2020 Most Creative People in Business

Fast Company magazine recently released a list of 74 individuals who all have one thing in common: “Their unique and unprecedented efforts over the past year have already led toward meaningful change, within their sectors and beyond.”  Each of those people was placed in one of the following 14 categories:

  1. Raising the Standard
  2. Showing Us What We Need to See
  3. Breaking Through
  4. Investing Fully
  5. Designing a Superior Solution
  6. Fostering Community
  7. Finding New (And Sometimes Better) Uses for Things
  8. Expanding Our Current Reality
  9. Shielding Us from Tech’s Negative Effects
  10. Leveling the Field
  11. Channeling Energy
  12. Sustaining Us and The Planet
  13. Helping Our Economy Work for More People
  14. Bringing Joy

As I scanned through the categories and the profiles within each one, a few caught my eye: Jason deCaires Taylor (category # 2), Erica Esrick and David A. Williams (category #3), Ryan Reynolds (category #4), a team from Amsterdam (Anne Marieke / Eveleens / Saskia Studer / Francis Zoet / Philip Ehrhorn from category #5), as well as Bruce Poon Tip (category # 13). A summary of those profiles can be found below.

Jason deCaires Taylor is a marine sculptor who “has installed more than a thousand cement sculptures in marine ‘museums’ around the world, from Indonesia to Mexico.” He is passionate about helping people change how they view the natural world, and his latest project with MOUA (the Museum of Underwater Art) was his most ambitious and technically challenging yet. His concern about warming ocean temperatures devasting marine life was addressed by his Ocean Siren sculpture. It has solar-powered lights that change color in real-time to alert people onshore when water temperatures are at a level that causes coral bleaching. The other three projects he did with MOUA are also listed in his profile.

Erica Esrick and David A. Williams developed a successful way to re-engineer a patient’s blood stem cells through gene therapy to fight sickle cell disease, which is the most common inherited blood disorder in the US. “In a clinical trial launched in late 2018 and led by physician Erica Esrick, patients’ blood stem cells are modified outside the body and infused back into their bloodstream. In five patients with results reports so far, the infusion increased fetal hemoglobin production—and reduced symptoms.” On average more than 100K Americans have this disease, and I’ll bet every one of them is excited about this new treatment.

Ryan Reynolds is most known for his acting career, but what most people don’t know is that he is a successful business entrepreneur in addition to his Hollywood roles in front of and behind the camera.  Fast Company selected Reynolds because of his consistency in developing “smart and witty” messaging. He’s also recognized for his “all-in” attitude as he runs his companies, manages his staff, and considers how everything he does affects the world around him.

Anne Marieke Eveleens, Saskia Studer, Francis Zoet, and Philip Ehrhorn invented the Great Bubble Barrier after a glass of beer inspired them to make a system that collects plastic waste in rivers using bubbles. Their invention is a way of improving the eco-system to prevent plastic waste from ending up in the ocean. They are currently working on a system that can be packaged, shipped, and set up anywhere in the world.

Almost five months after COVID19 began to shut down the worldwide economy, the travel industry is still trying to find ways to recoup their losses and regain their client-base. However, one travel company is not focused on simply “getting back to business.”

Bruce Poon Tip continues his mission that he had set out on back in 1990. He continues to expose the travel supply chain and showcase how much money spent by a traveler actually remains in the communities they visit. That data is shown through a “Ripple Score” invented by a third-party organization. While working with the consultancy, Sustainable Travel International, Tip scored every supplier that his company, G Adventures, works with based on how many of their employees, managers, and owners are local.

During his “Ripple Score” research, he found out all kinds of things about his suppliers that both disappointed and surprised him, causing some of those suppliers to be phased out while he chose to help improve the scores of other suppliers to remain as one of his vendors. He hopes that the Ripple Score becomes an industry standard, and he is working hard to make that happen.

To read all 74 profiles from Fast Company’s 2020 Most Creative People in Business, click here.

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