If somebody had told me that a day would come when my name would be listed in the same context as Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Mario Vargas Llosa, I would have told them they needed urgent mental care. But apparently, today is that day.
The magazine Foreign Policy, which specializes in high-level global policy and ideas, has long been one of my favorite magazines for its deep level of insight into root causes and worldwide trends. To illustrate the level of discussion, it’s been said that Foreign Policy has only had one ad, ever. It said “We confess. Some of our articles are written by secretaries”, illustrated with a brass desk sign saying Secretary of State. And indeed, Hillary Clinton is a frequent contributor to the magazine’s analysis.
Every year, they publish a list of the “top 100 global thinkers”, people whose ideas shape our society and future. This year’s list was published just now. Unsurprisingly, the key thinkers in the Arab Spring are topping the list — but I am on it, too. Foreign Policy is honoring me as one of the world’s 100 most important thinkers this year. I’m a bit taken aback by that.
In this context, it must be said that I really see this as the ideas getting recognition at the highest level, rather than me personally. There are tens of thousands of activists that share, carry, and contribute to the ideas, and this is recognition for all of them and what they believe in. I wouldn’t have been honored like this without being one of them, of course.
So while it may be true that my thinking was needed to put my name on the list, I’d have to say that what really made the difference is that I’m one hell of an executer and able to build and deliver on those ideas. But then again, others are too — just look at the German Piratenpartei‘s astounding work.
Anyway, I am rambling because I am humbled by the recognition. This is a good day to be a pirate.
(Mario Vargas Llosa and Steve Jobs who I mentioned at the start of this article aren’t on this year’s list, by the way; they were on last year’s.)
Other people I respect very deeply on this year’s list, who may or may not be coming to the award ceremony:
Jens Stoltenberg – for his astoundingly example-setting levelheadedness and compassion after the Utöya massacre.
Wael Ghonim – sharing the #1 position with other key people in the Arab Spring, for good reasons.
Mikko Hypponen – neverending inspiration on practical computer security.
I’m currently inflight to Washington, DC where there will be an award ceremony gala in two days for the Top 100 Global Thinkers. Any pirates or activists there who want to meet up, send me a text. Also, I’ll be staying a day in New York City (December 2-3) for flight schedule reasons on the way home. Same thing goes there.
This, by the way, is why I won’t make the Piratenpartei’s GA in Offenbach. I’ll be back in Europe late in the day on December 4.