From Space travel to self-improvement these thinkers are shaping the way we interact with our environment – and the world itself.
1. Elon Musk
The American entrepreneur and businessman behind PayPal, SpaceX and Tesla Motors, Elon Musk, has continually been on the forefront of disruption. With hands in the energy, auto, telecommunications, transportation, infrastructure, aerospace, health care and A.I. industries, Musk is continuing to shape the world in which we live. Musk’s companies and initiatives represent huge possible disruptions, some sized in the trillions of dollars, because their potential payoff is much more than winning a specific vertical – its the future of humanity itself.
2. Steve Jobs
With his vision of a “computer for the rest of us,” Steve Jobs ignited the PC revolution and made Apple an icon in American business. His leadership and vision completely disrupted (and created) the PC industry and later the cell phone industry, transforming the way people interact with technology through user-friendly interfaces and simplistic and iconic design. “We started out to get a computer in the hands of everyday people, and we succeeded beyond our wildest dreams.” – Steve Jobs.
TV producer, philanthropist, talk show host, activist and actress, Oprah Winfrey has touched the lives of millions of Americans. After hosting 25 seasons of The Oprah Winfrey Show, launching her own TV network (OWN: The Oprah Winfrey Network), acting in several films and TV shows including Greenleaf, The Butler, The Color Purple, Selma and A Wrinkle in Time and raising more than $50 million for charitable programs, Oprah is a master of building her own brand. The richest Black billionaire for three years running, Life magazine named her the most influential woman of her generation.
4. Richard Branson
In 1970, Richard Branson founded The Virgin Group, which has grown into a $5 billion empire that encompasses everything from an international airline to a bridal shop. Using his “branded venture capital” approach, Branson launched a patchwork of businesses that now include more than 200 different companies. His flair for over-the-top publicity stunts and self-proclaimed “adventure capitalist” lifestyle has led him to explore many industries and push the envelope on what is possible. “I don’t go into ventures to make a fortunes. I do it because I’m not satisfied with the way others are doing business.” Richard Branson.
5. J.K. Rowling
Famous for the Harry Potter series, novelist, screenwriter and producer, J.K. Rowling is credited with writing the best selling book series in history, with more than 400 million copies sold. Her “rags to riches” life story progressed from living on state benefits to becoming the world’s first billionaire author. Rowling has donated millions to charity and has been runner up for Time magazine’s Person of the Year, citing the social, moral and political inspiration she’s given her fans.
6. Mark Zuckerberg
A Harvard dropout, Mark Zuckerberg founded Facebook in 2004. Originally intended as a social networking site for college students, Facebook has exploded in popularity and now has more than 2.2 billion active monthly users. Zuckerberg took the company public in 2012 and has continued to improve and add features to the platform. In addition to creating a new online phenomenon, Zuckerberg has given millions of dollars to charity. Since going public, Zuckerberg and his wife have pledged to give away 99% of their Facebook stake over their lifetimes.
7. Bill Gates
Most famous for founding Microsoft, Bill Gates is also an investor, author, philanthropist and humanitarian. Through technological innovation, keen business strategy and aggressive business tactics, Gates built the world’s largest software business and, in the process, became one of the richest men in the world. After stepping down as Microsoft’s chairman, Gates now dedicates his time and energy to his charity, the Bill and Melinda Gates foundation.
8. Jay Abraham
As Founder and CEO of Abraham Group, Inc. (Los Angeles, California), Jay has spent his entire career solving problems and fixing businesses. He has significantly increased the bottom lines of over 10,000 clients in more than 400 industries, and over 7,200 sub industries, worldwide. Experts agree, Jay is one of the greatest strategic thinkers on the planet.
9. Tony Robbins
American author, entrepreneur, philanthropist and life coach, Robbins is known for his seminars and self-help books. He is the founder of several multi-billion dollar companies and was listed on Worth Magazine’s Power 100 List. He has partnered with charities like Feeding America, Spring Health, X-prize Foundation, Underground Railroad and founded the Anthony Robbins Foundation.
10. Jeff Bezos
Jeff Bezos, a technology and retail entrepreneur, investor and philanthropist, is best know as the founder, chairman and CEO of Amazon, the world’s largest online shopping retailer. In March 2018, he was named the world’s wealthiest person, with an estimated net worth of $127.1 billion and is on track to become the wealthiest person in contemporary history. He has been in Fortune’s list of 50 great leaders of the world for three straight years and continually donates to global charities.