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| Human World on Dec 07, 2010

Hans Rosling, global statistics expert, on numbers and hope

Rosling says that while some numbers about Earth today reflect an overwhelming reality, some reveal a hopeful future.

Dr. Hans Rosling is a statistician and global health expert at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute. Rosling is also founder of Gapminder Foundation, a Stockholm-based think-tank that aims to show the world’s most important trends through what he calls the “beauty of statistics.” Rosling thinks about and talks about numbers – for example, the number of people on Earth – expected to reach 9 billion by 2050. But he said – while some numbers about Earth today reflect an overwhelming reality – some reveal a hopeful future. Watch the BBC video above … or click into the 8-minute EarthSky interview and hear Dr. Hans Rosling speaking with EarthSky’s Beth Lebwohl.

Hans Rosling: The future of the world doesn’t depend on one thing. We tend to discuss that climate change is bigger than everything, or population is bigger than everything else, or security is bigger than everything else. We have to do several things at the same time to have a good world in the future, and we have to understand the magnitude of these challenges. Because in the end – and we are saying this in Sweden – the future doesn’t depend what happens in Sweden, it’s what happens in the rest of the world.