I was sad to hear, yesterday, that Hans Rosling had passed away.
For anyone interested in telling stories with data, he was an inspiration and an example.
His videos use a lively combination of data, innovative visualisation, and passionate argument. This is one of my favourites: 200 years that changed the world.
The mission he, Ola, and Anna set themselves at Gapminder was to combat ignorance with data; to discover where knowledge gaps exist, and to attack them with fact. He tended to underestimate the importance of his own charm and storytelling skill in engaging the audience not just with the data, but with its significance.
In a world in which news feels increasingly negative, dominated by assertion and prejudice over fact, Hans Rosling was a tremendous force for good. He made us see and acknowledge the progress that has been and is being made.
We could all do with being a bit more like Hans Rosling.