Rest in peace professor Rosling

I am deeply saddened learning that professor Hans Rosling passed away this morning.

Professor Rosling was a role model, and one of my biggest inspirations in life. I can truly say I would not be where I am today without his influence. Seeing his famous TED talk in 2006 was what convinced me to quit my job and start DataMarket, aspiring to do meaningful things with data.

Despite the shirt, I’m not the biggest data nerd in this picture.

Not everybody is fortunate enough to meet their role models, but we had that chance in 2014 when he visited our Reykjavik offices. Subsequently we worked briefly with Gapminder consolidating data about the Ebola outbreak in Western Africa. While only for a few weeks until better data collection methods were in place, it may have been the most meaningful work we ever did.

Rosling’s passing is a great loss for the world of data and facts, in a time where you could say upholding them has never been more important. Or as he says in this fantastic interview on Danish television.

You can’t rely on media if you want to understand the world.

My deepest condolences to Ola, Anna, other friends and family and the people of Gapminder. May you continue the important and impactful work.

To the rest of you, a donation to Gapminder Foundation might be a good way to honor Professor Rosling’s memory.

I am not an optimist. I’m a very serious possibilist. It’s a new category where we take emotion apart and we just work analytically with the world. — Hans Rosling

Hans, you will be sorely missed. :’(

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