“The seemingly impossible is possible”

I quote here Hans Rosling, a man with great understanding of human societies. Not knowing about Hans Rosling is akin to illiteracy for anyone involved in international development or the aid industry.

TED Talks is a place where great videos can be found. I’m not talking about watching a dog skating or Chris Crocker, two of YouTube hits. I’m talking about well put together presentations that really teach you something new, serious talks from serious people nicely packaged.

One of the most inspirational videos I’ve seen of late is Hans Rosling single-handedly redefining the notions of development and progress. Hans’ approach to analysing and presenting statistics is very refreshing and certainly a novelty to me. It tells me that nothing is really new under the sun. There are mainly changed interpretations, new insights leading to new ways of thinking or new behaviours. Evolutionists would talk about evolutionary changes, there’s a truth in that.

Hans Rosling brings us the sort of new insight that makes us think differently and hopefully behave differently. What’s knowledge worth if not applied? In the world we live in today, it pays more than ever to free your mind and open your eyes, the rewards can be priceless while costing you nothing. Pun intentional. History will probably place Hans and his colleagues amongst the champions of Enlightenment 2.0 – I’m referring to the contemporary equivalent of the eighteen century european Enlightenment movement, a fiction of mine naturally.

Back to back I watched two presentations:

  1. Andrew Mwenda: Let’s take a new look at African aid. then,
  2. Hans Rosling’s masterful presentation: New insights on poverty and life around the world.

After visualising these two videos I wondered what we learn from the story of Cuba. The country is said to have a very high level of litteracy and one of the world’s best health care systems. It’d be interesting to hear Hans Rosling’s opinion about this. Perhaps I should just get his book Global Health to find out.

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