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Using photos as data to understand how people live | Anna Rosling Rönnlund | TEDxStockholm

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Published on Mar 12, 2015

Dollar Street is a visual framework for understanding different standards of living within and between countries. By combining documentary photos and income statistics, Dollar Street shows a fact-based worldview that cannot be found anywhere else.

Most of us don’t travel the whole world. Our ideas about people in other places and cultures are built up from images that we see in news, movies, natural documentaries and tourist ads. But those images often portray the unusual and extraordinary; they show dramatic events, romantic nature and unusual cultural traditions. People in other places appear to be very different from ourselves. This is unfortunate, as the basic humans needs are identical across all cultures. You need a home and you need to eat, sleep, wash, play and pee. On Dollar Street it’s not the extraordinary, but the common that fascinates. When sorting homes by income, people across the world live in surprisingly similar ways.

Born and raised in Sweden, Anna is a visionary whose main goal in life is finding systematic sense in vast amounts of data. As tons of data on individual countries’ health and economics status is collected yearly, Anna’s focus is making this global public data easier to understand, and use. She co-founded Gapminder, an organisation with a mission to “fight devastating ignorance with a fact-based worldview everyone can understand”. Gapminder´s software Trendalyzer was sold over to Google, where Anna later worked to apply her expertise as a User Experience Designer. Anna is now back at Gapminder, making data easily interpretable. She holds a Master’s Degree in Social Sciences with major in Sociology and a Bachelor’s Degree in Photography.

This talk was given at a TEDx event using the TED conference format but independently organized by a local community. Learn more at http://ted.com/tedx

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