Possibility Club: On telling stories by understanding numbers

The Possibility Club podcasts are a window into the minds of people testing big ideas in business, culture and education.

Richard Freeman’s special guest this week is Sam Knowles.

Sam combines long and varied careers in both public relations and analytics. Whilst he has more than 25 years in corporate and consumer communications for global clients, his real passion is in unearthing and telling the stories that can be found in the numbers around us.

Before founding story-telling consultancy Insight Agents, Sam was Group Director, Strategic Planning at advertising agency WCG Europe, and before that the UK Managing Director of Echo Research.

Sam has a doctorate in Experimental Psychology, a source of both his understanding of human motivation and behaviour and his love of telling stories with data. His new book, published by Routledge, is called ‘Narrative by Numbers: How to Tell Powerful and Purposeful Stories with Data’.

Richard and Sam first met at a business breakfast event in late 2017, but it was in mid-April 2018 when this conversation was recorded at Sam’s house in East Sussex.

They talk about the growing role of analytics in story-telling and education and the art of using numbers to move people – even when it is known the numbers are unreliable.