Today is Dollar Street’s first birthday. And what a year it has been!
Dollar Street has grown from 160 to more than 260 homes.
And it is now available in English, Spanish and Swedish!
Our mission has been to show how people around the world really live. And Dollar Street has received an overwhelming response! A lot of teachers, public speakers, researchers and students have used Dollar Street to better understand how people eat, brush their teeth and sleep on different income levels across the globe. Country stereotypes have simply fallen apart in front of our eyes; at the same income level, there are a lot of similarities in how people live, independently of their culture or religion.
Thanks to our Dollar Street photographer, we now have 100 new homes; a total of 260 homes in 50 countries, from the hills of Peru in South America, to the furthest Islands of Papua New Guinea along the Pacific Ocean.
Our goal is to have at least 10 homes per country. Volunteer with your home or become a Dollar Street photographer (just like these fantastic folks). Or maybe you prefer to help translating Dollar Street to more languages? Welcome to join us! Please sign up here.
This year Dollar Street has been travelling the world. It has been presented in classrooms and at meetings and conferences in several countries including Sweden, Spain, U.S., Austria, South Africa, Canada and Germany. Some other highlights are articles in Business Insider, Fast Company and BuzzFeed and winning the Fast Company World Changing Ideas Award (category: Photography and Visualization). Last but not least, Dollar Street made it to TED! The TED Talk is coming out soon, stay tuned!
Finally, we would send our warmest hugs to all the families who generously welcomed us into their homes. Without you there would be no Dollar Street! Thank you!
Now, for the coming years, let’s make Dollar Street even better. Together.
Anna & the Dollar Street team
– Start with yourself!
Most people have severe misconceptions about the world they live in. Our ignorance surveys have shown that the general public is misguided about many basic global facts. Reliable global statistics exist for nearly every aspect of global development, but these numbers are not transformed into popular understanding because using and teaching statistics is still too difficult. We want to change that!
A fact-based worldview is essential to be able to grasp the complexity of sustainable development. Our mission is to offer a fact-based worldview that anyone can understand.
Through our work with the ignorance surveys we have come across three mega misconceptions: 1) “The world is divided in two”, 2) “Everything is getting worse”, and 3) “The population just increases”. Gapminder’s core mission is to help people overcome these misconceptions. Making people aware of their overly dramatic worldview is the first step to build a worldview based on facts.
Gapminder increases knowledge of global facts by creating free, fun and easy-to-use courses and teaching tools for young people, educators and the public. See gapminder.org/tools and gapminder.org/dollar-street.
By helping people of all ages develop a fact-based worldview, we will empower them to understand the realities of life for women, men and children living in different countries—and so make well-informed decisions.
The IKEA Foundation has been supporting us in spreading a fact-based worldview for many years. It has just renewed the funding to our core activities until 2019 because it believes that a better understanding of global facts will support sustainable development for children and families living in the world’s poorest communities.
Take the Gapminder Test 2017 to see if you know these 12 basic facts about global development. If you answer all questions correctly, we’ll send you the Gapminder Facts Certificate 2017!
Anna Rosling Rönnlund
What does the world really look like? How do other people really live? If we could see beyond the drama of the news headlines and the glamour of glossy travel ads, what could we learn about the world’s inhabitants – and about ourselves? At Dollar Street we’ve been curious about this for a long time.
It started as a simple thought: what if we could see statistics? What if, instead of trying to understand the numbers in a table or the figures in a graph, we could get a picture of what was being portrayed? Not all of us are good at statistics. (Let’s face it, almost none of us are.) But I’ve always had a passion for photography and for trying to make sense of people’s everyday lives. I knew I was on to something, and the vision of Dollar Street slowly started taking form.
Together with my husband, Ola Rosling, I started documenting the first homes back in 1999 (at my mother’s house in Ludvika, Sweden and with the Papon family in the Dominican Republic). With a grant from SIDA I could also document homes in Uganda, South Africa and Mozambique. The first interface was created and my idea started taking physical form.
At Gapminder we were at that time working on the bubble graphs that we would later sell to Google, and it took almost all of our time. But the idea of Dollar Street – a visual framework that would help us understand socio-economic differences of the world – didn’t leave me.
At first I wanted to travel the world and photograph every home myself. Yes, maybe a little naive. Today we work with photographers all over the world and Dollar Street is fast becoming what I envisioned all along. Today we feature more than 200 homes in about 50 countries, with a grand total of over 30 000 photos and 10 000 videos from these homes. A generous grant from Swedish Postkod Foundation made it possible to give Dollar Street the time needed, and in three years time we have collected photos and developed a tool free for everyone to use. It’s a dream come true! And hopefully one that you’ll enjoy as much as I do. Now go explore!