TED has been revered for bringing in flourishing personalities to convey ideas that can make the world a better place, and this memorable monologue by Swedish academic, statistician, and public speaker Hans Rosling is no different.
A physicist by profession who was Named among Time's 100 Most Influential People in 2012, Mr. Hans makes sure to simplify his message - that preconceived ideas can prevent, even the most learned scholars from finding the optimal solutions to the greatest of concerns.
Hans articulates his findings by comparing attributes such as mortality rate and GDP per capita of different nations through the last few decades. For example, among many other eye-opening studies, his research on Arab nations demolishes one's single-minded view of the region. Neighbors UAE & Yemen boast the same culture, climate and resources and thus would be perceived as having a similar rate of prosperity. But in 2003, Yemen had a per capita GDP of $620 and life expectancy of 90 while UAE, in the same year, had the same attributes at about $35,000 and above 99 - a startling difference. What's the reason for the difference? Better planning and governance, he states. The Swede finishes off by appealing that data and statistics must be made cheaper and more accessible, else we may miss out on the sheer betterment of the millions of lives that we aspire to change.
Perhaps the message intended is a very common one - that we must not fall prey to our preconceptions of something or someone and study them in an unbiased manner; or we could end up making matters worse than better. The only difference is that this time, the message is highly substantiated with concrete data.
Batch 2021 - 2023