Rory Sutherland

Rory Sutherland is vice-chairman of Ogilvy Group UK. He writes The Spectator's Wiki Man column.

It’s easy to sex up the business of paying tax

8 June 2019 9:00 am

To fund the war against Napoleon in 1813, Princess Marianne of Prussia invented an ingenious tax-raising scheme. Wealthy Prussians were…

Could my slogan have swayed the Brexit vote?

25 May 2019 9:00 am

People sometimes ask what slogan could have swayed the Brexit vote: the opposite of the touchstone phrase ‘Take back control’.…

Why don’t we see more big infrastructure projects?

11 May 2019 9:00 am

In 2012 I finished a meeting in Berlin and headed to Tegel airport. Apparently mine was a historic flight, since…

Slow road marking on a country road

In defence of inaction: why it’s usually best to do nothing

27 April 2019 9:00 am

I recently came across the Small Robot Company, a British agricultural robotics start-up. Their vision is that with smart, autonomous…

Slow road marking on a country road

The consequences of the new EU car speed limit

13 April 2019 9:00 am

A once famous question posed to job-seekers at Microsoft was ‘Why are manhole covers round?’ The question was revealing not…

The uncountable problems with innumerate Brits

30 March 2019 9:00 am

Alevels, from the perspective of a ‘choice architect’, are a disaster. While pupils are free to pick and mix freely…

Are IQ tests really the best way to measure nature vs nurture?

16 March 2019 9:00 am

I have a dim memory from 1970 of a primly dressed distant relative visiting in a Baby Austin. This, I…

We put a man on the moon before wheels on suitcases. What else are we missing?

2 March 2019 9:00 am

The Romans never invented the stirrup. It took 50 years after the invention of canned food for someone to invent…

Video-conferencing could revolutionise how we work – so why have we failed to invest in it properly? [GETTY IMAGES]

We don’t need more technology, we need better technology

16 February 2019 9:00 am

I’d like to propose a new scientific institution: the IUT, or Institute of Underrated Technology. Rather than trying to invent…

Why HS2 doesn’t stand up to the test of time

2 February 2019 9:00 am

In past years, I have been a critic of HS2. I might now change my mind. One simple tweak might…

Why it’s so much easier not to speak to people

19 January 2019 9:00 am

I recently saw a series of photographs depicting a rural home in China. Pride of place in a grimly furnished…

Identity is just as important as wealth. Why don’t economists get that?

5 January 2019 9:00 am

It has become commonplace for news reports to refer to almost any civic unrest, or even unusual patterns of voting,…

The most underpriced Christmas gift you can buy

15 December 2018 9:00 am

During the second Gulf war, simply out of curiosity, I found myself visiting the website of a giant American mercenary…

Technology wastes as much time as it saves

8 December 2018 9:00 am

I have just spent a weekend planning a family trip to Chennai and Hyderabad. Since some of the flights are…

Trump may have a point about fake news

24 November 2018 9:00 am

In recent years, much scrutiny has been paid to the workings of social media algorithms. Driven by escalating competition for…

Sending more people to uni isn’t the answer

10 November 2018 9:00 am

Imagine a world where employers judged applicants solely on their dress. Anyone in frayed clothes or scuffed shoes would never…

John McDonnell’s right – the four-day week could work

27 October 2018 9:00 am

Most people were scandalised by John McDonnell’s proposal to promote a four-day working week. But before we get incensed about…

A non-stop flight to Perth showed me that better beats bigger

13 October 2018 9:00 am

A few weeks ago I flew to Sydney to speak at a conference. The first leg was on the new…

Markets are clever precisely because people are silly

29 September 2018 9:00 am

A month ago I wanted to travel to Bath for a 60th birthday party. From Kent, this either involves a…

Silicon Valley’s weird ideas on how to improve human life

15 September 2018 9:00 am

Which is more diverse: London or Devon? That’s not a trick question. London is much more diverse than Devon. But…

Watch out comrade: big business is turning communist

1 September 2018 9:00 am

Is it me, or is business becoming a teeny-weeny bit Stalinist? Common features include 1) Paranoia about political ideology; 2)…

Why data doesn’t always reveal the truth

18 August 2018 9:00 am

In late 1973 the graduate admissions department at UC Berkeley discovered that for the forthcoming year it had awarded places…

There is nothing that makes you more anxious than being rich

4 August 2018 9:00 am

H.L. Mencken once said that a rich man is anyone who earns more than his wife’s sister’s husband. The anthropologist…

When it comes to new technology, we’re all Luddites at heart

21 July 2018 9:00 am

When I saw my first jogger in Wales in the early 1970s, I assumed he was running away from the…

It doesn’t matter how hard you work – just how busy you look

7 July 2018 9:00 am

The behavioural scientist Dan Ariely once found himself chatting to a locksmith with a curious problem. The better he became…