Why do we often neglect big problems, like the financial crisis and climate change, until it's too late? Policy strategist Michele Wucker urges us to replace the myth of the "black swan" -- that rare, unforeseeable, unavoidable catastrophe -- with the reality of the "gray rhino," the preventable danger that we choose to ignore. She shows why predictable crises catch us by surprise -- and lays out some signs that there may be a charging rhino in your life right now.

Why you should listen

Michele Wucker's term "gray rhino" has moved markets and shaped financial policies around the world. She is the author of the international 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 efforts to crack down on financial risk.

Drawing on three decades of experience in financial media and think tank management, turnarounds and policy analysis, Wucker is founder of the Chicago-based strategy firm Gray Rhino & Company, which helps organizations to better manage gray rhino risks. She speaks regularly on risk management, leadership, macro strategy and decision-making for high-level global audiences. She has been recognized as a Young Global Leader of the World Economic Forum and a Guggenheim Fellow, among other honors.

Wucker's first two books, Lockout: Why America Keeps Getting Immigration Wrong When Our Prosperity Depends on Getting It Right and Why the Cocks Fight: Dominicans, Haitians, and the Struggle for Hispaniola, continue to influence policy debates.