Healthy, wealthy, wise

If you haven’t yet heard Hans Rosling’s presentation at TED last year, you’re in luck.

Hans RoslingRosling is a professor of international health at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden. He writes about global health issues on his blog.

At TED, he spoke on Debunking Third-World Myths.

He’s worth hearing for so many reasons, including:

  • The passion in his presentation
  • The relationships revealed by his data
  • The way the images underscore his points, rather than drowning them

Within the first two minutes, you’ll learn about the difference between Swedish grad students, Swedish professors, and chimpanzees. That was enough to guarantee my interest — but remarks that are scarcely more than side comments showed to me how Rosling relates individual data elements into a coherent, powerful picture.

Mao Zedong brought health to China…
Deng Xiaopeng brought wealth to China…

[If you’re a country,] you can move much faster if you are healthy first than if you are wealthy first…

But health cannot be bought at the supermarket. You have to invest in health. You have to get kids into schooling. You have to train health staff. You have to educate the population…

Another example of Rosling at work: his blog post Who Wants to Be Rich and Sick?

(Post updated on 3/17/08 to incorporate the video player.)