Radical uncertainty: decision-making for an unknowable future

  • 19 March 2020
  • Edinburgh
  • Event
Event Details

Uncertainty pervades the big decisions we all make in our lives. How much should we pay into our pensions each month? Should we take regular exercise? Expand the business? Change our strategy? Enter a trade agreement? Take an expensive holiday?

We do not know what the future will hold. But we must make decisions anyway. So we crave certainties which cannot exist and invent knowledge we cannot have. But humans are successful because they have adapted to an environment that they understand only imperfectly. Throughout history we have developed a variety of ways of coping with the radical uncertainty that defines our lives.
Lord (Mervyn) King, former Governor of the Bank of England, and Professor John Kay, two of the world’s most eminent economists, have spent their professional lives considering and discussing these themes.

In an incisive and eye-opening new book drawing on biography, history, mathematics, economics and philosophy they highlight the most successful - and most short-sighted - methods of dealing with an unknowable future Ultimately, John Kay will argue in what promises to be a fascinating event, the prevalent method of our age falls short, giving us a false understanding of our power to make predictions, leading to many of the problems we experience today.

Please join us for what promises to be a fascinating exploration of the limits of numbers and a celebration of human instinct and wisdom.


Professor John Kay

Chair: George Littlejohn, CISI

Venue & Schedule


17:45-18:00 Registration
18:00 Presentation and Q&A
19:30 Session ends followed by drinks reception
19:30-20:00 Drinks and book signing


University of Edinburgh Business School,
29 Buccleuch Place,
- View in Google Maps

To register for this event, please use the booking form below. If you experience any difficulties please email [email protected]