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“World in crisis must leave room for serendipity to right its ship” by David Dodwell

At a time when climate change, pandemic threats and technological changes are compounding the disruptive force of more conventional risks such as demographic change and political turmoil, there is good reason to marshal the serendipitous forces that surround us.

As “tiger mums” worldwide strive to engineer a successful life for their children, I have always nurtured a temptation to warn them that all those meticulously organised life plans are likely to be laid in vain. Improbable, unpredictable events will almost certainly sideswipe even their best-laid plans.

From an early age, I have been convinced the force of serendipity that lies behind those sideswipes is one of life’s strongest but least-recognised forces. My life has been shaped not by any vision consciously forged either by myself or my parents but a handful of serendipitous moments that came out of nowhere, forced a choice and forever altered the course of my life.

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