Risk Factor World Premiere on TVO

July 25, 2017

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We're excited to announce that the Risk Factor documentary will air on TVO this August 2nd at 9 pm. Join us as we go on a journey to understand risk assessment. 

Our director, Robert Lang, the creator of Risk Factor, is confused about the risks he faces from personal health to big societal risks. Prompt by this he goes on a journey to gain insight from the world’s top risk experts. He meets a brainy statistician at Cambridge University and an extreme ice climber on an avalanche prone mountain, a physicist in a nuclear reactor and a security guru at the finish line of the Boston Marathon.

Canadian extreme ice climber Will Gadd has his own opinion about taking risks and he says, “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.”

The twists and turns of the journey lead Robert to replay and reconsider his most risk laden life experiences – from a drunken joyride, to a murder on his doorstep, to a brush with nuclear radiation, to the pages of his family history that speak to current fears about the risk of terrorism.

The respected Cambridge professor Sir David Spiegelhalter is also risk-positive and says,  “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.”

In the end, Robert meets a psychologist whose data proves that society will never agree on the biggest risks we face – that our risk perceptions will always be chained to our tribe. If true… we’re all screwed. But Robert doesn’t accept that. He finds a reason to hope, and the resolve to be more resilient amid uncertainty.

If you miss the premiere of Risk Factor on August 2nd, you can catch it again on August 6th at 9 pm ET and August 8 at 10 pm ET on TVO.