Nippin Anand

Master Mariner. Author. Thinker. Listener. Storyteller.

Are we learning from accidents?

A quandary, a question and a way forward?

The Four Monkeys

Using examples of accidents and personal stories, the book illustrates that when things go wrong, our instant reactions are finger pointing; mocking; apologising; and seeing life problems as a puzzle to be solved.

But how helpful are these reactions for learning?

The Dutch philosopher Baruch Spinoza once said: 

‘Not to lament, not to laugh, not to curse but to understand.’

The Four Monkeys symbolise the wisdom of Spinoza and why, often in organisations, people don’t learn.

A Methodology for Learning

Rules, processes, systems, accreditations, training programs, models and tools can help. But what is your methodology to learn from fallible humans?

The book offers a coherent methodology to meet with the fallible person, and practical methods to learn from people and with them. 

Novellus Illustrations 2024 Book Cover Black
Book cover 3D

A subjective, biased, and an open ended inquiry into one of the most famous accidents in the maritime history – the capsizing of the Costa Concordia. 

My first-hand interviews with the captain followed by a series of workshops around the world gradually became a source of learning and inner change.

Look inside the book.


Are we learning from accidents? My research into the Costa Concordia disaster and my interviews with Captain Schettino suggest not.

The answer to the problem of learning lies not so much in designing fail-safe technologies and user-friendly systems as in questioning our fears, myths, beliefs, rituals, worldviews and imagination about risk and safety.

Many organisations work hard to engage their frontline staff in managing risk more effectively. But in our efforts to manage risk we underestimate the interpretive and subjective dimensions of risk itself. From a search for ‘weak signals’ to differentiating between ‘normal’ and ‘abnormal’ work, our unconscious permeates every aspect of our understanding of risk and safety.

Risk management is a myth. Safety management is a construct that in promising salvation denies human fallibility.

When we recognise the mythical and non-rational nature of risk and safety beliefs, our focus will shift from counting and controlling hazards towards pathways that make us humble, curious, doubtful and conscious about the human ‘being’. When we begin to accept that humans are fallible, we search for better ways to humanise the risks and relate to people.

Through a lived journey of dissonance, disturbance, learning and change, this book offers an alternative pathway to wisdom in risk intelligence, and a method to tackle risks in an uncertain world.

Praise for Learning from Accidents

Buy the Book

You can buy the book as an eBook or in Printed versions.

When ordering, please select the appropriate country (the link below is for Amazon UK).

For bulk orders, please follow this link or send us an email at

Are we learning from accidents - Nippin Anand
Book cover 3D

Buy the book on my website

For those of you who can’t buy the book from Amazon, you can buy it from our consultancy website Novellus.Solutions and we deliver to all parts of the world.

Dr Nippin Anand

Nippin Anand specialises in the relevance of culture, belief, myth, and metaphors (language) in the areas of risk, safety and organisational learning.

Nippin holds a PhD in social sciences and anthropology, and a master’s degree in economics and social psychology. He studies mythology, religion, anthropology, spirituality, neurosciences, depth psychology, linguistics, and semiotics (study of signs and symbols) to broaden his understanding of human ‘being’.

The Knowledge Space

Here you will find podcasts, videos and blogs that will make you think, reflect, and question your worldview and appreciate another person’s viewpoint.

Novellus Videos

Embracing Differences (Podcast)

Novellus Blogs

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Are we learning from accidents? - Book 3D

Become part of our community

Join our mailing list and become part of a growing international community that meets every fortnight to discuss culture, risk and learning.

Are we learning from accidents? - Book 3D