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Tue 22 Oct 2019 01:57 PM

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How Expo 2020 Dubai plans to ask the big questions

Mega event to collaborate with Swedish-based Gapminder Foundation to turn Expo 2020 visitors into global champions for change

How Expo 2020 Dubai plans to ask the big questions

Anna and Ola Rosling will work with Expo 2020 Dubai to create a series of questions to challenge visitors’ understanding of the world.

Expo 2020 Dubai has announced a collaboration with the Swedish-based Gapminder Foundation to turn Expo 2020 visitors into global champions for change.

Anna and Ola Rosling will work with Expo 2020 Dubai to create a series of questions to challenge visitors’ understanding of the world.

This follows the results of Expo 2020’s Global Optimism Outlook Survey, which highlighted people’s desire for increased communication, knowledge-sharing and cross-border collaboration.

The project will be developed between now and October 2020, when Expo officially opens, in collaboration with participating nations. A series of questions will then be placed across the Expo 2020 site, where data will be gathered and transformed into a factual analysis of our understanding and perception of the world around us.

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“The world is far more optimistic than is often felt,” said Ola Rosling, chairman and co-founder, Gapminder Foundation. “The Gapminder Foundation was born to allow people to be able to learn more about the world for themselves in a clear, unbiased manner. We see challenges in the world every day but this, in turn, creates opportunities.

"The magic happens when the world comes together to inspire change on a global scale, and that’s exactly the intent of Expo 2020 Dubai. Therefore, we’re truly excited to be part of this project, to help people make better informed choices that lead to positive change for the future.”

Manal Al Bayat, chief community engagement officer, Expo 2020 Dubai said: “Our collaboration is part of Expo 2020 Dubai’s aim to drive positive and lasting change where it is most needed. That change cannot begin without us knowing more about the world around us, and with those we share it. We are thrilled to have Anna and Ola Rosling with us for such an important milestone, and we look forward to further developing the project ahead of opening next year.”

The Gapminder Foundation offers cost-free teaching material that allows people to develop a fact-based view on global society. Working with Novus and IpsosMori, the foundation polled 20,000 people in 31 countries.

They found that when people were asked a series of 18 questions about global trends such as average income levels, the number of people aged over 65, or how the global population is distributed across continents, the average respondent got just 2.9 questions right.

By contrast, someone selecting one of three possible responses at random would be expected to score 6 out of 18. This difference demonstrates the extent to which people’s knowledge of wider world can be incorrect.

For example, the Gapminder/Ipsos Mori survey found that when respondents were asked what proportion of the global population lived in low income countries, a majority of respondents thought that 35 percent of people on earth did so. The actual answer is just 9 percent of the population.

Expo 2020 Dubai opens its doors to the public on October 20, 2020.