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The Most Influential People 2007

Active ImageThere are some really great people – the people who shape our world! Time has made a list of such people - list of the 100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world. There are 5 categories and I’ve chosen 2 persons from each one - 10 that are really great as for me. You may disagree or make your own list, but here’s mine:

 

 

Builders & Titans:

1. Richard Branson : “I can only imagine that the man falls asleep at night dreaming about what adventure he may undertake next. Business isn't what he does for a living. It's a playground where he can live out every dream and idea as if engaged in a sport, one where winning is creating a business that others thought impossible. I have no doubt that he takes great joy in the ride against the grain of traditional business—and that he feeds as much on the puzzled looks of those who do things because they have always been done that way as he does on the entrepreneurial energy of following through on his visions.

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Virgin Galactic, Richard's foray into commercial spaceflight, may seem like the ultimate quest. A final stamp on an amazing career. It won't be. He will hear about something that everyone else thinks is outrageous and make it a reality. That's who Richard Branson, 56, is. I have no doubt that when Richard Branson dies, he would want to come back as...Richard Branson.” (by Mark Cuban)

2. Steve Jobs: “Sure, Steve Jobs has been on this list before—in 2004 and 2005, to be specific—but somehow it's never the same Jobs from one year to the next. He has been Jobs the visionary founder, notably at Apple and Pixar. He has done time as Jobs the exile and even as Jobs the failure. Now he has a new role: Jobs the mogul. Clearly he knows how to innovate from the bottom and from the outside. Can he do it from the top?

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Jobs is still Jobs. He still projects a manic self-confidence in public. He still, at 54, wears his signature jeans-and-black-turtleneck outfit. And he still has his edge: prosperity hasn't robbed him of his disrespect for conventional wisdom, his spooky ability to see around corners, and his feral determination to make perfect products at all costs. All in all, success becomes him.”(by Lev Grossman)

Artists& Entertainers:

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3. Leonardo DiCaprio: “He was the actor among a generation of gifted young actors. Once he became a superstar, he had a choice. It would have been so easy for him: he could have made a comfortable home for himself in commercially viable, action-thriller roles. But he chose to go down a different, more adventurous path.
He holds the screen, like a great silent actor. With his face, his eyes. He knows how to use them and how to use his body; he has an innate sense of how much to give and how much to hold back. I look at him, and I know he's a true actor. The camera knows it. And most important, the audience knows it.
Leo, 32, is, at heart, fiercely private. He's also responsible, in the sense that he takes his citizenship—of the world—very seriously, as seriously as he does his acting. He has used his celebrity very carefully in an effort to raise awareness, particularly among younger generations, of the environmental perils facing our planet. And like all serious artists, Leo is a passionate student. He never stops studying and learning.”(by Martin Scorsese)

5. Martin Scorsese: “He has, at last, his long-deserved Oscar. And the picture for which he won it, The Departed, is the largest commercial success Martin Scorsese has ever enjoyed. Can we imagine Marty, happy at last, resting on his belated laurels? Not really. At the moment he is working on three scripts and a pair of documentaries. He's editing a film about the Rolling Stones before heading to the Cannes Film Festival to announce an expansion of his Film Foundation, devoted to the preservation of ever deteriorating movies.

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Movie history is one of his grand passions. Making films as driven as his high-speed conversations was his salvation. You can't imagine him stopping. And you can't imagine him content either. "Directing," he has said, "you have to keep your feelings away. So I have to pull back, which makes shooting an excruciating experience." But it will soon reclaim him. For his ritualized movies—they are never merely realistic—are his addiction, his passion and, just possibly, his redemption.” (by Richard Schickel)

Leaders & Revolutionaries:

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5. Queen Elizabeth: “At 81, Her Majesty is still cutting ribbons, laying wreaths, greeting dignitaries and making speeches in a voice that has resisted the temptation to seek acceptance through reinvention. That's the secret of the Queen's success: she understands the need for reforms, such as slimming the costs of her family to the taxpayer and opening her accounts to public scrutiny, but she has never compromised her identity. However, like her beloved corgis and dorgis (a dachshund cross), she occasionally slips the leash, says her second son, Prince Andrew. Once, on a walk, she encountered one of her subjects, who exclaimed, "You look just like the Queen!" "How very reassuring," Her Majesty replied. Many Britons feel the same way.”(by Catherine Mayer)

6. Arnold Schwarzenegger: “In an era when Republicans across the nation seem intent on tearing the "conserve" out of conservatism, California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger, 59, is a national leader for his efforts to restore Teddy Roosevelt's conservation tradition to the G.O.P.

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When he took office in 2003, Schwarzenegger announced a bold action plan for improving the state's air, water, landscapes, energy supplies and climate. He created the 25 million-acre Sierra Nevada Conservancy to preserve California's iconic mountain range; established thousands of acres of ocean parks; and put millions of dollars into habitat restoration, fisheries management and pollution reduction. He also adopted the most aggressive greenhouse-gas-reduction policies on earth, including ordering the state government to slash its energy use 20% and providing $3.2 billion to put solar roofs on homes and small businesses. By 2020 one-third of California's electricity will come from renewable sources like wind, biomass and the sun. Schwarzenegger's commitment to green growth often pits him against his own political party. He has fought off the Bush Administration's efforts to weaken California's global-warming initiatives and drill for oil along the coast and in the state's national forests. Schwarzenegger believes that good economic policy, over the long term, is always the same as good environmental policy.” (by Robert F. Kennedy Jr.)

Scientists & Thinkers:

7. Al Gore: “Al Gore understands the science of global warming better than anyone else in the world of politics. His interest was sparked when he was a student at Harvard, studying with the legendary geochemist Roger Revelle, who realized that humanity's pell-mell burning of fossil fuels could make the earth a vastly different—and warmer—place.

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After the 2000 election mess, Gore, now 59, might have had an easier life. Instead he took up an even tougher battle. An Inconvenient Truth, his movie and book, has moved the global-warming debate like nothing else before it. But as the planet edges closer toward environmental tipping points from which we could never recover, there is much more to be done. The most important chapters in Gore's story may remain to be written.”(by James Hansen)

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8. Lisa Randall : “Lisa Randall's nonphysicist friends knew she was onto something big when she presented her work at a conference and Stephen Hawking saved her a seat at the banquet afterward. As the first female theoretical physicist to gain tenure at Harvard, Randall, 44, has not only been invited to sit with the boys but has also been leading the conversation because of her ideas about extra dimensions beyond the three that we can see and feel. She's not the first person to theorize that the universe has hidden dimensions, but she revolutionized the field by suggesting that an extra dimension could be infinitely large and that we might be living in a 3-D sinkhole in a higher-dimensional universe. Far from posing idle brain teasers, her research might solve one of physics' great mysteries—namely, why gravity is so weak in contrast to electromagnetism and other forces. (Note how a small magnet can pluck up a paper clip despite the gravitational pull of the entire planet.) After doing some mind-blowing math, she thinks the warped geometry of space-time could mean gravity is weak here and strong elsewhere.”(by Julie Rawe)

Heroes & Pioneers:

9. George Clooney: “There is a Mende proverb told by my tribe in Sierra Leone: "The stranger who tells our stories when we cannot speak not only awakens our spirits and hearts but also shows our humanity—which others want to forget—and in doing so, becomes family." When George Clooney went to Darfur to raise awareness of the suffering of the people there, he became part of our family.

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There is always the possibility for recovery. That is something that Clooney clearly sees too. He has used his fame to speak wholeheartedly for those who cannot speak, with genuine concern and insight and a deep commitment and selflessness that is rare but does not have to be. When he spoke, it was simply as another human being, one with unremitting passion, who could not stand by and watch the genocide in Darfur continue. We need more people like George Clooney and his father, people who are willing to work hard to expose the suffering of our fellow human beings in all parts of the world.”(by Ishmael Beah)

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10. Oprah Winfrey: “Oprah Winfrey's own story is an inspiration because she overcame almost every obstacle that a person might face. She is an icon to people all over the world because of her commitment to help those who have faced similar obstacles. We therefore salute a friend and a role model.
It is said over and over, but it is always true that young people are the future. Oprah, 53, shared our views that the gains of our democracy would be nullified if we did not properly educate our children and youth. She obviously recognized the potential in our youth. The Oprah Winfrey Leadership Academy for Girls—located near Johannesburg and educating girls in Grades 7 through 12—is therefore a wonderfully appropriate gift to the people of South Africa, one that will endure over many lifetimes.”(by Nelson Mandela)

 


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