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New sustainability test launched to combat misconceptions

Knowledge levels are low about the UN's global goals for sustainable development – according to a survey commissioned by AFRY and the Gapminder Foundation. To counteract this, Gapminder is releasing a knowledge test – and AFRY has contributed with fact-checking and advice.

Published December 08, 2020

Gapminder has long worked to chart people's ignorance of global development, focused on the UN's global goals for sustainable development. Now the UN Goals Test is launched – a brand new knowledge test consisting of 18 questions related to the global goals. AFRY has contributed with fact-checking and advice in connection to the test, as part of a long-term collaboration with Gapminder to combat ignorance.

“Knowledge is key in our work to accelerate the sustainable transformation of society. Therefore, we need to identify and highlight the gaps that exist and together with Gapminder we aim to raise awareness among more people, which is crucial if we are to succeed”, says Jonas Gustavsson, CEO of AFRY.


AFRY and Gapminder had just over 1 000 people in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland respond to the questions in the knowledge test. The results, presented in The Sustainable Development Misconception Study 2020, show that respondents get 15 out of 18 questions wrong, on average. As all questions have three alternative answers, the results mean that respondents did worse than if they had picked an answer at random – which indicates widespread, systemic ignorance.

“If we are to understand the world around us better, we need to base our worldview on facts – and constantly update this worldview, as the world around us changes. Now we have finally launched a service that helps users do just that and enables everyone to test their knowledge about the global goals. It is an important part of our vision to identify and combat systemic misconceptions”, says Anna Rosling Rönnlund, co-founder of Gapminder.

About Gapminder

Gapminder is an independent non-profit foundation specialised in charting global ignorance about global development. Gapminder intends to counteract systemic ignorance by promoting a fact-based world view which everyone can understand. Gapminder was founded by Ola Rosling, Anna Rosling Rönnlund and Hans Rosling in 2005.

About the knowledge test
The UN Goals Test is developed by Gapminder and consists of 18 questions, all connected to the UN global goals. The test is available free of charge on the Worldview Upgrader platform https://upgrader.gapminder.org where everyone can test their knowledge about common misconceptions of the world around us.

About the survey
The survey was carried out by Novus on behalf of AFRY and Gapminder between the 20th and the 27th of October 2020. A total of 1,036 random and representative interviews were conducted with members of the public (18–79 years of age) in Sweden, Norway, Denmark and Finland. The results are presented in the Sustainable Development Misconception Study 2020 (link).

AFRY is an international engineering, design and advisory company. We support our clients to progress in sustainability and digitalisation. We are 17,000 devoted experts within the fields of infrastructure, industry and energy, operating across the world to create sustainable solutions for future generations.

Making Future

For further information please contact:
Johan Nyman, Head of Media Relations and PR

+46 70 646 95 55

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