According to the late Swedish physician, academic, statistician and public speaker Hans Rosling, when people are asked simple questions about global trends they systemically get the answers wrong.

“This book is my last battle in my lifelong mission to fight devastating ignorance, and my final attempt at making an impact on the world,” said Hans before his death in 2017.

In April 2018, the book – titled Factfulness – was released and Gates quickly jumped on the bandwagon of followers.

“I’ve been recommending this book since the day it came out,” Gates commented on a LinkedIn blogpost.

“I’ve been recommending this book since the day it came out.” – Bill Gates

“Hans, the brilliant global-health lecturer who died last year, gives you a breakthrough way of understanding basic truths about the world – how life is getting better, and where the world still needs to improve.

“And he weaves in unforgettable anecdotes from his life. It’s a fitting final word from a brilliant man, and one of the best books I’ve ever read.”

Gates loves the book so much that he is gifting all college and university graduates in the US a free digital copy.

We asked co-author Anna 3 questions about Factfulness:

How do you define ‘factfulness’?

Factfulness gives you the basic frameworks to understand the world better, and the practical thought habits to reduce stress and make better decisions. It’s about the relaxing habit of carrying opinions that are based on solid facts.

Factfulness is understanding that all people – even those with high IQ and impressive degrees and occupations – seem to think the world is gloomier than it actually is.

And the main reason is that our brains are wired in ways that make it hard for it to understand the world as it is – even when we get correct information, our brains easily skew it for us.

You describe 10 instincts of factfulness. Which is the most powerful and why?

I would say the destiny instinct is one that we need to understand better.

Factfulness is recognising that many things (including people, countries, religions and cultures) appear to be constant just because the change is happening slowly, and remembering that even small, slow changes gradually add up to big changes.

What do you hope that the C-suite will take away from this?

The great news is that it easy to learn the frameworks we present in the book and start practising our thinking habits. If you do so, and base your thinking on facts, it will likely have a huge impact on the business decisions you make.

After all, getting the world wrong will have you invest your resources, energy and time in the wrong places with the wrong people.

We look at six science-backed reasons to pick up a book.

We have five copies of Bill Gates’ favourite book, Factfulness, to give away to new subscribers.

 

Enter the code BILLGATES when you Subscribe to The CEO Magazine today and you’ll receive a copy of Bill Gates’ favourite book: Factfulness, by Hans Rosling.