Matt Thomas

Dr. Matt Thomas is Head of Strategic Insight and Foresight at the British Red Cross. Matt’s team aims to help the Red Cross become more anticipatory and proactive by producing insights and tools including the Vulnerability Index ( and Resilience Index ( He holds a PhD in Evolutionary Anthropology and, prior to joining the British Red Cross, was researching topics including reindeer herders in the Arctic, hunter-gatherers in the Philippines, and witches in China. Outside of work, Matt writes a column for an anthropology magazine ( as well as fiction.

rstudio::global 2021

Cognitive speed: How the Tidyverse helped the British Red Cross respond quickly to COVID-19

January 21, 2021

We will discuss the importance of cognitive speed, defined here as the rate in which an idea can be translated into code, and why the Tidyverse excels in this domain.