Author: Hans Rosling, Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund
About the book: "Factfulness," explores why humans are consistently wrong about common problems facing the world. Instead of making decisions based off of facts and data, humans are largely influenced by unconscious biases. The book explores ten instincts that keep humans from putting the world into perspective, such as how we're more likely to pay attention to things that scare us or topics with impressive size and scale.
Though he thinks everyone could benefit from the book, he said it was a must-read for recent grads. "I think everyone should read it. It has especially useful insights for anyone who's making the leap out of college and into the next phase of life," said Gates.
How it influenced him: In "Factfulness," the authors offer a new framework for how to think about the world: instead of dividing the world into two wealth groups — rich countries and poor countries — the book proposes that there are actually multiple income group levels, ranging from the most extreme poverty where people cannot afford shoes to levels where people have running water or enough disposable income to take vacations.
Gates says that viewing the world in this way helps to better detect progress. When the world is broken up between just rich and poor countries, it's easy to think anyone without a certain quality of life is poor, Gates wrote.
"This was a breakthrough to me," explained Gates on his blog. "The framework Hans enunciates is one that took me decades of working in global development to create for myself, and I could have never expressed it in such a clear way. I'm going to try to use this model moving forward."