TIME has released its 2017 "100 Most Influential People" list, highlighting 100 honorees that include Melinda Gates, Gavin Grimm, and President Donald Trump.
In compiling the list, TIME's editors consult the "TIME 100 alumni"—that is, the individuals awarded spots in past years' lists. Together, the editorial team and its consultants consider:
- Scale of ambition;
- Power of invention; and
- Genius of solutions to problems not yet solved.
This year, TIME's executive editor Nancy Gibbs notes that the individuals on the list are more controversial and divided than they've been in years past. President Donald Trump, North Korea's leader Kim Jong Un, and the WikiLeaks Founder Julian Assange are among the more contentious figures that made the list in 2017.
This year's list is broken into five categories:
- Leaders; and
In the Pioneers category sits the youngest person on the list, 17-year-old Gavin Grimm, the transgender teen that sparked the nationwide "bathroom debate."
The Pioneers list also includes Demis Hassabis, the artificial intelligence designer who created AlphaGo, the first software able to defeat one of the world's best players of the complicated game "Go." Hassabis' app is lauded as a "historic milestone for artificial intelligence"—which may have implications for the future of teaching and learning.
See the university president who made TIME's list in 2016
The Titans category includes Evan Spiegel, CEO of Snapchat, which 77% of college students use on a daily basis, according to some estimates. It may be tempting to brush off the app as merely the latest in a long line of digital distractions, but innovative colleges are using Snapchat to recruit students and build study materials.
Figures on the Leaders list included President Trump and White House Chief Strategist Stephen Bannon—as well as Pope Francis.
Melinda Gates, philanthropist and co-founder of the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, was also recognized in the Leaders category. The foundation's "Postsecondary Success" initiative seeks to support higher ed innovations and student success, championing smart data usage and a shift in understanding of the "traditional" college student. The Gates Foundation has donated millions of dollars to various higher-ed related causes.
How does Melinda Gates do it all—and so much more—without burning out?
The Artists and Icons categories include award-winning actors like Emma Stone, record-breaking athletes like Simone Biles, and influential novelists like Margaret Attwood. See the full list of the world's 100 most influential people (Gibbs, TIME, 4/20; Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation site, accessed 4/21).
What makes an influential academic leader?