Demis Hassabis: Head of Google Deepmind. The development of Artificial Intelligence will likely have the largest impact on our future and the team at Deepmind spearheaded by Demis seem to be the closest to getting to genuine AI.
Elon Musk: Space X, Tesla, Open AI, Solar City, Gigafactories, Hyperloop, colonizing mars, autonomous vehicles, beaming global internet from space….this one seems pretty obvious
George Church: Arguably the world’s leading geneticist. He is at the forefront of genetic engineering and synthetic biology, fields that are reshaping our biological destinies and changing the nature of life on earth.
Mark Zuckerberg: Facebook has been investing heavily in virtual reality, artificial intelligence, health services, and satellite internet, to name a few. Also considering his age, personal wealth and the recent rumors that he might seek the presidency soon, this one also seemed like a no brainer.
Xi Jin Ping: Wavered most on this pick but chose him due to China’s bold stance made this week at Davos, sending by far the largest and most powerful delegation of any nation. Clearly China is growing more assertive on the international stage lead by their Premier who has consolidated power like no other Chinese ruler in recent history. China has put forth an ambitious new five year plan that they hope will position themselves as a global hub of innovation for the 21st century. He also seems bolstered by the fact that his biggest rival on the international stage just appointed a leader lacking in the subtle art of international diplomacy.
Others: Craig Ventor, Jeff Bezos, Ben Goertzel, Ray Kurzweil, Gary Marcus, Aubrey De Grey, Peter Thiel, Trump, Tim Cook, Sundar Pichai, Larry Page, Satya Nadella, random graduate student
Of course, any such list is inevitably going to be a little arbitrary and prone to bias so if anyone has a good reason why somebody else should be on this list please state your case below.