bend-Oregon-speaking-photo“Economics should not be accessible only to the experts. The ideas—especially now—are too important.” Enter Charles Wheelan: a speaker with a flair for turning the “dismal science” into talks that help us solve real world problems. In a new book, Naked Statistics, he makes sense of big data: data is simply raw fuel; statistics are what we create from it.

Many people—many otherwise intelligent people—struggle to understand even the basics of economics. They simply don’t “get” it. For them, for all of us, there’s Charles Wheelan, the breezy opposite of your typical droning economist. “Economics should not be accessible only to the experts. The ideas are too important and too interesting.” In all of his work, he shows us how to apply economics to solve real world problems. Wheelan has a flair for turning the so-called dismal science into affecting, comprehensible prose. Nowhere is this more evident than in his classic book, Naked Economics, an accessible and entertaining introduction to economics for lay readers.

In Naked Statistics: Stripping the Dread from the Data, Wheelan strips away arcane and technical details to get at the underlying intuition that is so key to understanding the power of statistical concepts. The Centrist Manifesto is a call for a new political party, as Wheelan outlines and predicts at least five Centrist leaders emerging in New England, the Midwest, and elsewhere.

Wheelan contributes regularly to NPR and other media outlets. The former Midwest correspondent for The Economist, and a former gubernatorial speechwriter, his book, Naked Economics, has been published in seven languages. In his refreshingly honest book, 10 1/2 Things No Commencement Speaker Has Ever Said, Wheelan offers 10 head-turning aphorisms—backed up by a PhD in public policy and extensive social science research—that set the record straight on what graduates should expect in the real world, and how their partying and class-skipping has not, in fact, ruined their chances at success.

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Who & What?

I have spoken to groups ranging from American Express senior executives to high school students in Hawaii. I’ve done events for the sales force of a major paper company, and I’ve addressed the entire student body of a small liberal arts college in rural Kentucky.

What do they all have in common? Each group is looking for insights that can be gleaned from some of the most important ideas in economics and statistics. But none wants to be drubbed with a long, boring PowerPoint packed with irrelevant data. The joy of these talks is that they can be surprisingly enjoyable, even funny.
Past topics:

“Big data:  tool,weapon, or both? The statistics of everyday life.”

“What the heck is going on? Insights into the policy process.”

“Naked Trends: What can basic economics tell us about the future?”

For more information, contact The Lavin Agency: