Fernanda talked to the staff of Mittuniversitet about how people’s biases and dramatic instincts shape their perceptions of the world. In their planning on how to act towards sustainable development, universities must truly understand the transformations that the world has gone through and the forecasts for the coming decades in order to take informed decisions and lead their students to critical analysis and fact-based learning.
Ola Rosling went to Google in Stockholm and tested their knowledge of basic global facts!
The Sales & Engineering team of Google found it important to learn about the misconceptions that affect people’s understanding of the world. Organizations such as Google, that provide so much data to the public and end up influencing on what information reaches the users, must understand how people receive such information and how that affects their understanding of the world. This knowledge helps them to analyse the impacts of their services and can potentially help in improving their own approach to data presentation.
Ola Rosling spoke at Swedes Worldwide in Stockholm and proved that people in rich countries have Mega Misconceptions that make them see the world worse than it actually is!
Most people today have a very negative view of the world. In this picture, he’s showing how many people in rich countries believe that the world is getting better or worse, according this survey conducted by YouGov. Out of 17 countries, in only one the people the world was getting better.
Ola argued that we need to add fact-based education in the national curriculum of all countries, to guarantee that our future generations, in Sweden and abroad, make fact-based decisions.
Fernanda tested entrepreneurs from the famous business school India Institute of Management in Bangalore on their knowledge of global facts. And they scored almost as bad as the general public of rich countries.
About 900 alumni from IIMB were present and they agreed that business needs to understand the national and international context to succeed! And #Factfulness is the frame of mind for grasping the world around us!
In sum, factfulness is important for entrepreneurs as it’s helps them in understanding:
better understand your consumers
know your competitors
know how to hire and guide your team, and coach them to use statistic evidence for making decisions
Anna Rosling Rönnlund wants to make sure everybody can understand how the world actually looks like, beyond stereotypes and prejudices. Passionate about the visual side of data, she always makes sure that the educational resources created by Gapminder are easy to use and easy to understand!
At the 10th International Conference on Teaching Statistics, Anna showed how Gapminder educates the public all over the globe about the state of the world with statistics. She showed how most people in the richest countries have a very skewed worldview, and then explained that this is due to our dramatic instincts, which are presented in the Factfulness book.
Anna showed the 10 Rules of Thumb, that allows us to overcome our dramatic instincts and open our eyes to what the statistics show: the world is not divided in two, things are getting better (it can be bad, but better!) and the world population is expected to stabilise by the end of the century.
Educators, statistics students, statisticians (and other people who don’t necessarily love numbers) learned about Gapminder’s innovative ways of showing data. They can now create new knowledge and tools that will help mankind to:
1. Explore and learn quantitative information in a non-mathematical way – Like Anna does with www.dollarstreet.org– a tool that she created to show photo as data.
2. Understand that country stereotypes are not correct: variation across the world is more based on income than on other factors.
3. Discover that unlike many people think, the world is not divided in two. People normally see only the extremes, but it’s normally more important to highlight the entire distribution.
Anna’s focus is always the big picture as she knows that what you see is what you understand!
Ola Rosling presented “Factfulness” to the crowd at the Campus Party in Singapore!
Ola presented the terrible results for the Misconceptions Study 2017 along the with the mega misconceptions that skew our worldview. They are:
1. People think that the world is divided in two. It’s not, most people live in the middle.
2. People think that things are getting worse. While there are many bad things, the world is actually getting better.
3. The world population just keeps growing. Yes, the population is growing, but it’s expected to stabilise around 11 billion people by the end of this century.
Ola showed that everyone, including the entrepreneurs and software engineers present at the Campus party should have a fact-based worldview. Everyone needs to learn the basic facts about global development and be reminded that they too are suffering dramatic instincts when they interpret the world. They need a fact-based worldview, for example, to better understand the world, to better understand their consumers and their market, and reach beyond the “own-cultural” high income segment to reach the growing high-income consumers market in many countries.
Olof Gränström from Gapminder challenges misconceptions and talks about the need for a fact-based world view at Hult Business school in London.
During the talk the students not only had to face their own misconceptions about the world, but they also got a crash course in global facts. The discussions ranged from the need for data to understand the world to a the inevitable fill-up and the demographic momentum. According to Olof, “understanding the demographic momentum is essential to understand the development of the world”!
Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund had the pleasure to talk in a open event at Makerere University in Kampala, Uganda.
Gapminder has tested the public on the most basic global development trends (see www.gapm.io/gms17) and people seem to be completely misinformed about how the world looks like. Ola and Anna showed how the public seems have a skewed worldview due to basically the three mega-misconceptions: 1) the world is divided in two, 2) the world is getting worse, and 3) the population just keeps growing!
They dismantled these mega misconceptions and offered a new way of thinking about the world: Factfulness.
Factfulness is the relaxing habit of basing your opinion in facts!
Gapminder’s Misconceptions Study 2017 shows that the public of rich countries have no knowledge of the great success achieved after vaccinating children all over the world in the past decades. So Ola & Anna made sure to show the most recent immunization data from the World Health Organization, showing that trends in global health are more positive than we think. Ola pointed out that if we want the public to understand the global trends, such as vaccination trends and other global health issues, we need to simplify statistics and show it in ways that are easier to understand.
Watch their presentation in Kigali, Rwanda, for the Global Immunization Meeting 2018, here:
Anna also presented Dollar Street, a tool that used photos as data to show how the world actually looks like. Using the data we have, and making it understandable to the public is one of the most important steps not only to providing a more realistic view of the world, but to motivate improvements in data collection and analysis. As pointed out by Sabin Vaccines Institute here, the Principal Adviser and Chief of Immunization of UNICEF, Robin Nandy explains that “Although we discuss so much about the lack of quality data, we fail to use the data we have in hand. If we don’t use what we have, what would better quality data result in?”
In a High-Level Conference on the Sustainable Development Goals in Sarajevo, Ola showed how Bosnia and Herzegovina find themselves today similar to what Sweden looked like in the 1950 in terms of income and health.
He pointed out that there’s been a gradual development and if it continues in this path, in 30 years it will reach somewhere around the level in which Sweden is now, which is a very fast progress. He sees the will of the entrepreneurs and the vast opportunities for the industry in Bosnia and Herzegovina to grow and become competitive in the global market. He points out that the key to a sustainable progress is not the speed, but security and well-grounded plans”.