Following is the first of a series on TED talks that will change the way you view the world. The talks selected are drawn from the more than 150 that I've listened to this year.
Hans Rosling: “Let my dataset change your mindset”
In just 19 minutes, Hans Rosling will change the way you view the world. His stunning presentation makes clear: it’s time to stop using the term “developing world.” It no longer fits, it’s no longer appropriate and the data, simply, does not support it.
Through a series of dramatic visuals, Rosling forces us to re-map how we think about the world. Says Rosling: “The world is converging . . . we cannot put it into two parts,” namely, Western world and developing countries. “It’s far more dynamic than that.” As his TED bio explains: “. . . most of the Third World is on the same trajectory toward health and prosperity, and many countries are moving twice as fast as the West did.”
With dynamic illustrations, Rosling takes us back 200 years to chart the growth of countries around the world, then focuses on the recent growth of the middle income countries, adding: “. . . this is where I suggest to my students, stop using the concept ‘developing world’.” Using his Trendalyzer data-bubble software, Rosling begins in the year 1802, then quickly rolls the tape forward to illustrate the dramatic changes across the globe. Trust me, you’ll be blown away.
Key Rosling quotes:
· “There is no such thing as an HIV epidemic in Africa. There's a number, five to 10 countries in Africa, that has the same level as Sweden and United States.”
· “I was at the Global Health Conference here in Washington . . . and I could see the wrong concept even active people in United States had, that they didn't realize the improvement of Mexico . . . and China, in relation to United States. . . . [Mexico is] on par with the United States in these two social dimensions. . . less than 5% of the specialists in Global Health were aware of this.”
Rosling, who passed away this past February, was a Swedish physician, academic, statistician and public speaker. He was the Professor of International Health at Karolinska Institute and the co-founder and chairman of the Gapminder Foundation. He delivered this talk (https://www.ted.com/talks/hans_rosling_at_state) at the U.S. State Dept. in 2009.