Kanhaiya Kumar, 32, went on to become the face of student politics at the Jawaharlal Nehru University (JNU) after he was slapped with sedition charges in 2016. A doctorate from JNU, he fought his first electoral battle during the 2019 Lok Sabha elections from Begusarai constituency in Bihar for CPI. Though he lost to Giriraj Singh of BJP by 4.2 lakh votes, he managed to poll 22.03 percent votes. Political analysts say while it is early days for him, Kumar is someone who has been actively voicing his views across the country, questioning the government and its policies. A powerful orator, he is expected to make a mark in Indian politics in the future.
Jacinda ArdernPrime minister, New Zealand
Jacinda Ardern was lauded globally for the manner in which she dealt with the March 2019 terror attacks at a mosque in Christchurch that left over 50 dead. The 39-year-old prime minister chose not to take the killers’ names, wore a hijab while expressing solidarity with the victims and tightened gun laws further. Since there is no fixed term for a New Zealand prime minister, she has ample scope to take the country to greater heights. Already, it tops the world in the ease of doing business index, unemployment is at an 11-year low and wages are at a record high. Serena Williams, Kylie Jenner, Sundar Pichai: 20 people who changed the 2010s
Garima Arora became the first Indian woman to receive a Michelin star when her restaurant, Gaa, in Bangkok was awarded by the 2019 Michel Guide for Thailand. The 32-year-old was also named Asia’s Best Female Chef for 2019 by World’s 50 Best Restaurants, and serves a modern take on traditional Indian cooking techniques. After graduating from the illustrious Le Cordon Bleu in Paris in 2010, she worked at Danish chef René Redzepi’s restaurant Noma in Copenhagen, and at Indian chef Gaggan Anand’s eponymous restaurant in Bangkok. Arora has now put her weight behind Food Forward India, an initiative that will bring various stakeholders in the industry to reimagine Indian food for the global audience.
Greta ThunbergEnvironmental activist
The 16-year-old environmental activist has been vocal against global leaders and large corporates for their inaction in dealing with climate change. In the coming decade, it remains to be seen whether Greta Thunberg, Time’s person of 2019 and the Nobel Peace Prize nominee, aims to take up other issues such as those related to health care, global conflicts, poverty and religion. Her biggest battle could come from within. After all, she could be influenced by forces who may want to use her as a political tool. Why India's slowed growth story isn't all bad: Ridham Desai
Prashant Kishor Political strategist, mentor-IPAC, and politician, Janta Dal United (JDU)
Prashant Kishor, 42, has been a political strategist since 2011 when he helped the BJP win the Gujarat state elections. This was followed by his 2014 campaign for the BJP under his political strategy firm Citizen for Accountable Governance (CAG) which helped it win the Lok Sabha elections. CAG was renamed as IPAC (Indian Political Action Committee) and Kishor now serves as mentor to the organisation. In 2019, IPAC played an important role in strategising campaigns for YSR Jagan Mohan Reddy in Telangana and the Shiv Sena in Maharashtra, helping both win the state elections. With regional political parties gaining a stronghold in states, these elections are becoming bigger in terms of strategy and spends, and IPAC is aggressively working in various state elections. It is advising the Trinamool Congress and Aam Aadmi Party for the upcoming state elections in 2020. Except for one, IPAC has won all the campaigns it has strategised for political parties, and has changed the entire Indian political strategising ecosystem. In 2018, Kishor joined the Janata Dal United as a politician. Though he is yet to contest from any seat, his role in the political space is only set to grow bigger.
Sanna Marin Prime minister, Finland
“There’s no trick, I’ve just been doing my work,” Sanna Mirella Marin, 34, told the Guardian newspaper in an interview. The Finnish politician became the world’s youngest prime minister when she was picked by her Social Democratic Party after its leader quit in December 2019. She has been a member of Parliament since 2015 and was minister of transport and communications prior to becoming prime minister. Leaders like her offer the best hope of galvanising the world to tackle challenging problems such as climate change and feeding billions of hungry people.
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Anssumane Fati Vieira (Ansu Fati) Footballer, Barcelona FC
A professional footballer for Barcelona FC, Ansu Fati, 17, joined the senior team in July 2019. Fati scored his first professional goal on August 31 at the age of 16 years 304 days becoming Barcelona senior team’s youngest goal scorer ever and the third youngest scorer in the history of Spanish league La Liga. That was just the beginning—he now also holds the record for being the youngest goal scorer in UEFA Champions League history after he scored against Inter Milan during a group stage match on December 10, 2019. Born in Bissau, Fati has now been granted Spanish citizenship and is expected to play for the country too. He could be the next big thing for Barcelona, the next generation for the club.
Boris Johnson Prime minister, UK
Eliud Kipchoge Marathoner
Boris Johnson, 55, was once, early in his career as a journalist, dismissed from The Times for falsifying a quotation. He is today Britain’s prime minister and recently led his Conservative Party to its biggest electoral victory since 1987. Johnson is tasked with shepherding Britain through Brexit—Britain’s withdrawal from the European Union. His policies could decide how open or closed Britain will be to the rest of the world in the coming years. Critics have accused the former mayor of London of misconduct in public office, racism and Islamophobia.
In October 2019, Kenyan long-distance runner Eliud Kipchoge became the first man in the world to run a marathon in under two hours. The record wasn’t counted since he hadn’t run the distance in race conditions. He currently holds the world record for a marathon at 2:01:39 and a gold medal in the 2016 Olympics, in addition to winning 11 of the 12 official marathons that he took part in. Yet, Kipchoge remains rather humble, and even today continues to clean the toilets at his training camp in Kenya, where he lives. He is now gearing up for the 2020 Olympics in Japan, where he is expected to retain his gold and even set a new world record.
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