Let’s start with a little quiz. Can you get the following questions about our world right?
1. What share of the world’s population don’t have enough food to meet their daily needs?
2. What share of the world’s populations lives in megacities (cities with at least 10 million people)?
3. How did the number of deaths per year from natural disasters change over the last hundred years?
Answers: 1. Around 11% 2. Around 8% 3. Decreased to less than half
How did you do? Were you surprised by the answers? I surely was when I encountered those questions the first time. I was surprised that I got almost all of them wrong. I thought I knew at least a little bit about the data of our world but that wasn’t the case.
Most of us still have numbers in our heads that were perhaps true back in 1960 but not anymore. In addition to that, the media tends to give us a more pessimistic view of the world which makes us think that everything is getting worse. But most of the data states the opposite.
That’s why the organization Gapminder was founded. Their goal is to make those numbers more accessible and to educate more people about them. Therefore, they created a website where you can learn more about the facts concerning the SDGs. They have come up with six questions per SDG that are going to bring you up-to-date. With each question, you can also find additional information concerning the numbers and the problems that come with them. If you proceed through all the questions, you can get a certificate for each SDG as a reward. It’s a playful way to gain useful knowledge about our world.
There are a few tips on how to get more of those facts right. In their TED-Talk, the founder of Gapminder, Hans Rosling, and his son Ola give four pieces of advice on how to improve the number of your right answers:
- Most things are improving
If you’re unsure, go for the positive answer. Because no matter the negative news, the world is getting better and better.
- Most people are in the middle
One common misconception is that most people are either only rich and poor. This has been the case some decades ago but now, more and more people have moved to the middle of the scale.
- First social, then rich
We often think that for a country to develop social securities, it has to be rich first. But the majority of the poor countries are already pretty stable regarding social things, like having girls in school, providing social benefits for people with disabilities, and so on.
- Sharks kill few people
We tend to exaggerate problems we are afraid of. Yes, sharks (or earthquakes, or terror, …) are dangerous, but they represent only a small number in the global statistics.
But why is it important to renew our knowledge about the world’s data? Here at Moonshot Pirates, we are working on projects that help solve the challenges of our future and achieve the SDGs. But only if you have a fact-based worldview of today, you might have a chance to understand what comes next in the future which can be extremely valuable for your next moonshot project.