“Forbes Magazine” publishes many lists on a variety of topics throughout the year, and usually does some ranking within the lists they publish. On November 3, 2010 Forbes published “The Most Powerful People On Earth,” written by Nicole Perlroth and Michael Noer. The subtitle: “There are 6.8 billion people on the planet. These are the 68 who matter.”
If anyone was consciously seeking to make this list, only 68 people selected out of 6.8 billion people on Earth means the odds were pretty formidable for winning a slot.
Do power brokers set out to be the movers and shakers of the world, or does it just happen to them? By looking at the individual names on the Forbes list, it would seem that there is more than just happenstance at work when it comes to power – these individuals either chose or were chosen to be in powerful positions, and they are actively wielding the power that comes with those positions.
Forbes didn’t just pick names and plunk them on the list – they had a method for choosing their power players. For this particular list, Forbes defined power in four dimensions:
1) If a person has influence over a lot of people (for heads-of-state they looked at population; for religious figures they measured the size of their flocks; for CEOs they counted their employees; and for media figures they considered the size of their audience).
2) If they have significant financial resources relative to their peers (comparing GDP for political leaders, net worth for billionaires, and ranking on the Forbes Global 2000 for CEOs).
3) If they were powerful in multiple spheres (they awarded bonus points for those who can project their power many ways. Silvio Berlusconi (No. 14), for instance, got a big boost for not only being the prime minister of Italy, but also a billionaire media mogul and owner of a soccer team, AC Milan).
4) If they actively wield their power.
Who was ranked most powerful? No, it was not U.S. President Barack Obama, who ranked No. 2. The editors picked Hu Jintao, president of the People’s Republic of China, as the world’s most powerful man.
Only five women made the list: Angela Merkel, Chancellor of Germany (No. 6); Sonia Gandhi, President, Indian National Congress (No. 9); Dilma Rousseff, President of Brazil (No. 16); Hillary Clinton, U.S. Secretary of State (No.20), and Oprah Winfrey, Media Personality (No. 64).
Three criminals made the list: al-Qaida founder Osama bin Laden (No. 57); Joaquín Guzmán (No. 60), the billionaire drug trafficker who heads Mexico’s Sinaloa Cartel; and Dawood Ibrahim Kaskar (No. 63), who runs a vast criminal enterprise in India and who is thought to have had a hand in the 2008 terror attacks that killed 174 people in Mumbai.
For the complete list of names and photos of “The Most Powerful People On Earth,” which was published by Forbes on 11/03/10, click here.
Forbes also asked an elite group of experts to make their own lists, selecting seven influential individuals from the world’s nearly 7 billion people.
These lists (11/03/10) presented the world’s most powerful: educators; Hollywood; economists; energy; philanthropists; designers; fashion; power abusers; South Americans; entrepreneurs; media; new economists; clean energy; bloggers; tweets; feminists; Africans, and Indians.
See these “One In A Billion” picks here.
Forbes has identified the top 68 power players throughout the world according to their own methodology. We are free to agree or disagree. By anyone’s standards, however, these 68 “Most Powerful People On Earth” are very influential, indeed!
Also by R.C. Johnson:
Money Magazine’s Best Places to Live 2010: Did Your City Make the List?