It is Never Merely About the Facts

Once a while, I discover a real gem on YouTube. It engages me first at one level, and then takes me to a whole new level, with its generosity, wisdom and insight.

I’ve seen Hans Rosling on TED before and I now realise that he’s made me a fan of demographics. (Who’d have thought?!) But this video, co-presented with his son, Ola, takes us all on a journey of sense-making that is really quite surprising.

With humour and visual clarity, the Roslings achieve a number of things in the space of a few minutes that most of us are never able to do in a lifetime:

  1. Equip us with simple tools to help us better understand the world and the time of history we are really living in
  2. Challenge deeply held but tired and dated mindsets
  3. Generate hope for ourselves, for our children and for future generations. 

You can watch the video here:

The family – Hans, Ola and Ola’s wife, Anna Rosling Rönnlund – have gone on to publish a bestseller from this talk called Factfulness: Ten Reasons We’re Wrong About The World – And Why Things Are Better Than You Think. The book was first published in 2018.

Sadly, Hans died the year before of pancreatic cancer. But Hans Rosling has left us with a legacy of hope, as I hope to do in some way.

Mindsets are important. They have more power than individual facts and have been the cause in science, business, politics and religion for keeping us where we are rather than helping us journey towards a better future. 

As a coach and trainer, this presents me with an intriguing problem: it is never merely about the facts.

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