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What is a 'Gray Rhino'? It's big, obvious, and headed straight for you.

Michele Wucker talks to us about her new hit book, "The Gray Rhino: How to Recognize and Act on the Obvious Dangers We Ignore"


Gray Rhino & Company Founder and CEO Michele Wucker coined the term “gray rhino” to draw attention to the obvious risks that are neglected despite – and often because of – their size and likelihood. The timely metaphor has moved markets, shaped financial policies, and made headlines around the world, especially as a metaphor for the ignored warnings that led to the COVID-19 pandemic.

Michele’s 2019 TED Talk has attracted well over two million views. 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; and the forthcoming YOU ARE WHAT YOU RISK: The New Art and Science of Navigating an Uncertain World (April 2021).

What is a Gray Rhino?

The Gray Rhino is a metaphor for the threats that we can see and acknowledge yet do nothing about: the two ton thing that should be hard to ignore, but from which we look away even though it’s in our interest to get away before it charges. It may be pawing the ground, snorting, and getting ready to charge at you; or it may still be a ways up the road when you still have time to manage things before they become urgent.