Influential People

Time magazine publishes its annual list of “100 Influential People in the World” every year. And every year it features a bunch of people (actually it’s about 90 people), I’ve never even heard of. This year it featured names such as; Barack Obama, Hilary Clinton, Kate Middleton and Adele. That’s all well and good but, how many of us are really influenced by these famous faces – especially on a day to day basis?

Looking at the list it’s shocking to see I only recognise a dozen or so of the names on the list and do not agree with a single one of them. It’s possible some names I don’t recognise have actually done something to make them worthy of being on the list, but I’ve never heard of them. This is a list featured in an American magazine but all the same, there are entries from many nationalities which is pleasant to see. Below is a list of people who are influential to me– and these ones I HAVE heard of – for the time being there are only three, but I’ll be adding to it in the future! Feel free to leave me a comment; I would love to hear who other people find influential.

Sir David Frederick Attenborough

David Attenborough is Britain’s best known natural film-maker. His career as a naturalist and broadcaster has spanned six decades and there are very few places on the globe that he has not visited.

Over the last 25 years David has established himself as the world’s leading natural history programme creator and maker with several landmark BBC series including Life on Earth, The Living Planet and the Private Life of Plants. He is best known for writing and presenting the ten Life series, in conjunction with the BBC Natural History Unit, which collectively form a comprehensive survey of all life on the planet.

Here is a man who has dedicated his life to the truth and knowledge of the world around us, not only for his personal benefit but also for the benefit of millions of viewers. Sir David Attenborough is widely considered as a British ‘national treasure’. His work has received countless awards, including 4 BAFTAs, several NTAs and in 1985 he was knighted by Queen Elizabeth II.

His conduct of language and the ability to see beauty in everything around him is what assured him a place in my list of the top 5 most influential people. The passion he has for planet earth – it’s past, present and future, is inspiring and limitless.

Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix

Thomas Bergersen and Nick Phoenix founded a music production company in Los Angeles, California by the name of Two Steps from Hell. The group mainly produces music to accompany movie and television programme trailers; these include several of the Harry Potter series, Inception, the X-men series, the Twilight Saga, 2012, Doctor Who and Merlin. They have also produced music for video games such as Mass Effect 2 and 3 and Star Wars: The Old Republic.

There’s no way I could give Thomas Bergersen all the credit for writing such fantastic epic music, nor could I give the credit to Nick Phoenix, therefore although these men take this place on my list of influential people it should actually be the entire group at Two Steps from Hell. These two men founded one of the most overlooked music companies in the USA and face fierce competition in the world of epic trailer themes from the likes of Immediate Music, Audiomachine and Future World Music.

Not only do they produce and create music they also have a considerable amount of talent when it comes to playing a number of instruments, including piano, keyboard, guitar, trumpet and violin. Nick Phoenix has assisted in the creation of 3 public albums (Invincible, Archangel and Nero) and countless trailer music ‘singles’. Thomas Bergersen has also produced a solo album named Illusions and has announced he will be releasing another named Sun in early 2013.

There’s really nothing I can say that can sum up how I feel about these men and what they do. Epic music sweeps you off your feet and can take you somewhere only imagination can create and Bergersen and Phoenix have got the art of doing this down to a T. It’s sad to think most people know of and have heard something composed by Harry Gregson-Willams and/or Hans Zimmer but would not recognise a piece by these men if they heard it. Well, the raw power and rich, infectious melody of Two Steps from Hell music will always have me coming back for more – keep up the good work boys!

David McWilliams

David McWilliams is one of Irelands leading economic commentators. He is an economist, broadcaster and bestselling author. David also writes two weekly economics columns in the Sunday Business Post and the Irish Independent. He studied at the Trinity College, Dublin and then the College of Bruges, Belgium and before moving into writing and broadcasting he spent ten years in banking – first as an economist with the Irish Central Bank, then with the investment banks UBS and BNP.

David has written several successful books, he used to present an Irish current affairs programme called Agenda and has interviewed many politicians and high-profile bankers such as Hilary Clinton and Alastair Campbell. Personally I know him best for his charming and informative videos on YouTube, titled Punk Economics, David gives lessons as a new way to look at the economy based on his opinion that what is complicated is not important and what is important is not complicated. Through an ingenious method of pictures coupled with hard-hitting statements and cold hard facts David gives a fresh, new take on the economy in a method anyone can understand – from teenagers to pensioners.


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