Leonardo Award

Crossing Borders: Prof. Dr. Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Prof. Dr. Hans Rosling

Prof. Dr. Hans Rosling (1948-2017),
Professor of International Health Karolinska Institute Stockholm
Director of Gapminder Foundation
(Photographer Elisabeth Toll)

Ola Rosling

Ola Rosling
Gapminder Foundation

Anna Rosling Rönnlund

Anna Rosling Rönnlund
Gapminder Foundation

Leonardo “Crossing Borders” puts emphasis on outstanding new developments that provoke fundamental challenge of predominant mind-sets with effect on corporate learning. The Laureate 2011, Jimmy Wales, and his Wikipedia team, showed how important this topic is to the future of corporate learning. Professor Sugata Mitra, who was first laureate in this category, gives proof how to nourish potential and how to increase influence in media and in other modes of dissemination of good learning using advanced technology and daring discourses, may it be “Hole in the Wall” or “Granny´s Cloud”. Gary Copitch and his initiative “People´s Voice Media” has taken citizens learning to new heights pioneering to give a real voice to disenfranchised communities. Caroline Jenner, most devoted CEO of JA-YE Europe, was the last laureate in this category for overlooking and inspiring the multi-folded activities, the magnificent professional network, the interplay of entrepreneurial advancement for the young and the raising of their societal and social awareness.

Excerpt of the statement of the Jury for Hans Rosling:

“Our distinguished Leonardo ambassador for Sweden, Professor Leif Edvinsson, made us aware of the astonishing work of you, dear Hans Rosling, starting from Karolinska Institutet on Public Health to the economic pedagogic impact with the Gapminder Foundation together with your son Ola and your daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund:

You stress the point that you regard numbers as boring but are focusing on the people behind the numbers. That´s why you provide us with those new perspectives which are so important to understand and to come to responsible judgments based on insights derived from statistics that reveal interdependencies. Even those people who watch your famous TED talks with skepticism concede that you involve all of them in a meaningful mental dialogue, searching for better solutions for the challenges we have to cope with. Offering your advice and support to those who need to understand the developments that endanger their lives – like for example the Ebola-Crisis in Africa – gives the best example of the practical importance of your work for the lives of people. You are a convincing advocate against false simplifications that turn findings in some regions into general judgments about continents.

Excerpt of the statement of the Jury for Ola Rosling and Anna Rosling Rönnlund:

To overcome our own ignorance and to beat the chimp we had to learn that your father (in law) has been the original overwhelmingly inspiring driving force that made us look differently at the facts of life and living by taking a closer look at data but that we missed out two third of the gap-minder iceberg that in the beginning were not as visible to us. Being humans, we luckily can change our perceptions not only according to the rule of thumb. So following Professor Hans Rosling’s journey to raise awareness we explored more of the convincing secrets by which the three of you complement each other to build the pillars of the gap-minder endeavor to which all of us are invited to participate.

What impressed us and what is so much in line with our efforts in Leonardo is the way the two of you not just add to the essential message “to make my dataset change your mindset”, but how you make it vivid and dynamic. It is a vital difference whether to report changes by static (sic!) statistic or to let us experience the mutations visually. Maybe one should call it dynamistic …In that respect neither the data nor the mind is “set”, both are rather fluid and adaptable to the changes that are apparently taking place. Whilst you, Mr. Ola Rosling, seem to immediately relate those ambitions to the necessary code to be developed to produce those singing data, you, Mrs. Rosling Rönnlund, emphasized other means of visualization – systematizing pictures as socio-economic data.

All three of you combine data, visuals and their related animated movement to animate us in order to move. You are focusing on the people behind the numbers, visuals and animation. In the letter to Professor Rosling we already mentioned a series of important issues relating culture to economics Gapminder helped us to come to more fact-based judgments.

Each of you contributed to it with her/his own gift and deserves credit. Although it is true that whatever facts are known we never have a guarantee that people draw sensible conclusions your tremendous engagements are of great importance to allow more intelligent, smart and hopefully wise decisions for the benefit of people and society. That´s why we would love to award the three of you in this category.”

Prof. Dr. Hans Rosling (1948-2017)

We are deeply saddened by the news that Hans Rosling passed away shortly after the Leonardo Award Ceremony. He was an outstanding Leonardo Laureate. Hans was a great fighter for facts and challenged the whole world's view of development with his amazing teaching skills, he has developed with Anna and Ola. We all will deeply miss him, his visions and his way of standing up for facts, especially in today's times, when fact-based knowledge is so important for the world and its future, for society, the environment, nature and above all for politicians, in order to know how to solve the problems facing future generations.

Short bio Hans Rosling:

Swedish medical doctor
Rosling’s medical research in Africa has also focused on links between economic development, agriculture, poverty and health. He started health research collaborations with universities in Asia, Africa, Middle East and Latin America.
Professor and Head of the Division for International Health at Karolinska Institutet in Stockholm.
Former Health Adviser to WHO, Unicef and several aid agencies.
Co-Founder together with his son Ola and his daughter-in-law Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Chairman of the Gapminder Foundation, which developed the Trendalyzer software system. This converts international statistics into moving, interactive graphics to visualize world development.
2009 listed as one 100 leading global thinkers by Foreign Policy Magazine and 2011 one of 100 most creative people in business by the Fast Company Magazine.
2011 elected member of the Swedish Academy of Engineering Sciences and 2012 member of the Swedish Academy of Sciences.
2012 International Swede of the Year.

Short bio Ola Rosling:
Statistician, Director and Co-Founder of Gapminder with his wife Anna and Hans, his father. Ola was leading the development of the Trendalyzer Software, which converts international statistics into moving, interactive graphics.
This software was sold to Google in 2007, where he worked as Public Data Project Manager. In 2010 Gapminder was awarded with the World Technology Award in Design.

Short bio Anna Rosling Rönnlund:
Co-Founder of Gapminder Institutet. She holds a Master's Degree of Social Sciences with majors in Sociology (Lund Unversity) and a Bachelor's Degree in Photography (University of Gothenburg). After selling the Trendalyzer Software to Google, she worked there to apply her expertise as a User Experienced Designer. Today she works as Head of Design and UX at Gapminder.