Monday, February 22, 2010

Hans Rosling at the InSTEDD iLab!

Just a quick note to mention that Hans Rosling, one of the most interesting medical statisticians alive, came by the InSTEDD Innovation Lab on the day of our Buddhist Blessing Ceremony to offer a few thoughts about Cambodia to our iLab staff.

Hans, a medical doctor out of the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, has developed a set of tools for visualizing data in a simple, intuitive, and informative way, and he ruptures a lot of myths in his moving bubble diagrams. His work on HIV, on investments in the developing world, the relationships between education and child health, and more, has affected thinking - and policy - at national and international levels. He's a phenomenal teacher, and to have him spend two hours at our iLab, talking about Cambodia to our Cambodian staff (and lots of visitors for the occasion), was a wonderful stroke of good fortune.

You'll get the idea below that his work with his software, Gapminders, visualizing data from statistical databases at WHO, the World Bank, and elsewhere, was engaging, thought-provoking, and a real kick-start to the Dynamic Resource Mapping capabilities we're just now moving out into the world (see the Dynamic Resource Mapping blog below). Great timing for us, explaining why REALLY knowing what you have out there is critically important.

To get a flavor of his hours spent with us, I recommend any one of the talks that Hans has given at TED. You can see his most recent, at TEDIndia last summer, here. Other TED talks include a little sword-swallowing. He's an interesting man.

Thanks, Hans. It was a terrific day.