The greatest fuel for ambition is a leader who proves you’re striving for something possible. So what happens when you triple the inspiration? You become virtually invincible. Like Achilles: the bravest and the strongest until a one-in-a-million deadly heel puncture. But let’s save the fiction and circumstance for another time.
Here are three real-life badasses who influence success in our personal and professional lives:
The reason you can read this today
You’re on the World Wide Web. How? This guy invented the whole damn thing.
Tim Berners-Lee is the spark that led to many important things in our lives. Email. Google. Memes. Had it not been for his invention, we probably wouldn’t exist today. (We as in AKOS, although we as in humanity isn’t too far off, if I’m being dramatic.)
But Berners-Lee has contributed to the world in plenty of other ways that continuously inspire us. By creating the WWW with a royalty-free approach, he allowed the web to rapidly grow in ways it would otherwise have not. He chose mass benefit over personal profit. Today, he continues to give voice to and code for the people, and actively seeks to decrease online abuse.
Did you know he’s also been knighted by Queen Elizabeth II? For all he’s done, we’ll gladly call him Sir Timothy John Berners-Lee if he asks.
RuPaul Andre Charles
The cultural icon for a changing world
Building acceptance and influencing an entire culture is one hell of a job, but RuPaul Andre Charles proves that persistence and authenticity can create a major impact.
RuPaul became one of the world’s best-known drag queens with the early 90s release of “Supermodel (You Better Work).” This would be followed by more records and groundbreaking moments. One of our favorites: becoming the first spokesmodel in drag for a major cosmetics company, for the first lipstick to confront AIDS.
Today, RuPaul isn’t just a voice for drag culture and the LGBTQ community. By bringing what was once niche into pop culture, particularly by introducing new drag queens to the world throughout 9+ years of RuPaul’s Drag Race, he also gives voice to everyone else. His work encourages diversity, while proving the influence of historically disadvantaged communities on modern language.
Getting knighted by the queen of the UK isn’t likely to happen in our near future, but perhaps we’ll be lucky enough to be yassed by this queen.
The woman to know in graphic design
What if typography and color could transform your perspective of a brand? Paula Scher proves it can, with branding strategy behind the design.
Paula Scher has led the art and design industry through shifting trends of nearly four decades. Since becoming a partner at Pentagram — the world’s largest independently owned design studio — in 1991, she has designed iconic campaigns for Tiffany & Co., Microsoft and many cultural institutions like the MoMA.
The MoMA, as well as other international museums, continue to honor her incredible work with permanent collections in their halls. Scher, who has been awarded with the distinguishing AIGA Medal, continues to push the boundaries of how design can represent a brand. Her work encourages designers to view identity as an all-encompassing experience.
If wisdom truly does come with time, Paula Scher’s persistence in the top ranks of design prove that she’s the ultimate practitioner, and we’re lucky to learn from her.
Who inspires your perspective of the world?
Shout them out in the comments to give thanks, and stay tuned for more in our People of Influence series to see if they’ve inspired us, too!
Want to see how our people of influence have inspired our work? Check out how we help businesses and nonprofits build their digital presence and systems for maximum impact on our site, then get in touch with us at akosweb.com/contact