To Dare…

04/11/2010

So what does the word risk really mean?

Renaissance Italy where risk or daring became integral to commerce

Interestingly, at least to me :-), the word risk derives from an early Italian word ‘risicare’, which means ‘to dare’.

In this sense risk is a choice rather than a fate and with that authority of choice goes (in a just society) some measure of responsibility and accountability.

The other aspect of risk is that there is both an upside and a downside to the decision. We may risk some loss but this is always balanced against the potential gain

The logical consequence of this definition is that we cannot divorce risk from the decision making process of balancing loss against benefit. Nor in the case of safety can we divorce risk from the political, legal and ethical aspects of such decision making.