Hans Rosling had a tremendous impact around the world. Internationally he is known for his captivating analysis of global health data, for discovering a paralyzing disease in Africa and explaining its socio-economic causes, and for his intense curiosity and life-long passion for educating students, world leaders and the public. He lectured at the World Economic Forum as well as for new students at KI. And the students came first, just as he came first for the students.

Now, Hans Rosling will be a name associated with the University of Washington’s transformative work in population health. The UW Board of Regents has approved naming the $230 million building under construction on UW’s Seattle campus the Hans Rosling Center for Population Health.

At approximately 300,000 square feet, the Rosling Center for Population Health will support spaces for collaborative group work, active learning, offices and training for global partners and multi-disciplinary work in population health. Honorary naming of various spaces within the building will take place over the course of its construction and following its opening.

The above description of the building ties well into our new Strategy 2030 and our vision to strive for a better health for all. Hans inspired us to reflect upon health in the broadest possible sense – how health relates to poverty, climate change, human rights, and governance. His message was that we are global citizens and that we should shoulder the responsibility that comes with it.

The University of Washington motivates its decision to name its Population Health Initiative Building as follows: “Dr. Rosling had a unique ability to focus us in on the big picture, shift narratives and inspire people to action through his transformational use of data visualizations. His seminal efforts are foundational to the work of the Population Health Initiative and the University of Washington’s vision for harnessing innovative approaches to improve population health, and we are deeply honored that we will now forever be associated with his name.”

Hans gave lectures that were groundbreaking in their ability to disseminate new knowledge and to question prevailing concepts. Hans was a serial myth killer, no less, and he gave hope for the future, speaking about an interconnected world, a world where our destinies are intertwined.

I am proud that the University of Washington has decided to name their new building after Hans Rosling. This decision is a telltale sign that the multifaceted collaboration between our two universities rests on a common understanding of the importance and complexity of population health.

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