Speaking

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

Does your organization need to develop better alarm signals and decision making systems to make sure your people recognize and speak up when they see a problem that could be catastrophic? Do you know what the gray rhino -the obvious but neglected challenge that you still have an opportunity to confront before it’s too late- is in your organization or industry but can’t seem to get past muddling? Do you need help developing an action plan to get key stakeholders on board?

Tap into the insights that have informed central bank and government risk management strategies around the world, including China’s financial risk mitigation policies, with Gray Rhino & Company Founder Michele Wucker, author of the international bestseller THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore. Michele can help your organization identify your blind spots and discover simple but effective tools to turn your organization’s critical but neglected “gray rhino” risks and challenges into catalysts for innovation. She can talk your audience through an overview of the gray rhino framework with examples relevant to your industry or company, help you think through the challenges and opportunities of global macro trends, or do a deep dive into one of the five gray rhino stages.

Michele can customize a keynote address, breakout session, executive education workshop and diagnostic to meet your needs — whether you want to be more effective managing your organizational, industry, civic, financial, career, or global gray rhinos. She’s also an experienced and insightful panel discussant and moderator on topics ranging from financial crisis to sustainability to human capital and civil society.

Upcoming appearances:

Global Challenges Foundation NEW SHAPE conference, Stockholm, May 2018

Recent appearances:

Strategic Multilayer Assessment (phone briefing), April 2018
Northwestern University Kellogg School of Management SPARK workshop, April 2018
EBS Korea (VIDEO keynote on the Future of Education in Korea), February 2018
University School of Milwaukee, Keynote and Global Crisis Simulation, January 2018
Netease Annual Economists Conference (via live VIDEO link), Beijing, December 2017
Bank of America Merrill Lynch China Conference, Beijing, November 2017
China Finance 40 Forum, Beijing, November 2017
EU-China Chamber of Commerce, Shanghai, November 2017
World Knowledge Forum, Seoul, October 2017 (VIDEO)
CFA Society of Chicago, “Water’s Impact on Investing” moderator, September 2017
Global Association of Risk Professionals, Chicago, August 2017
World Economic Forum Annual Meeting of the New Champions, Dalian, China, June 2017
Book-Ka book club, Chuansong bookstore, Shanghai, China, June 2017
MIC Book Club, Shanghai, China, June 2017
Printers Row Literary Festival discussion moderator, Chicago, June 2017 (C-Span Book TV VIDEO)
50Action50 Annual Summit at Google, Chicago, May 2017
70th CFA Institute Annual Conference, Philadelphia, May 2017
MTA Sun Desert Festival, Zhangjiakou, Hebei, China, May 2017
World Economic Forum Annual Summit of Young Global Leaders and Alumni, Buenos Aires, April 2017
The Chicago Club, March 2017
Chicago CFA Society Book Club, February 2017
50Action50, Chicago, December 2016
ExecuNet Master Class (Webinar), December 2016
Business Continuity Institute, London, November 2016
European Stability Mechanism, Luxembourg, November 2016
Formuesdagen (“Wealth Day”), Oslo, November 2016 (VIDEO)
Carnegie Council on Ethics and Global Affairs, June 2016
ALTO, San Francisco, April 2016
Financial Planning Association, Phoenix, April 2016
Johns Hopkins University Foreign Policy Institute, April 2016
PCMA, Vancouver, January 2016 (VIDEO)

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SPEECH TOPICS

GRAY RHINO-PROOFING YOUR FUTURE: A NEW WAY TO THINK ABOUT RISK AND RESPONSE
Gray Rhino events are highly probable, give clear warnings and have high impact.  Yet all too often, leaders fail to plan for, recognize, or respond to obvious dangers, from the personal to the organizational to the political to the global level: financial crisis, industry disruptions, failing infrastructure, the aging of the workforce, climate change and more. The most successful organizations are the ones that identify and confront Gray Rhino threats instead of letting themselves be trampled. Michele’s provocative talk lays out a framework for recognizing Gray Rhinos and the pitfalls and opportunities at each of their five stages, from denial to action –not just to avoid highly obvious dangers, but to see opportunities where others do not.

FACING A GRAY RHINO: STARTEGIES TO MANAGE THE FOURTH INDUSTRIAL REVOLUTION
The age of automation and artificial intelligence is here, with profound implications that companies, economies, and the labor force ignore at their peril. Businesses must adapt to disruption or perish; workers must prepare for dramatic change; and policy makers must provide an ecosystem to ease a difficult transition. What are the most dangerous pitfalls —and hidden opportunities- for decision makers in this obvious but poorly understood “gray rhino” threat? This talk provides a framework for developing strategies that can turn dangers into catalysts for innovation in a time of uncertainty.

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.

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

Watch Michele speak at the World Economic Forum Annual Meeting in Davos, Switzerland on “Thinking Ahead: Gray Rhinos and Black Swans” – the presentation that grew into THE GRAY RHINO.

 

Book Michele to speak via SpeakersConnect

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