Zoom Interactive Event: Radical Uncertainty

12 August 2020

12:00 - 1:00pm BST


In John Kay’s latest book, Radical Uncertainty, co-authored with former Bank of England governor Mervyn King and published at the beginning of March, he warned, “We must expect to be hit by an epidemic of an infectious disease resulting from a virus which does not yet exist.” As he remarked afterwards, “It causes us no pleasure to see that observation so quickly confirmed.” In a world of COVID-19 lockdown, we find it very difficult to foresee how different the world of business and work will be after the pandemic. Radical Uncertainty, draws on history, mathematics, economics and philosophy to highlight the most successful – and most short-sighted – methods of dealing with an unknowable future. The authors argue that contemporary approaches to dealing with uncertainty rely on a false understanding of our power to make predictions, leading to many of the problems we experience today. Companies that are able to understand and deploy these methods will be at an advantage after the crisis. Decision-making in a time of uncertainty is something every business is facing at the moment. John’s insights will help us navigate the ambiguity of the years ahead.

John Kay is one of Britain’s leading economists. He was the first dean of Oxford’s Saïd Business School and has held chairs at London Business School, the University of Oxford, and the London School of Economics.