Information for Development: (micro)tribute to Hans Rosling

One of the things that thrills me about attending the Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium is seeing Hans Rosling in the flesh, as he will be there as keynote speaker. I’ve always loved his work with Gapminder and how information or statistics, graphically presented, can be so revealing — and appealing.

My friend and colleague César Córcoles now reminds me that prof. Rosling was back at TED this year (he also was there on 2006). The presentation, as usual, is impressive, fun… and impressive. But, over all, I loved the common sense he showed when he explained the way he understood the dimensions of development, where crosses state the importance of each item as a mean and as a goal:

  Means Goals
Human Rights + +++
Environment + ++
Governance ++ +
Economic Growth +++ 0
Education ++ +
Health + ++
Culture + +++

As shown in the table, Economic Growth is the most powerful mean, but the real goal is not GDP increases, but Human Rights and, over all, Culture, which is what makes people’s live happy. For your enjoyment, his two speeches at TED.



Update:Two more videos by Hans Rosling at information aesthetics (thanks César



If you need to cite this article in a formal way (i.e. for bibliographical purposes) I dare suggest:

Peña-López, I. (2007) “Information for Development: (micro)tribute to Hans Rosling” In ICTlogy, #45, June 2007. Barcelona: ICTlogy.
Retrieved month dd, yyyy from

Previous post: Second Annual ICT4D Postgraduate Symposium

Next post: OII Summer Doctoral Programme 2007 at the Berkman Center (Intro)

2 Comments to “Information for Development: (micro)tribute to Hans Rosling” »

  1. Besides the final sketch, is impressive how data can contain all this emerging patterns! The difference between goals and means for the dimensions of development seems also a great contribution (specially when considering statistics).

    Thought I have doubts with child surviving as a 100% accurate indicator for health in different countries: in developed and heavy industrialized or informational economies, could we consider aspects like sudden infant death syndrome (SIDS), obesity or hyperactivity from a reverse angle? I mean, for example, that developing countries with more mother-infant bed-sharing habits (& that’s also culture!) could have less SIDS, thus affecting the whole concept…

RSS feed RSS feed for comments on this post. TrackBack URI

Leave a Reply

Your comment: