I’m naturally curious so I love people who expose me to new ideas or interesting ways of thinking about a subject. Here are the ten people I really admire and would suggest you check out. This list reflects my interests in marketing, entrepreneurship, writing, travel, buddhism, philosophy, music and politics. Six of them live in the USA, two in the UK, one in Bangladesh and one in Australia. What would your ten be?
Digg.com founder and serial enterpreneur Kevin Rose is the same age as me and I’ve always followed his career and online show Diggnation. We’ve both gone through the ups and downs of building a business and we also seem to like tea, technology and San Francisco.
Angel investor, public speaker and author of the brilliant ‘Four Hour Work Week’, Tim Ferriss is a guy who has a brilliant mind and likes to live at full throttle. His blog also has some very cool articles such as ‘How to learn any language in 3 months’ and ‘How to be Jason Bourne: Multiple Passports, Swiss Bank Accounts and Crossing Borders’.
Rolf Potts is a travel writer with a difference. His book ‘Vagabonding – The Arts of Long Term Travel’ was a revelation to me and is probably “the most sensible book of travel related advice ever written”. Though he rarely stays in one place for more than a few weeks or months, Potts feels somewhat at home in Bangkok, Cairo, Pusan, New Orleans, and north-central Kansas, where he keeps a small farmhouse on 30 acres near his family.
Life can get complicated and reading Leo’s blog ‘Zen Habits’ reminds me to focus on slowing down and spending time on the important things. Leo recently moved to San Francisco from his native Guam and his blog is a joy to read.
Recent controversies aside John is one of the best guitarists of his generation. His DVD ‘Where the Light is’ was amazing and you can tell he is always pushing to be a better artist.
I got a chance to hear Grameen Bank founder Muhammed Yunus talk in Glasgow and couple of years ago when Sir Tom Hunter invited him to Scotland. Yunus’ pioneering work in microfinance to help the poorest out of poverty so they can provide for themselves and their families is an inspiring story.
The Australian philosopher and co-founder of the Animal Rights Movement is a controversial figure. While I may not agree with all of his writing his clear rational thinking is profound and thought-provoking. He once said “Capitalism is very far from a perfect system, but so far we have yet to find anything that clearly does a better job of meeting human needs than a regulated capitalist economy coupled with a welfare and health care system that meets the basic needs of those who do not thrive in the capitalist economy. He then adds that “If we ever do find a better system, I’ll be happy to call myself an anti-capitalist.” Check out his book Practical Ethics.
Ajahn Sumedho is the leading representative of the Thai Forest tradition of Therevada Buddhism. Born in the USA he was a medic in the Korean war before becoming a buddhist monk. ‘The Way It Is’ is one of my favourite books on Buddhist and the Good Life.
As director of human rights organisation Liberty, Shami Chakrabarti stands out as a principled, compassionate and intelligent woman in a world of often shrill, dumbed-down and ignorant public discourse. Sometimes I despair in the level of public debate in the press and on TV but people like Shami gives me hope.