Origin Story: “Live Safe, But Live”

June 27, 2017


If you look at our social media feeds (check below), there’s a phrase you’ll see over and over again: LIVE SAFE. BUT LIVE. Read on to find out where our slogan came from and why we keep saying it.


In the making of the Risk Factor documentary, filmmaker Robert Lang interviewed many risk experts, including the respected Cambridge professor Sir David Spiegelhalter and the famous extreme adventurer, Will Gadd.


Here’s a quote from each of them:


“Statistics are really important because they give you an idea of magnitude, just how big risks are.”


“I have a deep respect for basic intuition or subconscious processing and what might look like almost superstition from an outside perspective.”


I bet you can guess that the first quote is from Professor Spiegelhalter while the second is from adventurer Will Gadd. Even if you know nothing about them, it’s pretty obvious. But try to guess which one said each of these things:


“If we didn’t take risks, life would be boring. Somebody’s got a car in their garage that they’re restoring. Somebody makes the best quilts in the entire province or state or country. Everybody’s got something that switches them on and it’s a risk. Maybe they’ll get ridiculed because their quilt’s not cool enough, whatever. It’s risk, but they take it. And I think that’s beautiful. That’s the best of the human condition.”


“I think it’s a real shame when people say, oh, this has some risk and therefore we shouldn't do it. I mean you should be a bit careful about it, not do it all the time, but… Most things that you get some satisfaction from involves some degree of risk.”


The first quote is from Will and the second is from David. But the two very different risk experts are saying much the same thing. They are both risk-positive. As we looked for a slogan for our project, we kept that in mind.

We also kept in mind another risk expert who appears at the beginning of the Risk Factor doc: Elmer the Safety Elephant. His catchphrase is Play Safe. it’s a perfectly good slogan, but it’s the opposite of the way Professor Spiegelhalter and Will Gadd express things. For them, safety is important, but it’s pointless if your life isn’t worth living. So we took the idea of “playing safe”, replaced “playing” with “living” and flipped it around. For us, it’s not “live but live safe” the way Elmer might say it, but instead – mirroring the perspective of our two favourite risk experts – it’s Live Safe, But Live!


Follow us online at @LiveSafeButLive

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