By Suzanne Basra, Content & Internal Communications Manager at Ogilvy UK


Ahead of his talk at Nudgestock 2018 on Friday 8 June, we caught up with speaker John Kay.

 One of Britain’s leading economists, John's work is centred on the relationships between economics, finance and business. His career has spanned academic work and think tanks, business schools, company directorships, consultancies and investment companies. The author of many books and articles, his latest book, Other People’s Money, was published in 2015 to wide acclaim.

What’s the crux of your talk?

The crux of my talk is that we - collectively - are far smarter than 'rational economic man'.

We learn very little from the fact that we are often bad at solving mindless brain teasers.

Humans are a dominant species because we are quite good at judging complex ill-defined situations, and we should not confuse our explanations of decisions with the process of decision making.

Why is the traditional economic way of thinking so appealing?

Traditional economic thinking is appealing because it is easy and often gives well defined answers.

In the future, do you think more and more organisations will apply insights from evolution?

People and organisations mostly do think this way - they just feel obliged to pretend otherwise.


See John's talk, 'Why Evolution is Smarter than (Behavioural) Economists' at Nudgestock. More here.