Daily Inspiration: “It’s the unknown perils, the unforeseen hazards, that will prove to be your biggest risk!”


“It’s the unknown perils, the unforeseen hazards, that will prove to be your biggest risk!” – Futurist Jim Carroll

It was at the Mandalay Bay, Las Vegas, at an event for the National Fire Protection Association, where my keynote focused upon the future of fire risk, three years ago on this day.

The organization, representing the part of the fire industry most involved with safety and other standards, needed a fast 20-minute TED-style opening keynote that would focus on the new and fast-emerging types of fire risk occurring. They found me and were particularly intrigued by the keynote I had previously done for the National Fire Apparatus Manufacturing Association – essentially, the companies that build firetrucks and other firefighting equipment.

I put together a keynote that looked at the scientific, technological, construction, and architectural design and other trends that will challenge the industry with new fire risk issues in the future. New fire risk? Solar infrastructure on top of buildings, electrical vehicle batteries, hoarders, the rapid emergence of new chemicals and substances – the world of firefighting today is one that is immersed in the rapid emergence of all kinds of new risk.

Your future is faced with new risks, hazards, and perils, and it is your ability to navigate these perils that will define your success.

I love a great stage! As you can see by the photo, this was certainly typical of many that I’ve found myself on in Las Vegas over the years – by my estimates, I’ve done 75 keynotes there over the years. A great stage feeds into a great performance – here’s an edited 2-minute clip of my day in the office!

As with many events, I recorded a pre-event ‘teaser’ video to get the attendees thinking about issues long before I hit the stage.

Clients will often use this type of thing to generate interest in attendance at the event, and with the prevalence of social media in that effort, I chopped it up into 3 distinct, short, and to-the-point clips.

In perhaps the most fascinating part of this overall project – where do I get my insight on the highly specialized new forms of fire risk that are emerging? Much of it comes from the extensive research that I undertake – in this case, I sourced over 1,200 articles on ‘new fire risk’ from my online research service. But it wasn’t just that – it came from my golfing buddy, “Phil the Fireman!” I told the story of him on stage during the closing moments of my talk.


At stage check the day before, someone snapped a photo while the slide about Phil was up on the big screen.

Phil is one of 7 individuals featured in my upcoming book on reinvention – because his journey into the fire industry is a fascinating story in and of itself!


THE FUTURE BELONGS TO THOSE WHO ARE FAST features the best of the insight from Jim Carroll’s blog, in which he
covers issues related to creativity, innovation and future trends.