From tech pioneers, innovators and investors to activists, Rest of the world She identified 100 people outside Silicon Valley and the West whose efforts directly affect the countries where the majority of the world’s population lives.
While the tech world’s attention is often drawn to Silicon Valley, where last-generation unicorns still dominate the discussion, the most exciting and disruptive innovations in technology are happening outside of the Western world. From Gurgaon to Guangzhou, from Lagos to Lima, hungry and ambitious entrepreneurs have built platforms, products, and services for the communities they know and live in best. Not only do they create additional features for existing products, but solve real-world problems with real innovations – all while overcoming unique challenges that many entrepreneurs in the West never have to face. Over the past two years since launching this post, we’ve met these people and seen their ideas all over the world – from a former investment banker whose startup has become the largest online cosmetic retailer in India to a business analyst from Venezuela who launched the country’s only delivery program; From the investor helping to lead a group of innovation hubs across the African continent to an engineer who built a streaming platform that is set to transform the music industry.
Earlier this year, we set out to find 100 of the most influential, innovative and pioneering figures in fintech, e-commerce, politics, digital infrastructure, and a host of other sectors that intersect and influence technology in our editorial. RoW100: Changemakers in global technology. To compile the list, our reporters and editors conducted research on individuals in each regional ecosystem who have made a significant contribution to their sectors while facing the logistical, financial, and political challenges that come with building something groundbreaking in those communities. We also spoke to dozens of our sources, many of whom are peers of the people on this list, to gauge the true impact of our candidates beyond the hype and press release cycle.
After lively debate, copious amounts of coffee, small tantrums, and transcontinental judging, the result was RoW100: Changemakers from Global Tech, which includes everyone from prolific investors to visionary founders to ministers and government activists who shape national policies.
Individuals listed in Global Tech’s Changemakers influence how products are manufactured and distributed, how entrepreneurs are financed, and how technology regulates and protects its users outside of their home markets. As a result of the unusual headwinds they face, our editorial team believes that these leaders are more creative, more thoughtful, and better at sharing new ideas than most people in the Western world understand.
As you peruse our full list of these exceptional individuals, you can organize them by tech sector and the region you follow closely, but also by some of our favorite groups. We are unabashedly aligned with the #founders, who dominate our list across all regions because they are the lifeblood of their local technology ecosystems. But we also celebrate the #unicorns whose $1 billion plus valuations are vital to help lift all the boats in these markets. We see how players are leading global technology trends such as the emergence of #superapps, the increasingly global evolution of #gigeconomy, and having fun with our #gamers driving major changes on mobile platforms. We are also grateful for the work of #digitalactivists who speak out on behalf of the unheard in markets where policymakers and governments have few resources to deal with the positive and unintended consequences of living in a digital world.
As always, we’d love to hear your opinion. Feel free to reach us at [email protected]
– Anup Kaphle (Executive Editor) and Yinka Adegoke (Strategic Initiatives Editor)