Foreign Policy came out with its 100 Top Global Thinkers of 2012. Four of the “top ten” went to pairs or triplets of people (which proves that two heads are better than one, something Sophia and I obviously knew already). The list celebrated “the brave thinking of those at the cutting edge of this global debate over freedom of expression.”
Unsurprisingly, Burma’s Aung San Suu Kyi and President Thein Sein lead the list for the reform work their unexpected alliance and the work they’re doing for their country.
Other dynamic duos included Bill and Hillary Clinton, Bill and Melinda Gates, Bibi and Ehud Barak, and Meir Dagan and Yuval Diskin (ran out of Bs.. These former intelligence officers are on the list for the exact opposite reason Bibi and Barak are included).
The pairing continues throughout the list, including with Number(s) 19, Rima Dali and Bassel Khartabil, who were highlighted for their work for peaceful activism in Syria. Rima was briefly arrested back in April for holding a banner that reads, “Stop the killing. We want to build a country for all Syrians.” After her arrest, supporters recreated the protest. After her release, Rima told reporters, “We all want to stop the killing, and build a Syria for all Syrians. We look for hope, day in, day out.”
Bassel has been the subject of a twitter hash campaign (#FREEBASSEL) since his disappearance in March. He’s believed to be held in Damascus. A dedicated open-source software developer, Bassel has contributed to such projects as Creative Commons and Wikipedia. I hope we get a chance to see what he can contribute to the article on the Syrian revolution, and that we get to close that chapter soon..
I also liked that Foreign Policy gave high marks to David Blankenhorn, Narayana Kocherlakota, and Richard A. Muller “for changing their minds.” The men came in at #10. An activist, economist, and physicist respectively, each man, prominent in their fields, changed course after careful consideration of all the information placed before them. Head to the FP piece to read more about their reversals, but I think Sophia would agree with me in saying that we support honest and open debate anywhere, and when that leads to individuals changing their opinions because they feel they are better informed, we all end up better for it. Intelligent debate is better debate 🙂