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Contact: Katie Reiss

Best-Selling Author of The Gray Rhino Releases New Book Exploring How Risk Relationships Shape Our Personal & Professional Lives

You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World

Releases April 6, 2021

**Interviews Available with Author & International Best-Selling Author Michele Wucker**

Michele Wucker, the #1 international best-selling author of The Gray Rhino, offers a bold new framework for understanding and re-shaping our relationships with risk and uncertainty to live more productive and successful lives. Her highly anticipated forthcoming book, You Are What You Risk: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World (Pegasus Books) will be published April 6,  2021.

?      What drives a sixty-four-year-old woman to hurl herself over Niagara Falls in a barrel –or, for that matter, motivates any of us to take big risks?

?      Why are corporate boards newly worried about risky personal behavior by CEOs?

?      Why are some nations quicker than others to recognize and manage risks like pandemics, technological change, and climate crisis?

?      What made the difference between people’s strategies for protecting themselves from Covid-19 and how they saw each other’s choices?

The answers define each person, organization, and society as distinctively as a fingerprint. Understanding the often-surprising origins of these risk fingerprints –from your innate personality and unique experiences to your peers to your diet to your surroundings including the temperature and aroma in the air–can open your eyes, inspire new habits, catalyze innovation and creativity, improve teamwork, and provide a beacon in a world that seems suddenly more uncertain than ever.

Drawing on compelling global stories and weaving in insights from economics, anthropology, sociology, neuroscience, psychology, and public health, the author challenges stereotypes about risk attitudes and shows how to reduce the damage they do. She re-frames the relationship between gender and risk, shines new light on generational differences, shows how the new science of risk personality is re-shaping business and finance, and why embracing risk empathy can resolve conflicts. She explores how feedback loops in healthy risk ecosystems support economies, societies, organizations, and citizens.

You Are What You Risk is a clarion call for an entirely new conversation about our relationship with risk and uncertainty In this ground-breaking, accessible and eminently timely book, Michele Wucker examines why it’s so important to understand your risk fingerprint and how to make your risk relationships work better. Inspired by readers who asked for personal applications of her influential gray rhino theory, she provides compelling stories, practical tools, and strategies to help readers thrive in business, life, and the world.


“Whether you’re an investor, entrepreneur, or simply trying to forge your career strategically in any field, you’ll benefit from Michele Wucker’s innovative, clear-eyed approach to taking wise risks and navigating uncertainty. This book will help you to get from ordinary to extraordinary.”

— Laura Huang, Professor of Business Administration at Harvard Business School and Author of EDGE: Turning Adversity into Advantage

“There’s a huge need in the business world to better understand the human factors behind how we perceive and evaluate risks, and there’s no better guide than Michele Wucker. Drawing on the stories of compelling risk-takers, practical research, and proven strategies, You Are What You Risk treads essential new territory for executives who want their organizations to be innovative, creative, and industry leaders.”

— Danielle Harlan, author of The New Alpha: Join the Rising Movement of Influencers and Changemakers Who are Redefining Leadership


Photo of Michele Wucker against backdrop of Chicago Bean and downtown
Michele Wucker. Photo by Hal Shipman (CC-BY 4.0)

Author and strategist Michele Wucker coined the term “gray rhino” for obvious, probable, impactful risks, which we are surprisingly likely but not condemned to neglect. She is the author of four books including the global bestseller THE GRAY RHINO: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore, which China’s leadership has used to frame and communicate its crackdown on financial risk. The metaphor has moved markets, shaped financial policies, and made headlines around the world. It helped to frame the ignored warnings ahead of the COVID-19 pandemic and inspired the lyrics of the hit pandemic pop single “Blue & Grey” by the mega-band BTS, about depression as a gray rhino. Michele’s 2019 TED Talk has attracted over two million views.

Michele is founder of the Chicago-based strategy firm Gray Rhino & Company, drawing on three decades of experience first as a financial journalist and then media and think tank executive. She has been honored as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow. She has held leadership positions at The Chicago Council on Global Affairs; the World Policy Institute; and International Financing Review. Her writing has appeared in publications around the world including The Economist, The New York Times, The Washington Post, and The Wall Street Journal. She has been a sought-after media commentator on the Covid-19 pandemic.

Katie Riess