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TED's top 10 smart people in the world.

Posted by: Bruce Nussbaum on October 19, 2005

For those of you not acquainted with TED—the Technology, Entertainment and Design conference that draws a top-notch crowd of techies, media and design people every year—there’s a TEDblog that can now plug you in. Richard Saul Wurman, that quirky information-design genius, first launched the TED conference and now Chris Andersen has taken over.

Here is a list of “the world’s top 20 public intellectuals” that was recently posted on the TEDblog site. It was compiled by Foreign Policy and Britain’s Prospect magazine based on a internet vote. It’s euro-centric but interesting.

1 Noam Chomsky
2 Umberto Eco
3 Richard Dawkins
4 Václav Havel
5 Christopher Hitchens
6 Paul Krugman
7 Jürgen Habermas
8 Amartya Sen
9 Jared Diamond
10 Salman Rushdie
11 Naomi Klein
12 Shirin Ebadi
13 Hernando de Soto
14 Bjørn Lomborg
15 Abdolkarim Soroush
16 Thomas Friedman
17 Pope Benedict XVI
18 Eric Hobsbawm
19 Paul Wolfowitz
20 Camille Paglia

The TEDblog says the results look like “there are three criteria to make the list. 1) Be really smart. 2) Write a best-selling book. 3) Have your supporters organize an Internet voting campaign.” Lessons to us all.

Reader Comments


December 5, 2008 11:03 AM

These 20 people in the list and especially No.8 from India, I think they are extraordinary and achieved the recognistion because of different approach towards their subject, which normal people did not concentrate or left of lack of confidence.


December 14, 2009 12:17 PM

it so amazing

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Want to stop talking about innovation and learn how to make it work for you? Bruce Nussbaum takes you deep into the latest thinking about innovation and design with daily scoops, provocative perspectives and case studies. Nussbaum is at the center of a global conversation on the growing discipline of innovation and the deepening field of design thinking. Read him to discover what social networking works—and what doesn’t. Discover where service innovation is going and how experience design is shaping up. Learn which schools are graduating the most creative talent and which consulting firms are the hottest. And get his take on what the smartest companies are doing in the U.S., Asia and Europe, far ahead of the pack.

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