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Beaver Valley Association for Lifelong Learning

FALL SERIES: The Wisdom of Crowds; A Three-Part Talk - Doug Miller, Pollster

FALL SERIES: The Wisdom of Crowds; A Three-Part Talk - Doug Miller, Pollster

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What is your opinion of opinion polls?


Timed to coincide with the last weeks of the 2024 US presidential election, this 3-part talk by one of the pioneers of international polling will explore the evidence on whether scientific public opinion polls can unlock ‘the wisdom of crowds’ and even predict the future.


Doug Miller, founder of GlobeScan, conducted his first 30-nation opinion poll in 1996 and annually ever since for clients ranging from the BBC World Service, The Economist magazine, the United Nations, and a wide range of corporate and NGO clients. 


Session One: October 1, 2024

Polling 101 and Can the World Be Wrong?

-       How to be a discerning judge of polls

-       Key trends from Miller’s 2016 book, “Can the World Be Wrong? Where global public opinion says we’re headed” (Greenleaf/Routledge)


Session Two: October 8, 2024

Up-to-the-Moment Trends in 2024

-       Updating some of the trends from “Can the World Be Wrong?” plus a few other poll findings that help explain the world today.


Session Three: October 15, 2024

US Presidential Elections – Past, Present and Future

-       Letting the world vote in the 2004 US Presidential Election (Bush vs Kerry).

-       What the polls are saying about the 2024 contest

-      A fanciful scenario for the 2028 US presidential election from Miller’s next book of ‘social science fiction’ titled “Middle Ground”.

Doug Miller - Biography


Doug Miller has been a life-long environmentalist and social entrepreneur, now writing books and paddling along the shores of Georgian Bay.


In the 1970’s, Doug was executive director of Pollution Probe Ottawa, and founding director in 1976 of Friends of the Earth/Les Amis de la Terre Canada.


In 1987, Doug founded a polling research and consulting firm in Canada that over mthe last 40 years has transformed into a global Benefit Corporation (B-Corp) focused on advancing sustainable development, with offices in Toronto, London, San Francisco, Hong Kong, Cape Town, Paris, Sao Paulo, and Singapore (see


Through his career, Doug became a globally-recognized pollster and commentator (BBC, The Economist), culminating in his 2016 book, “Can the World Be Wrong? Where global public opinion says we’re headed.” (Greenleaf/Routledge)


In 2019, Doug stepped down as GlobeScan Chairman and sold the firm to his employees through an Employee Ownership Trust, ensuring the firm’s continued independence and success.


In addition to other projects, Doug is currently writing his second book – a social science fiction called “Middle Ground” that traces the 30-year development and implementation of what he calls Democracy 3.0 by the year 2035.


Doug is 45-years happily married with three sons and seven grandchildren, living on 100 acres outside of Annan Ontario Canada with a long view of Georgian Bay and the Bruce Peninsula. He aspires to live his life as an artist/monk and “wrinkled radical.”

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