Joel Stein’s Totally Real and Not at All Made Up 2018 Time 100 Picks


Though I helped come up with the idea for the TIME 100, the editors of this magazine have never let me sit in on one single TIME 100 meeting, ever. So I’ve moved on to a more important task: guessing next year’s TIME 100, or a number pretty close to 100. Here are my predictions.


Katherine Hoke

She runs Defy Ventures which teaches entrepreneurship to inmates. She has a 3% recidivism rate for her graduates which is insanely low. There are, in fact, 97 percentages higher than that. So really low. Not as low as 2%, 1% or 0%. But other than those, really low.

Michael Slaby

Did he make Hillary Clinton win the election? Not technically. Which is what he does, tech stuff. Still, he runs a company that uses technology to track people to start social movements. That made it sound creepy. Everything with technology is creepy. I might be writing that because I just watched two episodes of Black Mirror.

Anthony Weiner

You think this dude is done messing stuff up with pics of his junk?

Frank Mugisha

The leader of Sexual Minorities in Uganda, which is unfortunately called “SMUG”, though that won’t hurt him much with Time editors.

Dr. Hadiyah Green

She fights cancer with lasers.

Melissa Franklin

I typed “Harvard Scientist” into Google news which I’m pretty sure is what the Time 100 editors do. I had to scroll through those photos on the top of the page until I got to someone who had never been in the Time 100 and wasn’t either over 80. Franklin was 11th on the list. Wikipedia says she “is an experimental particle physicist and the Mallinckrodt Professor of Physics, and the former physics department chair, at Harvard University. While working at the Fermi National Accelerator Laboratory in Chicago, her team found some of the first evidences for the existence of the top quark. She is currently member of the CDF (Fermilab) and ATLAS (CERN) collaborations.”

Massimo Bottura

He’s the wildly innovative, brilliant chef at Osteria Francescana in Modena, Italy. There’s usually a chef on the list, and that chef can usually get Time columnists reservations at restaurants.

Daniel Humm

He’s the wildly innovative, brilliant chef at Eleven Madison in New York City.

Cori Bargmann

The science president of Mark Zuckerberg’s $3 billion charity is charged with curing, preventing or managing all disease by 2100. I’m guessing he gets the job done ahead of schedule, by next year.

Terry Hughes

He does research on how coral reefs are being bleached. Time loves stuff like that. Not the bleaching, but the being sad about the bleaching. So the opposite of the bleaching. Time doesn’t bleach anything. Except maybe paper. Which might lead to coral reef bleaching, actually. Terry Hughes should look into this.

Demis Hassabis

An artificial intelligence expert for Google, he most likely created a program that will land him on next year’s list. Or maybe he did it for this list. AI is powerful.

Jef Boeke

The bottom of Nature’s magazine’s ten people who mattered list has a “ones to watch” next year. Which is where I found Boeke, the co-leader of the Human Genome Project–Write who, Nature says, in running “an ambitious effort that is seeking to synthesize the human genome. He and others are already close to making a yeast genome.” You read that right: A yeast genome!

Kweon Deong-Song

Can Deong-Song repeat after making the 2017 list? It really depends on 2017 which I am too lazy to look up. But I hope so.

Reza Aslan

He’s got a new book. Which means new opportunities to go on Fox News and goad its anchors into saying insanely ignorant things about Islam.

Sophie Cruz

When she was six, the daughter of undocumented Mexican immigrants rocked the Women’s march with her speech. In 2018, she is likely to give a speech somewhere people can hear what she says.

Bill and Melinda Gates


João Doria

Sao Paolo’s mayor is a multimillionaire political outsider who hosted O Aprendiz, the Brazil’s version of The Apprentice, wrote a book called Lessons in Winning and tweets constantly to his more than 364,000 followers. He will soon be the most made-fun of person in Brazil.

Oscar Ekponimo

I can’t believe I just discovered that has a section called Next Generation Leaders. This page is a gold mine. This Nigerian software engineer is using technology to bring wasted food to the hungry.

Wai Wai Nu

That same Next Generation Leaders list has this woman in Myanmar who fights for the rights of the “Rohingya, a mostly stateless Muslim minority that has been persecuted by the government for decades.” God, I wish I found this list earlier.

Nancy Lublin

She started Crisis Text Line which helps suicidal teens. Nancy is a genius who intuitively understood that no matter how depressed a teen is, she still likes to look at her phone.


Vivek Sankaran, President of Frito-Lay

California voted to legalizing marijuana on Jan 1, 2018.

Elon Musk

That cheaper Tesla will finally be out.

Chris Cox

The chief product officer at Facebook. Those in the know told me that if Zuck stepped down, Chris would be named CEO, not Sheryl. That person who told me that was, surprisingly, not Chris Cox.

JoJo Siwa

The owner of JoJo’s Bows, which are bows, will be 14 in 2018, and already has a deal with Nickelodeon. Both Nickelodeon and I are betting that bows are going to be big next year.

Andy Jassy

You don’t know who Andy Jassy is, but in a year you still won’t unless you remember this paragraph, which is unlikely. But he’ll still make the list since he funs Amazon Web Services, which runs everything. It’s the cloud that you keep hearing about. Andy Jassy is in charge of the cloud.

Kristen Green

The founder of Forerunner Ventures, Green invested early in Dollar Shave Club, Jet and Warbu Parker and Bonobos, which is a company that takes out ads on whatever website I’m on. Not sure what else they do, but that’s pretty impressive right there, Bonobos.

Aliko Dangote

The richest man in Africa, he owns lots of stuff. Influential stuff.

Bernd Lembcke

The managing director of Mar a Lago decides which old rich white people get to sit with President Trump and tell him if bills are good or bad, and listen to state secrets.

Nguyen Thi Phuong Thao

She became Vietnam’s first billionaire by founding the budget airline VietJet Air, which started with flight attendants in bikinis…

Audrey Tang

The youngest minister without portfolio in Taiwanese history, this 35/36 year-old transgender computer programmer is an anarchist and other things that make great Time 100 copy.

Tim Ferriss

If he sees this, it will implant the Time 100 in his brain as a goal and he will do nothing to stop until he gets there, as long as it doesn’t take more than four hours a week.

Jared Kushner

Depending on the exchange rate of the ruble, Kushner will be the richest person in the world.

Marc Benioff

The guy who runs Salesforce has never been on this list because no journalist knows what Salesforce is. Even though it pretty much tells you what it is right in the name. Still, “sales” and “force” and not words journalists intrinsically understand.

Dean Baquet, editor of the New York Times

The enemy of the enemy of the people is the people’s friend.

Bill O’Reilly

After being fired by Fox News for sexual harassment, O’Reilly will do a tremendous job running Breitbart.

Patrick and John Collison

There’s usually a super-young billionaire tech entrepreneur on this list. These Irish brothers in their 20s started Stripe, which is a company that does something with other things that has been done for a long time, but they do it digitally.

Alex Zhu and Luyu Yang

I don’t know what is but tweens keep telling me it’s their favorite app.

Joshua Cooper Ramo

The co-chief executive of Henry Kissinger’s powerful consulting firm, his book The Seventh Sense, which you should totally buy, predicted and explained the political and economic disruption we’re experiencing. Also, he got me my job at Time in 1997. But mostly the consulting and book thing.

Steve Huffman

He runs Reddit, which is the website we now use to pick the President based on what would get the most lulz.

Aileen Lee

The founder of Cowboy Ventures, the venture capitalist has invested in One Kings Lane, Rent the Runway, Shopkick, Tellme and Trendyol, all of which are real companies, even the last one.


Steve Bannon

People inspire their most fervent followings after they fall from grace.

Tom Brady

Detractors will say that being mayor of Boston will hurt Brady’s focus on the field, but they will be wrong.

Vladamir Putin

This “leaders” section is so easy. Putin has made the list six times. And he’s not going anywhere.

Angela Merkel

She’ll still be Leader of the free world.

Xi Jinping

How can 1.4 billion potential readers be wrong?

Kim Jong-un

Still terrifying. And on every list since 2011.

Mike Pence

The President of the United States is always on the list.

Narenda Modi

This section should be given to interns. It’s that obvious.

Steve Scalise

2018 will be the year when the Majority Whip find out there’s a calculator function on his smartphone that he can use to count votes.

Chuck Schumer

I was once at a party at the Democratic convention with the then-editor of Time, Walter Isaacson. Walter was playing this game where he saw if he could sit still and make people come to him. He and Schumer had a come-over-here-nod-off for like two minutes. Walter won.

Bashar al-Assad

One thing has become clear: That dude is not going anywhere.

Recep Erdogan

Neither is he.

Chris Christie

Totally kidding! Move on to the next one, which is real.

Mark Meadows

The North Carolina Congressman is the head of the Freedom Caucus, which will remain small and nevertheless control the government in 2018.

Cory Booker

Did I go to college with Cory? And was he really nice and helpful to me? Does that mean I’m partial? No! It means I know he’s going to be really nice and helpful to America.

Abu Bakr al-Baghdadi OR the new head of ISIS

It’s a highly dangerous job.

Nicola Sturgeon

Putting the final nail in the coffin of the British Empire in 2018 has got to get you on the list.

Lubna Khalid Al Qasimi

Female political leaders who don’t actually run their country pop up on the Time 100 all the time (2016 has both Denmark’s European Commissioner for Competition Margrethe Vestager and Tokyo Governor Yuriko Koike). Filling that role in a Muslim country is a huge bonus. No only is she most influential woman in the United Arab Emirates, she’s the most influential human being to graduate from Cal State Chico other than Raymond Carver. Sorry, slam poet Big Poppa E, but it’s true.

King Charles of England

I mean, it’s got to happen eventually, right?

Vanessa D’Ambrosio

Just 28/29 years old, she’s ending her term as Captain Regent of San Marino. Which means that by 2018 she’ll probably be General Regent of San Marino, a role so powerful it doesn’t even exist yet.


Frederick Douglass

Frederick Douglass is an example of somebody who’s done an amazing job and is being recognized more and more, I notice

Beyonce’s twins

I’m guessing they will be six months old at the beginning of 2018, which is old enough to star as one baby on a TV show or two singers on a duet with enough autotune.

Chloe Kim

One of the few things I know is going to happen next year is the Olympics, and one of the few people Google said is going to win is 16-year-old American snowboarder Chloe Kim.

Nathan Chen

This 17/18-year old (I need to resolve this age issue thing) is a figure skater, which is the winter sport people care about. How good is he? Has any other man ever landed five quads in the free program? Has anyone scored as many points on one element? And is that element called “the quad lutz-triple toe loop combination”? Do I wish I hadn’t started stating facts in question form? No, no, yes and yes.

Geena Rocero

Transgender activist. Supermodel. Filipino American. TED speaker. Founder of Gender Proud.

Geena Rocero

Transgender activist. Supermodel. Filipino American. TED speaker. Founder of Gender Proud. She should probably be on the list twice

Joel Stein

I can get it together in one year, right? Host a TV show, or write a movie, maybe write a book? I’m going to apply myself. This is just the motivation I need.

Erdem Moralıoğlu

There’s always a fashion designer on this list, and they’re always an “icon.” They usually have weird symbols in their names. That’s all I had to base this on.

Gareth Bale

Almost always a soccer player on this list. And they’ve gone through most of them so we’re down to Gareth Bale. I’m hoping Bale has a bigger 2017 than Luis Suarez.

Russell Westbrook

Time put LeBron James on the 2017 list. Time will need to make amends for that next year.

Virat Kohli

Time editors cannot resist a cricket player who does charity.

Lonzo, LiAngelo and LaMelo Ball

Because their dad will not let it go.

Aung San Suu Kyi

The head of Burma has been on five times.

Pope Francis

God said so.

Paul Farmer

He fights AIDS! In Haiti! When he’s not teaching at Harvard! He has a MacArthur Genius grant! His brother, Jeff, was a former pro wrestler!

Selena Gomez

She has more Instagram followers than any person on the planet, making her the most influential person in the modern age, in which people no longer read.

Justin Trudeau


Van Jones

I know Van Jones. Van Jones is the kind of guy who tells it to you straight, like, “Hey, I know you. Why didn’t you put me on your list?”

Demetrious Johnson

Not only is he pound-for-pound the best martial artist in the world, but he’s pound-for-pound the best human being named Demetrious.

Alec Baldwin

There weren’t enough celebrities on this list.


Jason Momoa

They’ve run out of superheroes to make movies about so they’re finally making an Aquaman movie, which was the running joke in Entourage. And this guy is Aquaman. Who’s real name is Arthur Curry. Which you didn’t know. Because no one has had to know anything about Aquaman until now. Because they ran out of superheroes to make movies about.

Kaia Gerber

She’ll be the new Gigi Hadid. Someone told me that. I don’t know what it means.

Paris Hilton

Coming back. Whether you like it or not.

Olivia Wilde

There’s always a very famous, really attractive actress on the list who is not actually influential at all.

The Weeknd

Not Drake-famous, but still.


Drake-famous, so…

Ryan Gosling

Gosling has never been on the Time 100, which doesn’t make any sense. This year he stars in Blade Runner and then he will play Neil Armstrong. This injustice ends here.

Phil Lord and Chris Miller

Not only are they directing that Han Solo Star Wars movie, and producing more Lego and Jump Street movies, but they’re friends of mine and really nice and I will fight to get them on this list.

Diego Luna

He’s not only in the Star Wars movies, but in 2018 he’ll star in the Coen Brothers’ Scarface. The movie won’t be out before the 2018 Time 100 comes out, so maybe he’s on the 2019 list. Which just makes my pick more impressive.

Tye Sheridan

I looked at all the movies coming out next year, and I figure Ready Player One, which Steven Spielberg is directing, is going to be huge. And this guy is the star. I didn’t bother looking up anything else about him. 100 is a lot. I’m already annoyed this is taking up so much time.

Dave Beran

The chef who formerly ran Next for the wildly innovative, brilliant chef Grant Achatz in Chicago is opening up a restaurant in Los Angeles in 2018 that will be amazing. He’s a friend of mine and is more likely to give me free meals if he Googles himself and reads this.

Jen Lewin

Art is influential.

Yue Minjun

Chinese art is not only a thing, but it’s the kind of thing Time editors can’t resist saying they know about. He’s part of the “cynical realism” school, which is also the kind of thing Time editors can’t resist saying they know about.

Dove Cameron

Disney Channel stars always turn into enormous adult stars. 2018 is that year for the 21/22-year old Liv and Maddie star.

Lilly Singh

This YouTube star is going to be an actual star.

Bipasha Basu

There’s always an actress who’s either from China (2017: Fan Bingbing) or India (2016: Priyanka Chopra). This year is India’s turn again, so I’m going with Basu.

Bill Maher

There’s always a late-night host on this list. I think they make funny speeches at the Time 100 party. Actually, usually there are two. (2017: Samantha Bee and James Corden make up 2 percent of the globe’s influence.) If new shows don’t disappear by 2019, they’re going to have to pick Carson Daly, who still is on the air.

Michael Chabon

Time editors always put on at least one novelist (2017: Margaret Atwood and Colson Whitehead) because Time editors think people still read novels.

David Benioff and D. B. Weiss.

The showrunners of Game of Thrones will end their show in 2018 with the main character dying in a hail of bullets to the sounds of Badfinger.


The singer/songwriter/guitar-player/croquet-player/friend of mine has a new record with his group The Eels is coming out. Plus he’s in the show Love. He sometimes gets mad when I don’t list him in things.

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