According to the saying, there are lies, worse lies, and statistics. However, statistics can reveal a great deal about the world when understood and interpreted correctly. The problem for the general population is that a list of numbers and percentages is neither appealing nor digestible and most people need a beginner’s guide to understand basic concepts of statistics. That’s where Hans Rosling and gapminder.org come in – Rosling challenges this perception and introduces the world to statistics like they have never seen it before.
Gapminder animates data on charts, turning them from a vague concept to a living organism whose shape, position and movement help visualize and internalize the issue discussed. It makes statistics accessible to people who don’t have a mathematical background, giving them the opportunity to understand it instantly. The interactive software, together with the lively presentation and passion of Hans Rosling, a Swedish professor of global health at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute, are “rockstars” on many events around the globe. His videos are among the top viewed, favorited and emailed of all times on TED, the popular lecture website.
Hans Rosling was voted one of the world’s “100 most important global thinkers” of 2009 by the Foreign Policy Magazine (December 2009), for “for boggling our minds with paradigm-shattering data. ” According to the magazine, his endeavor to use numbers to shatter stereotypes of rich and poor countries has brought him global prominence.
In May 2010 I was lucky to get the chance to talk to him for a few hours. As a result I produced this interview and the following youtube player on gapminder in which Rosling explains the idea behind it and the “media-strategy”.
This blogpost is part 2 of a series of short videoclips with Hans Rosling, founder of gapminder and TEDster. On behalf of futurechallenges.org, Ole Wintermann and I went to Stockholm to interview Hans in May 2010. For me it was one of the most funniest and most inspriring interviews I have ever done … and I am truly looking forward to include Hans Rosling again in our next edition of we-magazine which will focus on Africa.
“Tintin thought that it was the Western world and the rest.”
What is the core idea behind Gapminder? “Basically it’s a new map”, Hans Rosling says. “Instead of north and south we have healthy and sick.”
By using a game-like approach Gapminder makes world statistics understandable. And because he describes global trends like a sports commentator Hans Rosling has opened the eyes of a broad public.
But what is Rosling’s approach to attract such a large audience?
He was a medical doctor and teacher to fifty people, now millions listen to him thanks to the TED crew and his short lecture format. In fact he has an entire media strategy as there are stratified user groups:
This blogpost is the start of a series of short videoclips with Hans Rosling, founder of gapminder and TEDster. On behalf of futurechallenges.org, Ole Wintermann and I went to Stockholm to interview Hans in May 2010. For me it was one of the most funniest and most inspriring interviews I have ever done … and I am truly looking forward to include Hans Rosling again in our next edition of we-magazine which will focus on Africa.
So have fun!
“The problem in West Europe is that we have too many who know wine and too few who know the world.”
Hans Rosling has become an internet sensation. The Swedish professor of international health and director of the Gapminder Foundation is using engaging data visualization and storytelling to dispel widely held misconceptions about the world we live in.
“The data goes out to the public, it goes into their eyes, it hits their retina. The problem is it doesn’t go into the brain!”
Hans Rosling worked as a medical doctor in Africa and discovered that the concept of ‘developing countries’ as he was taught it in school didn’t make sense anymore.
Rosling describes himself as a curious, humble person and thinks not everyone has to run advocacy. The role he sees for Gapminder is to provide a map of what the world really looks like.
At Le Web 3 I had the chance to talk to Hans Rosling about globalization and learning about attitudes in order to survive as an international company! Rolsing is also founder of gapmainder.org Gapminder is a non-profit venture for development and provision of free software that visualise human development. This is done in collaboration with universities, UN organisations, public agencies and non-governmental organisations. Gapminder is a Foundation registered at Stockholm. It was founded by Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Hans Rosling on 25 February 2005, in Stockholm.