About Nesta

Nesta is an innovation foundation. For us, innovation means turning bold ideas into reality and changing lives for the better. We use our expertise, skills and funding in areas where there are big challenges facing society.

Wiser than bookies, pollsters & Paul the octopus?

Listen to the episode now

Subscribe on: Apple Podcasts | Castbox | Libsyn | Overcast | Soundcloud | Spotify | Stitcher or wherever you get your podcasts.


On 16 October, we recorded this episode to look at predictions and forecasts about the way Brexit events might unfold - ahead of the original 31 October withdrawal deadline.

So who got it right? Which method gazed accurately into the future?

Using Brexit as a case study, this episode discusses different prediction and forecast methods - polling, betting, the wisdom of the crowds and academic research.

Host Tiernan Douieb is joined by an expert line-up of YouGov’s Chris Curtis, University of London’s Professor Chris Hanretty and Nesta’s Aleks Berditchevskaia. They weigh up experimental techniques, explore the merits of traditional prediction methods and discuss how we can predict and forecast in turbulent times.

We also hear from Sarbjit Bakhshi at Smarkets. He gives a snapshot into how betting and betting exchange activity can show the ebbs and flows of public opinion.

Link featured in this episode:

Get in touch with Future Curious: [email protected]

Future Curious is presented by Tiernan Douieb and produced and published by Nesta’s communication team. Recorded and edited at Wardour Studios. Original music by Ged Flood.