For California’s New Governor, Big Mistakes Will Lead to Greatness

Gavin Newsom Can’t Make Meaningful Progress on Health Care or Housing Without an Appetite for Risk

Gavin, screw up. Please.

Make mistakes. Big ones. Because the state you’re about to start running needs more screw-ups.

The transition now taking place in the California governor’s office feels both historic and incredibly dull—and the reason for both feelings is the same. For the first time since the 19th century, a Democrat is replacing a Democrat. Both are liberals, so what will be so different?

Here’s one potential answer: the gubernatorial appetite for risk.

Over the last eight years, Jerry Brown made a fetish out of his own caution. He focused relentlessly …

Risk-Taking Is Profitable—but Perilous in Our Interdependent World

From Freeway Speeding to Financial Instruments, Big Gambles Can Spin into Disaster

Risks are inherent in life and so, over the centuries, people have devised many mechanisms to pool and reduce risks.

These institutions range from families to religious tithing to formal …

Arturo O’Farrill Doesn’t Mind Looking Like a Fool

A Mexican-German-Cuban-Irish-American Jazz Musician Who Appreciates Donny Osmond

Arturo O’Farrill is a pianist, composer, and founder and music director of the Afro Latin Jazz Orchestra. Before participating in a discussion of the American art of risk-taking, he explained …

The Great American Art of Failure

From Our Bankruptcy Law to Our Jazz Music, We’re Willing to Take Big Risks to Become Big Successes

I want to argue that Americans are risk-takers, Jack Hitt, author of Bunch of Amateurs: A Search for the American Character, told the crowd at the Smithsonian’s National Museum of …