DON’T PANIC – The Latest OU/Hans Rosling Co-Pro Has (Almost) Arrived…

To tie in with the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals summit later this week, the OU teamed up with production company Wingspan Productions and data raconteur Professor Hans Rosling to produce a second “Don’t Panic” lecture performance that airs on BBC2 at 8pm tonight: Don’t Panic – How to End Poverty in 15 Years.

Here’s a trailer…

…and here’s the complementary OpenLearn site: Don’t Panic – How to End Poverty in 15 Years (OpenLearn).

If you saw the previous outing – DON’T PANIC — The Facts About Population – it takes a similar format, once again using the Musion projection system to render “holographic” data visualisations that Hans tells his stories around.

(I did try to suggest that a spinning 3d chart could be quite compelling up on the big screen to illustrate different country trajectories over time, but was told it’d probably be too complicated graphic for the audience to understand!;-)

Off the back of the previous co-production, the OU commissioned a series of video shorts featuring Hans Rosling that review several ways in which we can make sense of global development using data, and statistics:

One idea for making use of these videos was to incorporate them into a full open course on FutureLearn, but for a variety of (internal?) reasons, that idea was canned. However, some of the material I’d started sketching for that possibility have finally made the light of day. They appear as a series of OpenLearn lessons relating to the first three short films listed above, with the videos cut into bite size fragments and interspersed throughout a narrative text and embedded interactive data charts:

You might also pick up on some of the activity possibilities that are included too…

Note that those lessons are not quite presented as originally handed over… I was half hoping OpenLearn might have a go at displaying them as “scrollytelling” immersive stories as something of experiment, but that appears not to be the case (maybe I should have actually published the stories first?! Hmmm…!). Anyway, here’s what I original drafted, using Storybuilder:

If you have any comments on the charts, or feedback on the immersive story presentation (did it work for you, or did you find it irritating?), please let me know via the comments below.

PS if you are interested in doing a FutureLearn course with an development data feel, at least in part, check out OUr forthcoming FutureLearn MOOC, Learn to Code for Data Analysis. Using interactive IPython notebooks, you’ll learn how to start wrangling and visualising open datasets (including weather data, World Bank indicators data, and UN Comtrade import and export data) using the Python programming language and the pandas data wrangling python package.

Author: Tony Hirst

I'm a lecturer at The Open University, with an interest in #opendata policy and practice, as well as general web tinkering...