Growing up, many individuals have people that they look up to. Parents, grandparents, neighbors, celebrities, political figures, anyone of value that made an impact on them. From individuals like Michelle Obama, Serena Williams, undocumented children, Colin Kappernick, President Donald Trump — all with stories to tell with great influential impact.
Since 1927, TIME has collaborated a list in which the general public can take part in voting on the top 100 influential people in the world. At the end of the day, the editors choose who they believe shows the most influence.
These people that have been nominated give many people a recap of what has happened in the past year, with both positive and negative influencers changing outlooks and ideas.
The names on this list have been in the media’s attention with actions that have either a positive or negative impact on the world.
Judge Brett Kavanagh, Christine Blasey Ford, Colin Kaepernick, Serena Williams, BTS, planet Earth, Ariana Grande.
Every year, the top 100 people are based on subcategories: pioneers, artists, leaders, titans and icons. Some people from the 2017 list are: Simone Biles, RuPaul, Tom Brady, Jeff Bezos, Pope Francis, President Donald Trump, Donald Glover and John Legend.
To be on this list is to have power. The ability to get people discussing issues that affect so many people shows importance. To be an influential individual without any thoughts of the divisive political environment also shows importance.
What does this list of people mean to us? Simple. Looking at what others have done for the world can impact someone locally. Whether it is starting a conversation inside the classroom on women’s rights, standing up for someone who is being harassed, starting research on something in the medical field, teaching students life skills, participating in a sport that is male-dominated or anything else that makes you stand out. When people start to pay attention to you, they will focus on what you bring to the table and that power brings conversation.
Serena Williams, an accomplished tennis player, mother and wife, disciplined in her sport, was fined $17,000 for calling chair umpire Carlos Ramos a “liar” and a “thief.” Williams said in an interview with CNBC, “I’m here fighting for women’s rights and for women’s equality and for all kinds of stuff and for me to say ‘thief’ and for him to take a game, it made me feel like it was a sexist remark.”
Being of value through accomplishments and standing up for what is right and what needs to be changed is important. We learn from those who have impacted us.
Film directors can learn from Jon Chu, who directed Crazy Rich Asians which made $218 million globally, alongside Ryan Coogler who directed Black Panther which made $1.195 billion worldwide. These two movies bring in what people need to see – diverse characters that people can relate to. Bringing in people that show diverse America matters.
Times are changing and people are starting to change with it. Finding who influences others is something that opens doors to opportunities to the younger generation.
The window of opportunity to make a change and make a difference is ready. TIME editors will make a decision about the top 100 people Dec. 11. Voters can take the poll online up until Dec. 6.