When it comes to crises, Nassim Nicholas Taleb is worth listening to. Often regarded as one of the few people to predict the 2008 global financial crash, he coined the term “black swan” to mean a rare and unpredictably catastrophic event.
Since then, Taleb has argued for a radical change in the way we think about – and design – our systems to not just survive but thrive on volatility, uncertainty and randomness. As he wrote in 2012: “If antifragility is the property of all those natural (and complex) systems that have survived, depriving these systems of volatility, randomness, and stressors will harm them. They will weaken, die, or blow up. We have been fragilizing the economy, our health, political life, education, almost everything … by suppressing randomness and volatility.”
While resilient systems can resist those sudden changes and shocks, it’s more interesting to look at those that thrive