Rosling’s World

Look, I don’t really like using the blog to post a video and disappear, but I’m gonna need to do an exception with this one.

It’s a short (56’) documentary about my personal hero, Dr. Hans Rosling, aka “I’ve a semi-controlled attention deficit hyperactivity disorder”. They accompany him in a few gigs (including TED) and share interesting conversations about his crusade to bring data and statistics back into the decision-making process. It also includes anecdotes like how he met Larry Page and Sergey Brin and sold them the Gapminder software in order to start the foundation (and getting his son and girlfriend hired, by the way).

Oh, I almost forgot, it’s in Swedish. But worry not, you have English subtitles available:

Campeones del mundo

Como os contaba el otro día no me perdí el partido del domingo. Lo que no sabía es que TVE y Cuatro iban a elegir el mismo bar que nosotros para hacer su cobertura de la final. ¿El resultado? Pues que cuando me pregunten qué estaba haciendo cuando Iniesta marcó el gol de la victoria no hará falta que cuente historias. Sólo tendré que enseñar el vídeo que preparó Carlos de la Vega (¡gracias!), corresponsal de Cuatro/CNN+ en Estados Unidos:

Observen mi decoro y moderación durante la celebración del gol.

Lorenzo Milá también hizo una pieza para TVE pero personalmente prefiero el vídeo que le grabó un servidor mientras lo manteábamos en la fuente de Dupont, en pleno centro de Washington. Al principio se hizo el remolón pero no costó convencerle:

Por lo demás, las fotos están convenientemente privadas en Facebook, que el Flickr lo carga el diablo y no quiero arruinar las carreras profesionales de mis ilustres compañeros de celebraciones.

Learning lessons

You can find below a nice collection of photos summarizing the atmosphere we’ve had during the last three weeks (thanks Victor!). There you can see the folkls I work with, and also some of the activities we’ve developed in Mexico, like the shipment of Oseltamivir:

Bonus: with a bit of attention you can also find me totally concentrated doing god only knows :)

The organization has been more flexible than I expected. In a big institution you’d say there are internal inertias difficult to change, requiring weeks to be redirected. However, we adapted our work in a matter of hours. We left one day with a list of priorities, and by the end of the next morning we had them rewroked. Having a smart boss is important.

I also thought that with hundrreds of people available, we were gonna set up shifts to keep the normal working hours to a certain extent (even if we needed to work in the weekends or night). Wrong again. It’s true we had shifts, but a large core of people decided to stay available 24/7, spending way more than 8 hours per day in the office. I don’t think this was about a lack of personnel but a commitment to their responsibilities.

In any case, it’s the first time I live a situation like this (and hopefully the last one) so I may be struck by things the veterans consider natural in emergencies. I’ll take my time before finalizing the (long) list of lessons learned –from day zero, like a reflex, I got a notebook and started writing down all kind of things: stuff to improve, to pay attention to, workflows, organization charts, research articles…. Like in the avian flu, this is hopfeully the kind of situations which make international institutions more effective, right?