Freddie Sayers
Former Editor-In-Chief, YouGov
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Biography Print Bio

Freddie Sayers is the former Editor-in-Chief of YouGov, one of the most quoted sources in the world for data on public opinion, trends and society.

A keen political observer of European and American politics and society, he looks at the hard evidence of what people think and how they behave to find the underlying story of what is really going on – the bigger picture behind the numbers.

What does Brexit really mean for the world? What can we expect in the next four years of the Donald Trump presidency? And what does technology mean for our democracy?

Before joining YouGov, he built and sold two businesses in the opinion and data space. First PoliticsHome, which became the highest traffic political website in the UK and the first online media to be represented in the British parliamentary press corps; then Opigram, an opinion-exchange platform with over a million members that YouGov acquired in 2013.

His commentary has appeared in the Spectator magazine, The Daily Telegraph, The Guardian, Prospect Magazine and The Evening Standard.

Sayers received his undergraduate at St. Paul’s School in London and his Masters in English Language and Literature from Oxford University.

Speech Topics

  • What does Brexit mean for the West?
    Hillary Clinton has said she doesn’t think there’s much to be learned from Brexit. But she should take note. Brexit was the latest visible example of trends that are found across Europe and the US, where whole parts of society feel alienated and left out by globalization. New York, London and Los Angeles now have more in common with each other than with the towns just an hour outside of each. How to reconcile these divisions growing within most Western democracies is the great challenge of our age. The answers may change the future of nations.
  • Proud as a Peacock, Quiet as a Mouse
    Did you know that people who particularly like peacocks really are more proud than most, and that people who think of themselves as quiet really are more likely to like mice? Or that the whole concept of romantic love is different in Asia to the West? Or why blue is the universal colour everywhere in the world except China? Studying profile data from over a million people across Europe and America reveals some surprising - and often humorous – aspects of human nature. The things that make us different, and the things that bind us all together.
  • Beware Big Data
    In an era when we have more information than ever before, we are remarkably bad at predicting events. For all the promise of ‘big data’, every shiny new piece of information is still interpreted by a human being - and we can’t help but interpret data in a way that reinforces our instincts. Brexit took the whole world by surprise, in perhaps the biggest mispricing of risk in modern history, with consequences that will be felt across the West for years to come. Why? Because the financial markets, the media, experts and even the political campaigns themselves interpreted the data to fit in with what they wanted to believe. More numbers doesn’t yet mean more wisdom.
Article: The Great Uncertainty for Brexit
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