Tribute to Hans Rosling

The work of Swedish data evangelist Hans Rosling has inspired many of us at the ODI, so here are some of our own reflections on how he’s influenced us and our mission.

HansRosling Hans Rosling at World Bank by Neil Fantom (CC By 2.0)

James Smith, Head of Labs

null All Hans’ work was great, but the biggest thing I got from it was the understanding that things change fast. Most people base their ideas about the world on what they learned at school, but that gets out of date very quickly. He taught me to never assume that I know what the world looks like, and always be ready for new information

Lucy Knight, ODI Devon

null The first time I saw one of Hans Rosling’s TED talks, I realised that it’s OK to be excited about data and the things it makes possible; it’s OK to talk about data, statistics and technology as if you really care about the results; it’s OK to speed up and down a stage and wave your arms and make the audience laugh


Amanda Smith, Account Manager

null Hans Rosling combined data and storytelling to show me that there's much positivity in this world, and things aren't as bleak as often we imagine. He was someone you could look to for the truth, and would get you excited about the possibilities and opportunities to learn from data and create change. Hans also reminded me that it’s great to be a data geek

Jamie Fawcett, Researcher

null I first came across Hans Rosling during a university statistics course. His charismatic, engaging style seemed to clash violently with all my experiences of statistics to that date. By presenting data about the real world in easily accessible ways, he helped me to understand the potential power of strong statistics and clear communication

Anne McCrossan, ODI Cornwall

null I think of Hans Rosling as the godfather of data enablement, he brought data to life in the most palpable way, with exciting narrative, interactive visuals and a disarmingly down-to earth approach. Hans made data wrangling an irresistible and accessible joy. He was just a huge inspiration and life is poorer without him.


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