The World’s 50 Most Influential People in 2018

Scouring through the web you will find plenty of articles that list who the world’s most influential people are per year or of all time. Regardless of age, industry, or quality of influence, these people have no doubt have a huge burden to bear in terms of being a public citizen (and probably role model).

While not all of those who are influential have a positive effect on the majority, it cannot be denied that these people’s presence alone can command a horde to follow. Some define “influential” as having an impact to make changes on a global scale (good or bad), regardless of how their efforts turn out in the end.

We’ve listed here 50 most influential people for the year and it includes artists, icons, pioneers, and world leaders. Of course, how they have influenced each one of us varies and our responses are subjectively, so we are doing this in no particular order.


  1. Cardi B – New York-born American rapper known for her “no filter” attitude and better known for hit songs “Bodak Yellow” and “Invasion of Privacy.”


  1. Chloe Kim – American snowboarder who triumphed with a gold at the 2018 Winter Olympics as the youngest female to win an Olympic snowboarding medal at 17 years old.


  1. Carl June – American doctor from the University of Pennsylvania known for his breakthrough work on HIV gene therapy and the role of T-cell therapies in cancer treatment


  1. Issa Rae – American actress and writer responsible for the wildly popular and revolutionary YouTube series “Awkward Black Girl.” She also penned the book version title “The Misadventures of Awkward Black Girl.”


  1. Bhavish Aggarwal – 32-year-old Indian businessman and founder of one the largest ride-sharing companies in the world, Ola Cabs. He started Ola in India and is set to launch in the Australian market in 2018.


  1. Trevor Noah – South African comedian and TV host who now anchors the satirical news program “The Daily Show” on Comedy Central.


  1. Ruth Davidson – Scottish Conservative Party leader who is a staunch proponent of same-sex marriage. She is also known for being passionately vocal against Scottish independence and Brexit.


  1. Jian-Wei Pan – Chinese quantum physicist who’s vision made the first quantum satellite, Micius, launch in 2016. This invention has created a new plane for more secure communications and encryption worldwide.


  1. Jesmyn Ward – African-American writer known for her brutal and moving novels depicting the modern American South. Notable works include “Men We Reaped” and “Sing, Unburied, Sing.”


  1. Nice Nailantei Leng’ete – 27-year-old human rights advocate from the Massai tribe in Kenya who is helping girls escape cutting and forced marriage. Leng’ete reportedly escaped genital mutilation when she was 8 years old to avoid being cut, which was a traditional Massai practice to turn little girls into brides.


  1. Hugh Jackman – Australian actor, producer, and singer best known for his role as Wolverine in the “X-Men” series and as PT Barnum in “The Greatest Showman.”


  1. Millie Bobby Brown – 14-year-old American actress known for her portrayal as Eleven in the TV series “Stranger Things” She figured largely in a huge anti-bullying campaign on social media, where she has millions of followers.


  1. Shawn Mendes – Canadian singer and songwriter who became famous after his song covers uploaded on Vine started going viral in 2013


  1. Gal Gadot – Israeli actress better known for her portayal of Wonder Woman


  1. Jimmy Kimmel – American TV host and comedian who hosts the popular ABC late night show “Jimmy Kimmel Live!”


  1. Greta Gerwig – American actress, writer, and director known of acclaimed coming-of-age tale “Lady Bird”


  1. Deepika Padukone – One of the highest paid most influential actresses in India


  1. Satya Nadella – CEO of Microsoft Corp


  1. Prince Harry – Duke of Sussex, KCVO


  1. Meghan Markle – Duchess of Sussex; American-born member of the British royal family after her marriage to Prince Harry


  1. Donald Trump – President of the USA


  1. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman – Crown Prince of Saudi Arabia


  1. Justin Trudeau – Prime Minister of Canada


  1. Xi Jinping – President of the People’s Republic of China


  1. Nancy Pelosi – Minority Leader of the US House of Representatives


  1. J.J. Watt – Defensive end for the Houston Texans of the NFL


  1. Leo Varadkar – Irish taoiseach and Ireland’s first openly gay prime minister


  1. Kim Jong Un – Supreme Leader of North Korea


  1. Shinzo Abe – Prime Minister of Japan


  1. Moon Jae-in – President of South Korea


  1. Jacinda Ardern – Prime Minister of New Zealand and the youngest female PM in the world


  1. Sean Hannity – American talk show host who leads “The Sean Hannity Show” and is a conservative political commentator


  1. Jennifer Lopez – American pop star and actress


  1. Kevin Kwan – Singaporean-American writer known for his “Crazy Rich Asians” series, which later turned into a movie


  1. Daniela Vega – Chilean actress who wrote and starred in the acclaimed film “A Fantastic Woman,” the first Chilean movie to win an Oscar Award for Best Foreign Language film


  1. Kesha – American singer, songwriter, and rapper who spoke out against sexual harrassment and assualt in the entertainment industry way before the #MeToo movement


  1. Rihanna – Barbadian-born singer and businesswoman known for her recently launched and empowering makeup brand Fenty


  1. Chadwick Boseman – American actor who played the lead role in the pivotal Hollywood superhero film “Black Panther,” which had an all African-American cast


  1. Elon Musk – Business tycoon best known for being the founder and chief designer of SpaceX, Tesla, PayPal, and Neuralink


  1. Roger Federer – Swiss-born pro tennis player; ranked number 2


  1. Oprah Winfrey – Talk show host and media executive best known for the now retired “The Oprah Winfrey Show,” the highest rated TV program ever in history


  1. Jeff Bezos – Founder, chairman, and chief executive of Amazon


  1. Kevin Durant – American NBA player for the Golden State Warriors


  1. Sonia Friedman – Broadway theater producer and the first person to win the Producer of the Year prize three times at The Stage Awards; also commonly referred to as the most powerful woman in theater to date


  1. Pony Ma – also known as Ma Huateng, Ma is the co-founder and CEO of Tencent Holdings, a provider of Chinese instant messaging, mobile gaming, and online payment services.


  1. Giuliano Testa – Transplant surgeon who performed the first successful uterus transplant procedure in the US


  1. Adam Neumann – Israeli-American businessman who co-founded the communal work space giant WeWork


  1. Maxine Waters – American congresswoman who is a vocal critic of US President Donald Trump


  1. Masayoshi Son – Japanese businessman who founded SoftBank, a mobile telecom and investment company


  1. Virgil Abloh – American fashion designer who leads Louis Vuitton’s menswear collection and is also the CEO of Milan-based fashion house Off-White. Abloh started his career as stylist and creative director to rapper Kanye West and has made waves in the world of fashion since.


Again, whether these individuals’ impact on our lives are good or not-so-good, we acknowledge that their actions and public statements are worthy of attention. You might not agree with this list, seeing as so many popular favorites aren’t here, but do feel free to add whom you feel should be on the top 50 and why on the comments. We’re open to discussion!