A Swedish physician and a public speaker, Hans Rosling was an advocate of dissemination of correct and meaningful information. He was of the opinion that one cant derive conclusions based on half or outdated information.
He also contended that if something is wrong, it can get better with time. Instead of forming a permanent opinion about it and not updating ourselves with due course of time is quite harmful.
He worked to start a foundation – Gapminder – that works on eradicating misconceptions that people might have about the worldly affairs.
In a nutshell, one can say that Gapminder attempts to create awareness about things that are otherwise clouded by dramatic and biased propaganda. In one of the books by Hans Rosling, he mentions that while people’s perception about living conditions of under-developed countries is quite discouraging and gloomy; in reality these countries have overpowered the decades old problems to a larger extent. Rather than being updated about this development, rest of the world is still ignorant.
There could be several prospects/projects/ideas/collaborations that can see light of day had the rest of the world been updated about these changes.
To site an example, one can mention this – It was fine to compare the incomes of people across countries when the countries had recently emerged from the world wars and then gained independence. It was important to compare incomes to find out the countries that were not able to provide a bare minimum livelihood to their citizens. This helped in finding out the poverty stricken countries by comparing income per capita(income per citizen).
However, now that most of the countries are having basic means of living, may be, it would be better to compare the living standards by a new measure called ‘Guitar per capita’ !