The Risk Optimistic


The Risk Optimistic explores the value of risk, the opportunity of risk, and the belief that taking a chance is worth it.

"The Risk Optimistic" is about belief: the assurance that taking a chance is worthwhile, even without knowing the outcome. It’s also the belief that if we value and support risk – in policy, community, and culture – we benefit from each person's ability to make choices to achieve success. With this initiative, Kauffman kicks off 2020 with insights, stories, and opportunities to explore what it means to take risks, and own your own success, however you choose to define it.
The endangered legacy of the American risk-taker

The endangered legacy of the American risk-taker

To fulfill the promise of the American Dream, we must be a country fueled by people willing, and able, to take the calculated risk. We asked those who live and work on risk’s front lines to check the pulse of risk in America.

Wendy Guillies speaks during the Women's Entrepreneurship Roundtable, hosted by the first bipartisan Senate Entrepreneurship Congress in September 2019.

Taking the calculated risk

Mr. Kauffman challenged his associates – at Marion Laboratories and at his Foundation – to take calculated risks. But what is risk for a privileged foundation? For us, it is an imperative.

Girls Who Code

Building a sisterhood: A Q&A with Reshma Saujani

The founder of Girls Who Code on how programming can teach girls to be brave and take risks.

I know I am more fulfilled than I would have been had I not taken the opportunity, or risk, moving away and starting over. I have met wonderful people and had amazing experiences. I learned that I can be successful on my own and that I am more resilient than I ever thought I could be.

— Jennifer Connolly

Jenny Poon, founder of CO+HOOTS

Speaking out on the debt dilemma

Jenny Poon has a unique perspective on student debt, as the child of immigrant parents who had to bootstrap her way to success through the American system.

Abraham Lincoln

Reader responses provide a glimpse into the minds of folks who like a gamble – and Abe Lincoln

An exploration into the minds of the more than 200 people who took our survey on risk.

Beat the clock: Can you identify these 40 risk-takers?

Inspired by submissions from our readers, we've built this interactive quiz to test your knowledge of known risk-takers throughout history to present day.

Western Rise

Starting up alongside the elephant in the room

Crushing student debt levels tend to defuse entrepreneurial dreams, but some are still willing to take on the outsized risks considering the potential rewards.