy conversational style. – Peter Marber, Head of Emerging Markets Investments at Loomis, Sayles & Co

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Speech Topics

Gray Rhino Proofing Your Future: Recognizing and Acting on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore

  • Why we neglect, downplay, or outright deny highly probable, often preventable threats — and how much these oversights cost
  • How to avoid “surprise” black swans by looking for obvious but neglected “gray rhino” risks, including common decision-making pitfalls
  • Strategies that you can apply at each of the five stages of a typical gray rhino to rethink risk and make better decisions on investments and financial planning

Beyond Kicking the Can: How to Stop Muddling and Innovate

So you know what your organization’s biggest problem is. So why isn’t it fixed? Kicking the can down the road is human nature — so much so that we often take for granted that problems will persist. But the longer we let a problem go on, the more we lose in opportunity cost and the harder the problem becomes to fix. Learn from an expert on why organizations, individuals and policy makers don’t immediately deal with obvious dangers, how to get out of your own way, and how to turn a crisis into opportunity. In this talk drawing on real-world examples, you will: * Find out why the most obvious problems often get the least attention – at high cost. * Understand how to take off your blinders to obvious but neglected problems * Learn the reasons why decision makers muddle and how to counter them * Get inspiration from stories of business and policy leaders who overcame the urge to muddle * Recognize when it’s time to recognize a problem is unsolvable * Learn to turn frustration into innovation

Demographic Gray Rhinos: Robots Meet Aging and Migration

Tectonic shifts are coming in labor markets and consumer demographics, intensified by recent technological advances in additive manufacturing and machine learning. Together, they are a crash of obvious, highly probable yet neglected “gray rhino” challenges. * By 2050, there will be just one worker for every retiree, less than a third of the current level * Pension shortfalls in the U.S. alone are roughly $20 trillion * By 2044, the United States will be a majority minority country * Close to half of U.S. jobs could be lost to automation of everything from scheduling to driving to legal and financial analysis In this provocative talk, learn about the opportunities and pitfalls that your organization faces amid shifting demographics colliding with increasing automation, and strategies for getting ahead of the game.

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