States have sometimes failed in war not so much because they had an incompetent army or incompetent battlefield commanders, but because they chose to fight at the wrong time, or fought the wrong enemy.
—Barry Strauss and Josiah Obe
As a public speaker, Kathryn Schulz has an uncanny knack for making her audience laugh while also making them think. Her message about the importance of embracing our innate human fallibility has inspired audiences of every kind, from CEOs to college students, doctors to educators, engineers to religious leaders. Her talks have received rave reviews from her hosts, including PopTech 2010, the Royal Society of the Arts in London, the Berlin School of Creative Leadership, and many more. She is available to speak on every aspect of error, including:
- The origins of error: how our senses, our minds, and our society can mislead us, and how we can learn to anticipate and prevent those mistakes
- Why most of us have such negative feelings about wrongness, and how that attitude affects the way we educate our kids, run our companies, and resolve our conflicts -- whether with family members, coworkers, neighbors, or nations
- How embracing error is, paradoxically, the best way to prevent mistakes -- including in high-stakes domains where errors can be financially, materially, emotionally or physically costly
- Why error is such a crucial engine of innovation, and how accepting and understanding our fallibility can make us more creative, more empathetic, and more forgiving, toward ourselves as well as toward other people
Kathryn's presentations generally include lively audiovisual materials, and she tailors each talk to the needs and interests of her audience.
For information on booking Kathryn for a talk, please contact Alexis Hurley at
By far the most famous headline error in U.S. history, the “Dewey Defeats Truman” banner appeared in the Chicago Tribune on November 3, 1948 – the day after Harry Truman was reelected president of the United States. The article went on to state that Dewey “won a sweeping victory in the presidential election yesterday,” a claim that dovetailed with nationwide polling suggesting that a Dewey win was “inevitable.” In reality, Truman won the electoral vote by 303 to 189. He was photographed holding a copy of the Tribune at the train station in St. Louis, Missouri, on his way back to the nation’s capital for his second term.