Dr. Roger Miles – Tales of the unintended

Tue 23 April 2024

Since the dawn of civilisation, the people tasked with governing have tried to frame rules to stop other people misbehaving. For just as long, those who are governed – whether individuals, institutions, sectors, or technology makers – have managed to break the rules, with often catastrophic results. If the aim of governance is (mostly) ‘the general good’…

  • Why have well-intended risk controls serially failed, throughout history?
  • How does modern behavioural science shed new light on this?
  • How might we better predict such failures, to avoid them in future?

The Library of Mistakes is delighted to welcome Psychology of Risk specialist and author Dr Roger Miles to address these and related questions. Roger has for many years enjoyed privileged access to study rule-breakers at close quarters, in the financial and other corporate sectors. As well as advising corporate leaders, he works with regulators and industry standard-setting bodies around the world. In his signature style, combining deep insights with not taking any of this too seriously, he will share some of his first-hand research findings from recent crises and will apply his ‘behavioural lens’ to highlight parallels between control failures past and present.

Whether you’re curious as to which parts of the human brain account for most control failures; how some regulators taxonomise rule-breakers; what are the biggest fallacies of control design; or which factors consistently predict the failure of any given regulatory initiative – now’s your chance. Or, if you just enjoy a good disaster story, come in, kick back, and hear about the Hanoi Rat Plague of 1902, and why Italian traffic lights are different. If you’re in the market for diagnostics, Roger will reveal a bank’s secret prototype ‘Delusion-o-meter’, and the Dutch government’s original ‘dog poo predictor’. Hey, it’s all useful knowledge.

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