For years, we’ve been using the same tools to predict major world events: polls, surveys, financial markets, civic analysis. But in recent years, these tools have failed us. The election of Donald Trump in the U.S., Brexit vote in the U.K., and the Arab Spring all came as giant shocks. This has been called “a disastrous decade for professional forecasters of the economic and political varieties”. But there were indications in each of these cases that ordinary citizens wanted change –and that political, economic and business leaders didn’t notice. Governments must find ways to listen to and engage their citizens, to detect these signs, so these disconnects do not happen. Understanding what went wrong in some of these cases can give us the insights we need to do things differently.