CLLR Christmas Newsletter 2017



All CLLR Units Go Online in 2018

Good news for all those not in Australia who have been wanting to study with the Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk, ALL units go online in 2018.

The three introductory face to face units (1,2,&3) will continue as previously arranged for Australian students. Australian students are offered Units 4,5,6 and 7 Online whilst Units 8,9 and 12 are also offered face-to-face.

A full Prospectus can be downloaded from

Online Methods – A Compromise

This full online offering is a compromise only for those not living in Australia. Whilst the evidence is overwhelming that online learning is not the most effective form of learning, we acknowledge and wish to support the many people overseas that wish to study the Social Psychology of Risk with CLLR. Indeed, those who have any education into the nature of learning or have read my latest book on learning (, will know that the foundation for all learning is relationship. This is why the online learning model will involve comprehensive mentoring and use of skype coaching.

Unfortunately, the tyranny of distance means that many people who would like to study face-to-face simply cannot. We have been inundated now for several years by people in Europe, the USA and Canada in particular to offer study online. The power of the face to face education in Australia is attested to here:

If you are interested in issues with online learning you can read about online and blended learning research here:

Structure and Registration

It is important for online students to undertake the units of study in order as indicated. This is because the complexity in study builds over time.

Once a person is registered for a unit of study they will be assigned an online tutor/mentor. Mentors are listed in the Prospectus as Academic Staff and all have undertaken studies with Dr Long since 2001.

Registration for each unit is $750 (Aus). This means that one can undertake study for the Certificate (4 units) for less than undertaking one unit at a University and for more unique learning outcomes. No-one is offering these units nor the Social Psychology of Risk Body of Knowledge in study globally (

Completion Requirement

Each unit is completed by undertaking the following through the support and guidance of a CLLR mentor:

  1. Watching the video series (a login and password is provided).
  2. Complete a written reflection/journal for submission.
  3. Undertake online conversation (email and skype) in reflection on videos with mentor.
  4. Undertake some recommended reading (students will be given access to some readings through dropbox). Six of the units automatically offer a complementary copy of Dr Long’s book related to the Unit.
  5. Some units require a written response in the form of a blog or a brief video/skype chat.
  6. The first three Units come with a manual to assist learning and reflection.

A Certificate in The Social Psychology of Risk (4 units) and Diploma in the Social Psychology of Risk (8 units) will be awarded along with a statement of learning outcomes and academic record on completion.

Once people have completed the Diploma they are then qualified to teach the Social Psychology of Risk including use of all SPoR Intellectual Property and Tools.

Units on Offer

• Unit 1. An Introduction to the Social Psychology of Risk.
• Unit 2. SEEK, The Social Psychology of Event Investigations.
• Unit 3. Introduction to Semiotics and Risk.
• Unit 4. Leadership and the Social Psychology of Risk.

• Unit 5. The Social Psychology of High Reliability Organising.
• Unit 6. Holistic Ergonomics.
• Unit 7. Learning, Community and The Social Psychology of Risk.
• Unit 8. The Social Amplification of Risk.

Master Classes:
• Unit 9. The MiProfile Master Class, Diagnostics in the Social Psychology of Risk.
• Unit 10. Understanding and Developing Risk Intelligence.
• Unit 11. Communicating and the Unconscious in Risk. Advanced Semiotics.
• Unit 12. iThink – Critical Thinking, Dialectic and Risk.

• Unit 13. Due Diligence.
• Unit 14. The Social Politics of Risk.
• Unit 15. A Transdisciplinary Approach to Risk.

Information and Registration

Masterclass on Semiotic Walk

You can read more about the Online Learning offering here:

And register here:

Pictured to the right is the Masterclass group from 2017.

Congratulations to the CLLR Graduates for 2017

The Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk was founded in 2016. Since then we have had over 750 people participate in at least one unit of study and over 120 commit to the Certificate and over 70 commit to the Diploma. Once the Diploma is achieved graduates are entitled to use all the Intellectual Property of CLLR. Many are set to graduate in 2018 as Masters in the Social Psychology of Risk.

CLLR is the only source of study in the Social Psychology of Risk globally.

Congratulations to the graduates in 2017 who were awarded the Certificate (4 units) or Diploma (8 units):

  • Robert Edmonstone
  • Matt Thorne
  • Zoe Koskinas
  • Narelle Stoll
  • Jenny Krasny
  • Ken Birmingham
  • Andrew Thornhill
  • Paul Gentles
  • Ken Wilson

Each receives a specially designed CLLR embossed testamur and statement of academic record.

Face to Face Courses for 2018

The three foundational courses in the Social Psychology of Risk Certificate for 2018 will be held in Canberra as follows:

• Unit 1. An Introduction to the Social Psychology of Risk. 22 January to 24 January 2018
• Unit 2. SEEK, The Social Psychology of Event Investigations. 7-8 March 2018
• Unit 3. Introduction to Semiotics and Risk. 4-5 April 2018

These units are a prerequisite for Australian students only. Once the cohort of commencing students has been established then online and remaining face-to-face units will be negotiated.

Diploma, Masterclass and Elective Units for 2018 will be notified by email to ongoing students. The first Masterclass elective for 2018 will be The Social Politics of Risk (Unit 14) and will be offered in Canberra from 18-20 April.

Understanding Myth and Magic in Risk

I was on a building site the other day and heard a safety consultant ‘touting’ for work, describing what he did as ‘magic’. Of course, there is no ‘magic’ and an absence of knowledge about another discipline and methodology is just that. The choice of language about ‘magic’ is patronizing and brings the nature of alchemy into the work of enacting and tackling risk and safety. The paper by Dekker and Nyce (2013) From figments to figures: ontological alchemy in human factors research ( is a good place to start reading about the language of alchemy in risk and safety thinking and practice. What is closer to reality is that the consultant sought to bamboozle the client with so much nonsense talk and bureaucracy that the client would buy their product. This is the purpose of lots of the safety jargon that floods the airwaves of safety discourse. You only have to sprout pyramids, triangles, curves, TRIFFR rates, Swiss cheese and endless fear of bureaucracy to con an executive to hand over the money and peel back the wallet for safety. Just trot out the old zero question’ how many injuries do you want today?’ and wedge the executive with binary nonsense for a hefty payout.

Of course when one is in the business of ‘saving lives’ it is easy to slip into the language and religious worldview of ‘magic’. The World Congress on Safety 2017 demonstrated this clearly ( The language of risk and safety has now become so religious in nature that it shares much the same language as any study of soteriology (the study of the doctrine of salvation). The Safety occupation is now described by Dekker as a ‘priesthood’ ( The ‘belief’ in zero against all the evidence of human fallibility, worldly randomness, vulnerability and human mortality requires a greater leap of faith than belief in the virgin birth. This is the state of safety globally. The blending of religious, magical, mythological language and semiotics in the global risk and safety literature is extraordinary. How strange to observe such extensive religious discourse from disciplines (risk, safety and security) that claim to be scientific and focused on engineering, regulation, rationalism and reason. Study any of the superstitions ( that have been imported into the safety industry and try and find any scientific evidence that any of these activities have meaning? There is simply no empirical evidence that matrices, triangles and Swiss cheese actually work. Indeed, it is these the blindness of STEM thinking that makes risk and safety continue to develop such deep religiosity.

One cannot understand the nature of myth and mythology without an understanding of symbolism and semiotics. Myths and symbols go together in human expressions of existence and experience of the world in uncertainty. Yet it is the rejection of these as primitive by the tradition of science that makes science so vulnerable to their take over.

Myths are a special kind of narrative that takes humans back to origins and archetypes. It doesn’t matter that a myth is not a true story nor that it transcends the rationalist sense of science. This is the power of myth/symbol that operates dynamically in and on the unconscious.

Myths cannot be reduced to the rational assumptions of science but rather step completely outside the assumptions of science. Like symbols, myth gives rise to different thought processes much more aligned with imagination, creativity, discovery, intuition, wisdom, extrasensory perception, mimetics, tacit knowledge and poetics. Myth opens up new thought to possibilities beyond science and to aspects of living that transcend rationalist understandings of the world. We see this all the time in the popularity of mythology in movies and Hollywood. You can read more about this here: Ostwalt (2012) Secular Steeples: Popular Culture and the Religious Imagination or Lyden (2003) Film as Religion, Myths, Morals and Rituals.

Myth operates in an archetypal sense where symbols and signs have phenomenal power in the collective and individual unconscious. In many ways myth and symbols operate at a much more subtle but more powerful level than the rational cognitive world of argument and logic. Berger and Luckmann (1966) in The Social Construction of Reality ( called this the ‘symbolic universe’.  Lotman (1990) called it ‘The Semiophere’ in Universe of the Mind, A Semiotic Theory of Culture (

This is why the discourse and ideology of Zero is so dangerous. The myth and symbol of zero operates as a semiotic for ‘the absolute’ in the desire for perfection. Zero denies what it means to be human and through mythology seduces people to the delusion of anti-humanism as reality. It is at this level that young men armed with chants and flags can march into a fundamentalist jihad in the name of seeking perfection. It is under banners of fundamentalist rhetoric that wars are made to make sense. This is the power of myth and symbol that operate as unconscious language. It is only when we accept the nature of fallibility, vulnerability and imperfections of mortality that we can become fully human. The exclusion of imperfection from human definition simply creates the delusion of control and ultimately a living in fear and anxiety about risk.

When we speak of fallibility, we call upon the myth of non-perfection. The reality of vulnerability is the paradox of risk and learning. We know that to seek perfection is both absurd and a sign of mental illness ( Rather than entering into the movement (dialectic) of learning and the richness of human being, Zero ideology seeks the confirmation of static control and sterility against the reality of uncertainty and the necessity of risk in living. The siren call of perfectionism is a pathology founded in the myth of the non-fallible.

Zero is pushed on by the Augustinian and binary construct of original sin. The ideology of zero warps the meaning of fallibility and dreams up the possibility of perfection. The language of zero adopts the myth of Augustine in demonizing what it means to be fully human and mortal. This is no greater evidence than in The Bradley Curve or Heinrich’s Pyramid rituals that have been created in risk and safety to deny uncertainty and deify risk aversion. Unfortunately, in the religion of risk and safety zero has become the dominant sacrament making full commitment to denial.

Fallibility has never been about ‘fall-ibility’ from perfection, there is no perfection. The myth of Adam and Eve is not about fall-ibility in the binary sense in which it has been constructed by a particular paternalistic church tradition. There are many theologies that do not understand the myth of Adam and Eve as ‘a fall’. Fall-ibility (meaning deceit) is a construct by the early western church to support paternalistic dogma. Fallibility is about human ‘being’ and the beauty of vulnerability in ‘being’ that is essential to risk and the dynamic of learning. It is in the necessity of human ‘being’ that we can delight in ‘being’ and all that accompanies it in paradox and reality.

In a perfect world there can be no movement, no learning and nothing human. The purpose of life is not to become perfect without risk but to become fully human in risk. Where there is risk there is human living and learning. The purpose in life is not to become trans-human in risk aversion but to become fully human in tackling risk. Therefore the mythology of Zero ideology is the denial of human life, the mythology of human fallibility is human identification with life.

The Conscious-Unconscious Dialectic

So much of our lives is lived in autopilot or automaticity. This is when we are not rationally conscious of what is happening or what we are doing. Many attribute dysfunctionality to this state for example, Burnett in his recent book The Idiot Brain, but that is tied to distortions in definition of personhood. Burnett doesn’t view humans as persons but simply bodies with brains. He views the brain as a computer and has no understanding of the mysterious and inexplicable nature of the human person as a whole. Burnett views the many heuristic and cognitive biases of being human as a problem or as idiotic. One can just as easily understand cognitive bias as a benefit. Many of the cognitive biases rather than being idiotic are essential skills for safety and survival. For example, pattern recognition is essential for the fight and flight response. The paradox is, the same pattern recognition creates attribution and correlation error that gets humans into trouble eg. example conspiracy theories.

So little is known about conscious and unconscious experience (How to Make a Consciousness Meter Scientific American November 2017).  One thing we do know is that most decision making is not conscious (, This makes an absolute nonsense of the dumb down safety mantra of ‘safety is a choice you make’. How easy to find blame and persecute someone when choice is defined as a simplistic rational process.

It is most likely that humans think better when they are unconscious ( Maybe the next time you need to make a critical decision it might be best to sleep on it.

Book Competition

A copy of the best seller Risk Makes Sense (sales in excess of 12,500 globally) can be yours if you can spot the cat. First 10 entries to will get a complementary copy.

Why not win one for a friend for Christmas.

Seventh Book in the Series on Risk for Release in 2018

The next book (book 7) in the series on risk is called ‘Fallibility and Risk, Living with Uncertainty’. It will be a special treat for subscribers to this newsletter or subscribers to as it is going to be offered to subscribers as a free ebook in pdf format.

Fallibility and Risk is a book about the meaning of fallibility, the denial of vulnerability, the nature of human personhood and how to live with vulnerability in the face of risk. The book goes ‘back to basics’ in discussion and  tools in how to tackle risk humanising and practical way.

The book is deliberately black and white to emphasize the problems with black and white binary thinking that dominates the risk and safety industries and the fundamentalist ideology of zero.

Keep an eye out for it, due for release early 2018. Remember, only for subscribers of this Newsletter and .

Associates and Links

The following people have all studied extensively with Dr Long and have consultancies in leadership, risk and culture in the tradition of the Social Psychology of Risk. Please contact each directly if interested in their work area. There is someone in a city near you who can offer support in risk maturity.

Alternatively, write to Dr Long ( for a recommendation for your next presentation or workshop/advising needs.

Craig Ashhurst (Canberra) Critical Thinking, Wicked problems

Gabrielle Carlton (Canberra) Resilience, Leadership Coaching

Dave Collins (Brisbane) Risk, Assurance, Due Diligence

Hayden Collins (Melbourne) Onsite Risk and Safety Coaching

James Ellis (Sydney) Well Being and Holistic Ergonomics

Dee Henshall (Brisbane) Risk, Culture and Well being

Roy Fitzgerald (Perth) Visual Learning and Leadership

Michael Kruger (Europe) Risk and Safety Psychology

Michael Lawrence (Ballarat) Musculoskeletal Health

Dennis Millard (Brisbane) Risk and Safety Leadership

Rob Sams (Newcastle) Social Sense Making and Risk

Greg Smith (Perth) WHS Law

Matt Thorne (Adelaide) Risk, Safety and Culture

Andrew Thornhill (Melbourne) Risk and Safety Compliance

Dave Whitefield (Brisbane) Presentations, Corporate Events

The Centre for Leadership and Learning (CLLR) in Risk Facebook Group

If you have undertaken more than two units of study with CLLR just a reminder that the facebook research and discussion group is available to you. This is a closed group for discussion, research and critical thinking in the Social Psychology of Risk. Join here:


You can contact here:


Human Dymensions

Centre for Leadership and Learning in Risk

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