Peter Durand

Caricaturing Economists from the NYTimes.com

In Journal on November 11, 2010 at 3:33 pm

Caricaturing Economists

I was at the Legg Mason Thought Leader Forum last week, talking about my research over recent years on prediction markets.  It was good fun, but the real novelty was that as I was speaking — literally, in real time — there was a cartoonist next to the stage, cartooning my talk on a five-foot-wide poster.  I’ve never seen this before, but it was a real hit.

As a speaker, it can be hard to organize your own thoughts even when you know what is coming next.  And as an audience member, it can be harder still to sort out the key points a speaker makes from their conversational asides.  But the artist — Christopher Fuller who works for Sente Corporation— was just amazing.  He not only picked out the important analytic insights, but found an incredibly useful way to represent them, cartooning (or perhaps caricaturing) my message.

I think this is a great idea, and it will serve as a useful reminder to those who heard the talk.  And if you weren’t there, hopefully this cartoon gives you some sense of what I had to say.

Now if only I could get my MBA students to do the same thing, they would all have a wonderfully entertaining set of notes to study in advance of their exams.  I would love to see a study figuring out whether it helps them retain the material.  I bet it would.

Way to go, Christopher!

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