ONE has learnt of the sad news that Professor Hans Rosling passed away today in the presence of his family in Uppsala, Sweden.
Hans was a great friend and supporter of ONE, as well as our predecessor organisation DATA.
In a world where opinions and false stories have the power to shape politics and the news, Hans prioritised data and evidence and brought it to life — particularly when talking about the fight against extreme poverty.
He was an optimist. He told us how how extreme poverty has halved since 1990 and that we are winning the fight against preventable disease. But he also brought the experience of extreme poverty to life. (Just look at his 2015 BBC documentary, “Don’t Panic: How to End Poverty in 15 Years.”)
He told the story of how living in extreme poverty (less than $1.90 a day) could be the difference between everyone in the family having their own toothbrush or sharing a single toothbrush between a family.
His term “factfulness” — which he urged everyone to adopt — captured a combination of a hard-edged focus on evidence with a sense of fun.
He leaves a legacy that we all should embrace: To end extreme poverty, we need great data and need to communicate it brilliantly so that people understand the great progress, the great opportunity, and the great need that the world must respond to.
Our thoughts are with his family. In a statement released today on the website of the Gapminder Foundation, which Hans co-founded with his son Ola Rosling and daughter-in-law Anna R. Rönnlund, his family said this: “Across the world, millions of people use our tools and share our vision of a fact-based worldview that everyone can understand. We know that many will be saddened by this message. Hans is no longer alive, but he will always be with us and his dream of a fact-based worldview, we will never let die!”