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People Who Have Changed the World

By Bianca Smith • January 15, 2018

Who do you admire? Who inspires you? Who are those people who you look at and say "wow if they survived/did/achieved that, I can do this." Sometimes they are well-known leaders. Sometimes they're your neighbor. They also inspire us for different reasons. Some have literally saved lives. Some have just looked at a problem differently and made something difficult easier.

Here are five people who have changed the world. The inspiring thing of these people is that if you asked them, we suspect they won't say they are that inspiring. They're just solving a problem, or just doing their job. That act just happened to change the world for the better.

Before you start furiously emailing us about who we missed, we couldn't include everyone. This list is a cross-section, tip of the iceberg list. Let us know in the comments who has changed your world and why.

Malala Yousafzai

Not many men stand up to the Taliban and live. Malala was only 15 years old when the Taliban attempted to kill her for wanting to learn and attend school. She survived the head injury, and continued speaking up for the education rights of all, and especially girls and women. In 2014, aged 17 at the time, she became the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. She continues to change the world for the better for thousands of people in her homeland of Pakistan, the Middle East, and around the world.

Steve Jobs

Human rights and social justice is one way of changing the world, but technological advancement is another. We also know that Bill Gates is just as deserving of making the list, but we've chosen Steve Jobs for his impact on technology. His creativity gave us devices we couldn't imagine (he refused to do focus groups because they only told him what people knew existed). Apple products have made technology and communication easier for people with illness and disabilities and have brought knowledge to so many. It's the simple things.

Ada Lovelace

Of course, Steve Jobs couldn't have done what he did without Ada Lovelace's work. Ada was the first computer programmer. More technically, she was the first person who realized mechanical devices could be run in a sequence, thus making the first computer program. She worked a lot with Charles Babbage, but he wasn't always willing to share the limelight, so she added snarky footnotes when editing his research. She was only 36 when she died, but in that time she managed to create the foundation for our technology today.

Bob Geldof

Sure many say that Bob Geldof's music changed their worlds, but we're celebrating his work in Africa. For those old enough to remember, in 1984 Bob co-wrote and recorded "Do They Know It's Christmas," performing it with various leading artists of the time. A year later he organized the Live Aid concert, raising more than £150 million for famine relief in Africa. He's working to raise awareness, money, and help for Africa. Thanks, Bob.

Oskar Schindler

You've probably heard of Oskar Schindler from the books and subsequent movie, Schindler's List (also titled Schindler's Ark). For those who don't know, he was a Nazi party member who is credited with saving 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. Spoiler: he employed them in his factory to intentionally keep them out of the concentration camps.

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