“Best Of” lists for 2010 are usually disappointing. They are filled with people you already know, rehash stories you’ve already read. I wanted to compile a list of eleven people you may NOT have heard of, but deserve your attention in 2011.

These are voices that would do the world great good to hear, and yet are drowned out by those we watch instead: those who shock us with crassness, or comfort us by making the grooves of our biases deeper, or entertain us by playing to our fantasies of obscene wealth and escapism.

I have tried to curate a different kind of list. A list that will challenge your biases, expand your notions, ignite your curiosity and move you to TRY. I know none of them, but feel indebted to all of them.

Here is the full list. Links will follow as I write up individual blogs for each person.

  1. Leymah Gbowee: How to Fight a Dictator, and Win
  2. Jessica Lin and
  3. Jessica Matthews and
  4. Julia Silverman and
  5. Hemali Thakkar: Kick a Ball, Light a Room. Four Women Engineers Set out to Make a Difference in Africa.
  6. Majora Carter: What does Home(town) Security have to do with Storytelling?
  7. Peter Greenway: The future of Art is the Painting. But Different.
  8. Janette Sadik-Khan: What happens in NYC happens in the rest of the country 10 years later
  9. Jeri Ellsworth: How many self-taught electrical engineers do YOU know?
  10. Cassandra Lin: Are you doing more for the world than this seventh grader?
  11. Bill Hammack: How do you teach science in a new media world?

I hope you enjoy the list. Compiling it has been a gift. I encourage you to make your own lists, and to share any people you think are helping make a better world in the comments.



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