Foreign Policy Unveils Sixth Annual “100 Leading Global Thinkers” Issue


News Story from: 11/17/14

November 17, 2014 – WashingtonNov Dec Cover Art, D.C. – Today, Foreign Policy magazine released its sixth annual “100 Leading Global Thinkers” issue, recognizing a year of tumult, protest, inspiration, and new beginnings.

“Each year our list of leading Global Thinkers spotlights those who have translated their ideas into actions, impacting millions worldwide,” said David Rothkopf, Editor and CEO of The FP Group. “It is a chance to reflect on who and what is driving change today and who will shape it tomorrow.”

The issue, and the Global Thinkers, will be honored at a dinner celebration in Washington on the evening of the 17th. Between 40 and 50 of the honorees, coming in from all parts of the world, will participate in a Town Hall discussion at The Four Seasons Hotel. Earlier, they will also join panel discussions as part of “Transformational Trends: A Year of Disruptive Thinking,” an innovative policy conference, now in its third year, jointly sponsored by FP and the State Department’s Policy Planning Staff. Secretary of State John Kerry is the keynote speaker of the conference.

This year’s issue focuses on the events that disrupted the global order – for better or for worse. In a year when Russia annexed Crimea and the Islamic State redefined the very nature of terrorism, a group of Indian scientists and engineers also showed the world how to send a spacecraft to Mars on a budget, and a Japanese naturalist demonstrated how trees could be used to mitigate the worst consequences of climate change. In this issue, Foreign Policy celebrates those who have meaningfully contributed to improving our global community, and acknowledge the impact of those who have disrupted it.

This year’s diverse group of Global Thinker honorees are organized into ten categories:

The “Decision Makers” includes India’s Prime Minister Narendra Modi, Germany’s Chancellor Angela Merkel, and Mexico’s Secretary of Finance, Luis Videgaray; the “Challengers,” who have defied the norm and reshuffled the deck, include journalist Kara Swisher, and Joshua Wong, the student leader of the Hong Kong protests; among the “Naturals,” is Ruth Buendía, the Peruvian activist; “The Innovators” includes Harvard engineer Jennifer Lewis and microbiologist Janet Iwasa; and “The Advocates,” those who risk everything to fight for what they believe in, include civic activist Hanna Hopko.

The Chroniclers,” are the masters of storytelling, among them political television personality John Oliver; there are “The Healers,” such as Drs. Kevin Whaley and Larry Zeitlin who created ZMapp, a major breakthrough for Ebola treatment; “The Artists,” includes sculptor and artist Kara Walker; “The Moguls,” including Jack Ma of Alibaba Group, are a collection of individuals always looking for “the next big thing”; and finally there are “The Agitators”, among them terrorist leaders, ideologues, and wily financiers, including the Islamic State’s Abu Bakr Al-Baghdadi, and Russia’s President Vladimir Putin. When its history is written, 2014 will be remembered as a year when remarkable individuals changed the world as we know it.

From the Editor’s Letter: “Take our cover image, a Molotov cocktail in mid-explosion. It’s a metaphor for violence, certainly, but also one for defiance, for resistance, for unleashing the startlingly new. The image, like the majority of Global Thinkers on our list, is a reminder that change can start at any second: change that is destructive, beautiful, inspirational – sometimes all at once.”

Also in the latest issue, journalist and author George Packer writes about today’s “Agitators,” from the annexation of Crimea to the rise of ISIS; Gillian Tett, award-winning journalist from the Financial Times discusses the public’s enthrallment with Thomas Piketty; and environmentalist Bill McKibben writes an essay on the climate change crisis in 2014.