There's no simple answer to the philosophical and perhaps even moral question of whether in removing risk we also remove meaning from our brief, potential-filled time on this planet. I don't share my habitat with crocodiles or elephants or tigers, or even boar. But I do know that the eye of that reef shark will be etched forever in my mind, and that I can't bear the thought of a world where no creature could ever make me afraid.
National security is deeply linked to the trajectories of nuclear proliferation, arms races and the success of diplomatic efforts to stem the tide. Future British governments would do well to maximise their efforts to develop a globally cooperative approach that undercuts the drivers of proliferation and reduces the salience nuclear weapons have to all states, and maximises the tendency in them all to act in a social responsible manner, with or without nuclear weapons. How they can do this effectively in the coming years must be at the top of their foreign policy agenda.
Globalisation has rendered us increasingly inter-dependent with massive opportunities and also risks/challenges as a result. Driven by technological advances from transport, to communications, and electronic networks, globalisation has delivered important advancements in terms of movement and exchange of people, ideas, values, resources, commodities and finance.
The accelerating pace of business change and intensifying regulatory scrutiny are the key macro-trends that will continue to affect companies over the next 12 to 24 months. These Hot Spots provide a solid framework for addressing the key risk areas that could have significant consequences for businesses' performance.
There are many issues about sharing a persons personal medical data with other organisations and companies, some issues are big and others are much smaller. For me, it causes many issues. I'm not afraid to share with the world that I have a heart condition, caused by a lack of fibrillin gene meaning my aorta just keeps expanding. In fact, that's pretty rare in itself, admitting it can stop people wanting to hire me, because even though it's controlled - I pose too much of a risk.
Research published this week by Marie Stopes shows that of 4,000 adults not trying for a baby, a third of women and almost half of the men had unprotected sex at least once in the past year. And here's the surprising part. Around eight out of 10 of those having unprotected sex said they believed it was "very unlikely" that it would result in pregnancy or they'd contract a sexually transmitted infection. When it comes to our sex lives, it seems we cross our fingers and hope for the best. Yet 185,000 women accessed abortion services last year, which suggests that for quite a lot of us, it does happen. Half a million STIs were diagnosed last year too, some of them incurable and life-threatening.
For those firms which misstep, fallout can be very damaging, both for the financial bottom-line and reputationally. However, for those which are pro-active and invest in their capability, the prizes -- both in terms of mitigating risk and seizing opportunity -- are potentially ever more significant.
We need to redefine the very notion of what 'taking a risk' or 'being brave' actually constitutes. Indeed, you can argue that brands need to get things wrong from time to time in order to learn, a hypothesis brilliantly laid out by Tim Harford in his book 'Adapt - why success must begin with failure'.
I'm reminded of that incident as I sit in my office listening to my daughter playing Amy Winehouse's albums over and over again, and I daren't admit to her that I dismissively chucked Amy's homemade, personally annotated CD in the bin that afternoon because I didn't have the energy or nerve to take a risk.