By Jamahl Hokstam
The 21st century has witnessed some of the most influential figures shaping our world. These individuals have made a lasting impact through their innovative ideas, determination, and leadership skills. Here are five individuals who stand out and the reasons behind their influence:
Steve Jobs, the co-founder of Apple Inc. – Jobs transformed the personal computing industry with his innovative designs and marketing strategies. From the first Macintosh computer to the iPod, iPhone, and iPad, Jobs changed the way people interact with technology. He was known for his charismatic presentations and unique approach to thinking, inspiring countless individuals to pursue careers in technology. (Reference: Isaacson, W. (2011). Steve Jobs. Simon and Schuster.)
Barack Obama, the 44th President of the United States – Obama broke down barriers and inspired a generation of young people to become involved in politics. As the first African American President, he oversaw the end of the military operation in Iraq and implemented the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, which expanded access to healthcare for millions of people. (Reference: Obama, B. (2018). A Promised Land. Crown Publishing Group.)
Mark Zuckerberg, the co-founder of Facebook – Zuckerberg co-founded the world’s largest social network, Facebook, in 2004. The platform has transformed the way people communicate and share information, with over 2.7 billion monthly active users. He is also an advocate for internet access as a basic human right. (Reference: Kirkpatrick, D. (2010). The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company That Is Connecting the World. Simon and Schuster.)
Elon Musk, CEO of SpaceX and Tesla – Musk is a visionary entrepreneur who is revolutionizing multiple industries, including space exploration and electric vehicles. He founded SpaceX with the goal of reducing space transportation costs and colonizing Mars, and Tesla is leading the shift towards sustainable energy. He is also a prominent figure in the advancement of artificial intelligence and a vocal advocate for action on climate change. (Reference: Vance, A. (2015). Elon Musk: Tesla, SpaceX, and the Quest for a Fantastic Future. HarperCollins.)
Malala Yousafzai, activist for girls’ education – Yousafzai is a young Pakistani activist who has become a global icon for girls’ education. After surviving a gunshot wound by the Taliban, she became a powerful advocate for the right of all girls to receive an education. She was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 2014, making her the youngest Nobel laureate in history. (Reference: Yousafzai, M. (2013). I Am Malala: The Story of the Girl Who Stood Up for Education and Was Shot by the Taliban. Little, Brown and Company.)
All of the individuals listed possess a clear vision and determination. They have a strong drive and a willingness to take calculated risks, enabling them to bring about significant change. They are also charismatic and inspiring leaders who can rally others around their cause and bring people together to achieve a common goal. This combination of vision, determination, and leadership skills has been the key to their success and influence.
In conclusion, these five individuals are just a few examples of the most influential figures of the 21st century. Their vision, leadership, and impact will continue to inspire future generations.