Honored as Top Global Thinker

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.

Rick Falkvinge

Rick is the founder of the first Pirate Party and a low-altitude motorcycle pilot. He lives on Alexanderplatz in Berlin, Germany, roasts his own coffee, and as of right now (2019-2020) is taking a little break.


  1. DavidXanatos

    congratulations 🙂

  2. illunatic

    Congrats again! This is great news for you and the whole pirate community!

  3. jeffer

    Great – congratulations! Thank you for your work, your courage and your initiative – often done under very difficult circumstances and against an adversary with almost unlimited resources!

  4. […] Rick, from Green Pirate and welcome to the U.S.A! Have a great trip to D.C.!Be sure to read his response to the good […]

  5. Sysadminbloggen » I dag Ă€r en bra dag att vara pirat.

    […] Rick sjĂ€lv skriver om utnĂ€mningen: This is a good day to be a pirate. […]

  6. Oscar Swartz

    Very deserving! You managed to bring that thinking outside the seminars, make politics out of it and energize so many others through your drive and passion. Seminal.

  7. AeliusBlythe

    Wow. You are so deserving of this recognition. You make me proud to be a pirate.

    Keep on inspiring!

  8. Makthavare.se » En av vĂ€rldens frĂ€msta tĂ€nkare

    […] som enda svensk fĂ„tt en plats pĂ„ Foreign Policys lista över vĂ€rldens frĂ€msta tĂ€nkare. PĂ„ sin blogg kommenterar Falkvinge utnĂ€mnandet sĂ„ hĂ€r: If somebody had told me that a day would come when my […]

  9. […] om Ă€mnet: Rick Falkvinge, Piratpartiet (svenska, engelska), Sysadminbloggen, Henrik Alexandersson, Anne Kekki, […]

  10. […] den 28/11-2011 motiverar sin utnĂ€mning till en av de 100 mest relevanta tĂ€nkarna i vĂ€rlden. Han ser sig mer som en “doer”, Ă€n som en “tĂ€nkare”. Det Ă€r verkligen nĂ„got att ta till […]

  11. steelneck

    Congrats, but do not let them buy you for 15 minutes of fame.. Though i think that this is some kind of breakthrough. But at the same time i suspect that the decisionmakers behind this is people who are opposed to most ideas you stand for.

  12. […] falkvinge.net Rick Falkvinge […]

  13. Lennart LindgÄrd

    Congratulations (to us other pirates, too)! It is nice to see that one of the world’s most thinking publications stands up to honor the fight for integration and net freedom.

  14. Jens K

    Congratulations, you really deserve this.

  15. JHS

    You shurely deserve this mighty fanfare, Rick! Congratulations!

  16. […] was understandably shocked by his inclusion. “I am humbled by the recognition,” he wrote at his info policy blog […]

  17. Putte

    Congrats, well deserved.

  18. Anonymous

    Congratulations, Rick! You deserve this. Just go on as you used to. You Rock!

    HÀlsignar frÄn Tyske Piratpartiet.

  19. Aleksandar Blagojević

    Arrrrrrr!!!! “Barack Obama, Bill Gates, Steve Jobs, Bill Clinton, Aung San Suu Kyi, and Mario Vargas Llosa” I got an eyecancerrrrrrrrr!

  20. Martin

    Congratulations. Well deserved!

  21. Scary Devil Monastery

    Amazing. Next stop, cover of TIME magazine? 😎

  22. piratgurra

    Grattis Rick.

    HÄll huvet skarpt och hjÀrtat varmt. Kanske minst lika viktigt i medgÄng som motgÄng =)

  23. Kalops

    Dont flattr yourself this is merely a clear case of stupidity rewarded by even more stupid people.

  24. Jack


    “The simple step of a courageous individual is not to take part in the lie. One word of truth outweighs the world.” ― Aleksandr I. Solzhenitsyn

    Dont do it, a polite “no thank you” says more for the truth than any Foreign Policy subsidiary of The Washington Post Company’s substantial shareholders…

    In letting go, one gains far more!


  25. hkjonus

    Adoption and recognition by the elites is always the first step in the conversion of the radical from rebel to defender of the status quo.

    1. Rick Falkvinge

      I know. But the first step of not making that happen, or at least delaying it, is being aware of that.

  26. Chelsi

    Your posting really straitgehend me out. Thanks!

  27. xdlpuaztog

    S98Gch szkatdhbkied

  28. […] 1: Rick Falkvinge in het […]

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