Hans Rosling

Global health expert; data visionary

Co-founder of Médecines sans Frontiers in Sweden and of the Gapminder Foundation

Hans Rosling speaker, keynote speech, health, ted

In Hans Rosling’s hands, data sings. Global trends in health and economics come to vivid life. And the big picture of global development—with some surprisingly good news—snaps into sharp focus.

English · Swedish

Hans Rosling has the unique ability to make statistical data come alive in order to address the global economy and, in particular, dispel common myths about the so-called developing world, which he believes is no longer worlds away from the West.

The founder of the Gapminder Foundation – an organization that strives to make statistical data freely available and easily understandable online – and a professor of international health at Karolinska Institutet, Hans Rosling began his wide-ranging career as a physician, spending many years in rural Africa tracking a rare paralytic disease (which he named konzo) and discovering its cause: hunger and badly processed cassava. He co-founded Doctors Without Borders Sweden, wrote a textbook on global health, and has advised the WHO and UNICEF.

What sets Rosling apart as a speaker isn’t just his apt observations of broad social and economic trends, but the stunning way he presents them. You’ve never seen data presented like this. By any logic, a presentation that tracks a wide range of global trends should be, in a word, boring. But in Rosling’s hands, data sings. Trends come to life. And the big picture – usually hazy at best – snaps into sharp focus.

Rosling’s presentations are grounded in solid statistics (often drawn from United Nations data), illustrated by the visualization software he developed. The animations transform development statistics into moving bubbles and flowing curves that make global trends clear, intuitive, and even playful. During his legendary presentations, Hans Rosling takes this one step farther, narrating the animations with a sportscaster’s flair.

Hans Rosling is a member of the International Group of the Swedish Academy of Science and of the Global Agenda Network of the World Economic Forum in Switzerland. His 20 years of research on global health concerned the character of the links between economy and health in Africa, Asia, and Latin America. He’s also personally argued with many heads of state, including Fidel Castro.

Future Global Trends: A Fact-Based View

Is child mortality falling? Where is HIV decreasing? What are adult literacy rates around the world? These are some of the questions Hans Rosling addresses through Gapminder, a nonprofit that strives to make statistical data freely available and easily understandable online.

Rosling's famous lectures combine enormous quantities of public data with a sport's commentator's style to reveal the story of the world's past, present, and future development. Using data from about 200 countries over 200 years using 120,000 numbers - such as plotting life expectancy against income for every country since 1810 - Rosling shows how the world we live in is radically different from the world most of us imagine. Illustrated by the visualization software he developed, the animations transform development statistics into moving bubbles and flowing curves that make global trends clear, intuitive, and even playful. And the big picture - with some surprisingly good news - snaps into sharp focus.

Global Health: An Introductory Textbook

This book addresses the health of the whole world. Many simplifications were required for it to fit into a single textbook for students wanting to: 1) get an understanding of how the health of the world's population has changed over time; 2) learn about the main determinants for health; 3) how health can be measured and what the main idicators are for health and illness; 4)learn about what is causing illness, disability and death for large numbers of poeple; 5) to be acquainted with models and structures for health care around the world. The book is written from a public health perspective and shows the close link between health and social realities, money and the environment.

Global Health: An Introductory Textbook

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