21st century has been defined by technology. In the year 2000, a lot of countries became paranoid of what was then called the Millennium bug. It was our fear to lose everything technology has given us over the last centuries. But of course, implosion in technology isn’t the only thing that defined the 21st century. It also involved a phase of turmoil both politically and economically. But more than all these issues, the era is also about the people who made it interesting. Here is a list of 10 most influential people of our era.
What makes a person a significant persona to be on the list? It ranges from pop culture, technology, and business. Here is our list.
10. Osama Bin Laden
Who would’ve thought that someone who came from a prominent family would later become the most wanted terrorist in the world? Osama Bin Laden reshaped how we live in the 21st century. He made us rethink of national security. After September 11, 2001, we never lived the same again. There is always heightened security, not only in the US but in other countries as well.
Osama Bin Laden made it in our 10 most influential people because of his charisma to the Islamic radicals. He was able to convince them to launch attacks on US and other allies.
9. Craig Newmark
You may never notice Craig Newmark if you see him on the streets. However, Craig Newmark is the person behind Craigslist. Newmark worked for IBM early in his career after college. He lived in the 1980s as a programmer. In 1993, he moved to San Francisco where he later built Craigslist.
What made Craigslist a wonderful idea then was its concept as an internet commune. Here, people could exchange information about themselves. Over the years, Craigslist evolved as a market place where people could post things they are selling. These days, Craig Newmark is still hands on when it comes to dealing with spammers. He also launched Craigconnects which is focused on charitable institutions.
In 2010, his net worth is already at $400 million. In 2006, he also had other ventures including funding NewAssignment.net, a website focused on investigating stories published online.
8. Noam Chomsky
A historian, linguist, social critic and political activist, Noam Chomsky made it in our list of 10 most influential people of 21st century because of his knowledge in world politics and economics. Author of more than 100 books, he was a former professor in MIT. Ideologically, he can be categorized as a anarcho-syndicalist and a socialist.
He is critical of US foreign policies in opening the market and being able to dominate a smaller country’s economy. His goal is to influence people to have a negative view about imperialism which could shape not only the US but other country’s policies as well. He has also stated his opposition to foreign institutions including IMF, World Bank and GATT.
7. Mark Zuckerberg
Mark Zuckerberg is the co-founder of Facebook. He is known for being an internet entrepreneur and a philanthropist as well. He was known for being the Harvard drop out who made it big in the World Wide Web.
Today, Facebook has billions of profiles worldwide. It has been utilized not only as a tool for communication but also for businesses. Over the years, Facebook has changed its algorithm to become more than a tool where you can connect with friends. Though there are some people who didn’t like the changes made by Facebook, the site remained the top player among other social media networks.
As of May 2016, Mark Zuckerberg’s worth has reached $51 billion. He was named as one of Time’s most influential people. But of course, there are criticisms to Facebook. These criticisms ranged from privacy issues to political issues.
6. Tony Blair
Tony Blair served as the British Prime Minister from 1997 to 2007. He was the only person to win three consecutive elections. Tony Blair has been known for his response to the threats of terrorism. He has called British troops to battle five times during his term.
Tony Blair was known for his ties with George W Bush after 2001. He was a key player in invasion of Iraq in 2003. He believed that the world became safer right after the invasion of Iraq. What led to his demise is also his militaristic approach in leadership. With growing number of British casualties, Tony Blair was forced to resign when his popularity also dwindled as a result of these events.
5. Steve Jobs
Everyone is familiar with Steve Jobs. He is an icon of the 21st century. A known innovator and a pop culture superstar, he is the face of modern day technology.
What made Steve Jobs part of the 10 most influential people of 21st century is his involvement with Apple that revolutionized how we lived our lives. He was able to provide technology that has become a game changer how we perform day to day routines.
He was the co-founder of Apple. He is also the majority of the shareholder of Pixar. Steve Jobs has been known for his ability to create innovations that we enjoy today. Among the things that he came up with included the very first personal computer, the iPhone, and the iPad.
But this isn’t the only thing that he left us with. Until today, Apple remained as a leader in technology. It is his culture of perfection and innovation that the company carried that made him an influential character.
4. Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google)
Sergey Brin together with Larry Page founded Google. Google is the biggest search engine today. It has changed the way we view information. Brin’s worth is at $39 billion. On the other hand, Larry Page’s worth is at $36.7 billion.
What made Google what it is today is their ability to adapt to the changing world. They’ve been able to revamp the search engine’s algorithm that rearranged websites in their result pages. In the past, Google algorithm was simply looking at backlinks to judge whether or not a website could is placed on the first page of the search result page. Today, there are several factors involved including social media signals, grammar and backlinks as well. This made Google the number one search engine where you can advertise your website.
3. Bill Gates
Bill Gates is known as the wealthiest man on earth. He is the co-founder of Microsoft. It eventually became the largest PC company in the world. His current assets are worth $76.4 billion. There are some criticisms about him including his anti-competitive business practices.
What makes Bill Gates an amazing individual is the fact that he never forgot to give back. He is known as a philanthropist. He was able to donate a large sum of money on different scientific endeavors. He and his wife started the wealthiest charitable foundation. Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was valued at $34.6 billion. They are the second most generous philanthropist in the US giving $28 billion to charity.
Their charitable foundation was able to support different scientific projects including genetically modified organisms in agriculture. Another amazing thing about Bill Gates is his ability to influence people like Mark Zuckerberg and Warren Buffet. Together with Zuckerberg and Buffet, they were able to sign a pledge which is a commitment to give half of their total assets in charity over the course of time.
2. Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin makes it in our list of 10 most influential people because of his control in Russia. He was Prime Minister in 1999 and is currently Russia’s president since 2012. Putin is a colorful character in politics. A former KGB agent, Vladimir Putin holds a black belt in judo. He started his political career by being on the side of Boris Yeltsin. He was able to climb the ranks and later become Russia’s leader.
Russia during the early 2000s has been able to increase Russia’s economy which was heavily reliant to gas. It became 7th largest economy then. Also, because of their oil reserves, Vladimir Putin was able to pay the Soviet Union’s debt by 2005.
1. Barack Obama
Next on our list of 10 most influential people is Barack Obama. Barack Obama is the first black president of the US. Unlike other presidents, Barack Obama ‘s electoral success was symbolic not only for the African American community but for minorities within the US as well. He was the also the very first American president born outside continental US.
In 2009, Barack Obama won the Nobel Peace Prize award. Barack Obama encountered one of the biggest economic challenges when he encountered the 2008 recession. He was able to sign laws which allowed the US economy to restart again. Another domestic policy that Obama has been known for is Obamacare.
The death of Osama Bin Laden also happened during his term. Reelected for his second term in 2012 defeating Romney, he has called for inclusiveness of the LGBT community. And recently, he was the very first president in decades to normalize relations with Cuba after Bay of Pigs.
Though we are relatively in the beginning of 21st century, these are people who made a huge difference in our current era. Will we see more people to influence our politics, technology and economy? This isn’t far from happening. Who do you think should’ve made it in our list?
10 Most Influential People of 21st Century
- Barack Obama
- Vladimir Putin
- Bill Gates
- Sergey Brin and Larry Page (Google)
- Steve Jobs
- Tony Blair
- Mark Zuckerberg
- Noam Chomsky
- Craig Newmark
- Osama Bin Laden