December 11, 2007

Beyond Red Wine/ White Wine geography - or storytelling in a tech world

Just finished a fascinating lecture by Hans Rosling (founder of Medicine Sans Frontiers, and now, Gapminder) on technology, culture, diversity and storytelling. Lots of thougths to ponder:

  • "We thought we’d produce pages where people would lean forward and click.
    That does not work. You need to tell stories."
  • "There are 10 thousand watchers for each clicker"
  • "Every country that has gotten richer and healthier has done it at the expense of CO2 emissions. It’s you, the OECD that has destroyed the atmosphere. But we forgive you. Nobody knew what they were doing. But on the condition that we now count per capita. How can we make Chinese public perceive it as a problem when we are emitting so much more per capita?"
  • But we need the storytellers on top of this. It’s the storytellers that work.
  • "Start to look at the world as the place where all humans are equal – in choices, in opportunities
  • "We don’t want everyone to eat camembert in this world, to eat big macs. Bloggers, consider how all these blogging communities may enforce the ethnic homogeneity of Western Europe, NA. Create contacts elsewhere."
Take Hans' neighbor. He knows all about wine: temperature, food that goes with it, regions, taste. But he also only knows two only types of countries: “western” and “third world”
Now take Hans. He knows two types of wine: red and white. But he knows over 200 countries.
The main problem, says Hans, is that too many people that know wine, and too few people that know the world. Come study the world.

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