Whilst killing time in Athens airport (snow, delays etc) I came across an interesting article in Foreign Policy magazine: 100 global thinkers of 2011. (

The most exciting aspect of this is that the number one spot went to ‘The Arab Revolutionaries’ including people such as Alaa Al Aswany for channeling Arab malaise and renewal; Wael Ghonim for using social media to put the political demands of Egypt’s citizens on a global stage; Tawakkol Karman, Nobel Peace Prize winner and key activist in the Yemeni revolution; Wadah Khanfar for turning the Al_Jazeera revolution into an actual one and many more besides.

Many of you may have heard of Srdja Popovic and Gene Sharp who have been working to turn the philosophies of nonviolent protest devised by Henry David Thoreau and Mohandas Ghandi into a blueprint that can be put into practice by activists around the world.

Well, they have arguably succeeded. In 2005, Sharp was rediscovered by the April 6 Youth Movement, a youth activist group that became one of the central organisers of the protests that brought down Egyptian dictator Hosni Mubarak. April 6th also took inspiration and practical instruction from the Center for Applied NonViolent Action and Strategies (CANVAS), a group led by Srdja Popovic, a marine biology student turned revolutionary.

Both Popovic and Sharp are quick to note that the real architects of the Egyptian revolution were the masses who thronged Tahrir Square. However, it is undeniable that these bold global proselytizers of nonviolence have changed the world in a very real way.

This article is not only inspirational but also highlights clearly how powerful activism is and it’s growing interest to the people in power. This all campaigners around the world, opportunities to learn and engage better in our work this year.