Swede listed among world’s most influential thinkers of 2009

Swedish international health and statistics expert Hans Rosling has been named as one of 2009’s Top 100 Global Thinkers by Foreign Policy magazine.

The US-based publication placed Rosling in 96th place “for boggling our minds with paradigm-shattering data”.

“Rosling’s quest to use numbers to shatter stereotypes of rich and poor countries has brought him global prominence,” writes the magazine.

A professor of international health at Karolinska Institutet, Rosling is one of the founders of the Gapminder foundation which attempts to make statistical data more accessible and easy to use.

Rosling co-founded the non-profit Gapminder in 2005 together with his son and daughter-in-law as a way to promote “sustainable global development and achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals”, according to the organization’s website.

The organization then developed a software programme called Trendalyzer which converts international statistics into moving, interactive and enjoyable graphics.

The Google search engine acquired Trendalyzer in 2007.

Rosling is the only Swede named on Foreign Policy’s list, which is led by US Federal Reserve Bank head Ben Bernanke. President Barak Obama landed in second place, followed by Zahra Rahnavard, an Iranian political activist and reformer and wife of opposition leader Mir Hossein Mousavi.

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