Time Magazine’s annual list of 100 most influential people of 2018 is out and Israeli actress and model Gal Gadot and WeWork’s Israeli-born co-founder Adam Neumann are among the artists, leaders, icons, and “titans” selected for this year.
Gadot, whose star has risen over the past several years to feature in Wonder Woman and become the face of international brands, was nominated for 2018’s list by American actress, and former Wonder Woman herself, Lynda Carter.
“Gal Gadot brought Wonder Woman to millions of new fans. Her portrayal was magnificent and powerful, capturing everything that Wonder Woman represents,” Carter wrote for Time Magazine.
Carter, who played Wonder Woman in the 1970s TV series, said that both she and Gadot have been “living and breathing this uniquely strong, smart and charming superhero,” adding that Gadot embodies all these traits. “She is a wife and mother; she has served her country, traveled the world, and is hardworking, loving, wise, goofy and full of humanity.”
“Wonder Woman has helped transform how women and girls see themselves since she emerged on a TV show in 1975. She represents what we know is inside every one of us: fierce strength, a kind heart and incredible valor.”
Gadot, Carter goes on, has “understood and captured the spirit” of Wonder Woman, a “complex, independent, fully feminine persona. I applaud her for all of her success.”
Gadot appeared in the artists’ category alongside Nicole Kidman, Hugh Jackman, Roseanne Barr, and Jimmy Kimmel, among others.
The actress has been making international headlines for several years now and is revered in Israel.
Her 2017 film Wonder Woman garnered more than $800 million at the box office worldwide, making it the 5th highest grossing US superhero movie of all time. Also in 2017, she was the sixth most searched person on Google, according to a Google Trends report, nestled between actor Kevin Spacey and US First Lady Melania Trump.
In the era of the #MeToo movement, launched in the wake of the sexual assault allegations surrounding Hollywood heavyweight Harvey Weinstein, Gadot has not been afraid to speak up, refusing to work on a Wonder Woman sequel, if Brett Ratner, the film’s producer who was accused of sexual misconduct, stayed involved. He has left the project.
Earlier this year, Gadot nabbed two prestigious new roles — as brand ambassador for multinational cosmetics giant Revlon, and Chinese phone maker Huawei – and a sponsorship deal said worth $10 million with US athletic apparel maker Reebok.
In the Time’s titans’ category, Adam Neumann was nominated by Marc Benioff, the chairman and CEO of US cloud computing company Salesforce.
“Growing up on a kibbutz in Israel, Adam Neumann was the only boy whose family had a VCR, which made his house a magnet for the local kids. Everyone eventually forgot about the VCR, he remembers, but ‘we still ended up hanging out together,'” Beinoff wrote in Time.
Beinoff went on to hail “the communal spirit” that “has attracted 240,000 workers from businesses of all sizes to WeWork, the company he co-founded, in 21 countries.”
“With collaborative workspaces, startup incubators, gyms and housing, Adam is revolutionizing the way we work and reimagining how we live,” he went on.
Beinoff said that “at a time of declining public trust in nearly every institution, he and Neumann “connect on leading values-driven companies that serve a larger purpose, beyond making money.”
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“By enabling the next generation to come together to work and play in a whole new way, Adam shows how we can ‘make a life, not just a living,'” he wrote.
WeWork was founded in 2010 and is today valued at a whopping $20 billion, with 340 locations in 65 cities. It has since embarked on offshoots, launching WeLive, an urban co-living community that provides furnished apartments, communal spaces, and shared amenities, in New York City and Arlington, Virginia. And Rise by We, a wellness club and “superspa” also in the Big Apple, that builds on the “We” concept of communal experiences, launched last month.
Late last year, WeWork announced the acquisition of a private coding school in New York and launched a private children’s school — WeGrow — for “conscientious entrepreneurs,” headed by Rebekah Neuman, a founding partner of WeWork, its chief brand officer, and Neumann’s wife.
In Israel, WeWork has 10 locations – a majority of them in Tel Aviv, and is said to be bringing its WeLive project to the city. Earlier this year, it announced a relaunch of the early-stage startup accelerator WeWork Labs.
Titans and Pioneers
In the Time’s titans category, Neumann joined global entrepreneurs Jeff Bezos, the founder and CEO of Amazon, and Elon Musk, the founder of SpaceX and Tesla (rumored to be eyeing Israeli AI vision firm Cortica), as well as Oprah Winfrey.
World leaders including US President Donald Trump, French President Emmanuel Macron, Canadian PM Justin Trudeau and London Mayor Sadiq Khan also made the list, as did Saudi Arabia’s Crown Prince Mohammed Bin Salman, said to be reforming and modernizing the kingdom.
Bin Salman initiated a series of changes as part of his 2030 economic vision to make Saudi Arabia’s economy less dependent on oil and more knowledge and technology based. At the center of the reform is a $500 billion plan to build a “smart” business and industrial zone extending from Egypt to Jordan, with the possible involvement of Israel.
Britain’s Prince Harry and American actress Meghan Markle were also in the leaders category. The two are set to wed next month, with speculations that Markle could be walking down the aisle in an Israeli designer’s wedding dress.
In the pioneers’ category, former US President Barack Obama nominated some of the survivors of the February 14, 2018 mass shooting at the Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida where 17 people were killed. Obama said he chose Cameron Kasky, Emma Gonzalez, David Hogg, Alex Wind, and Jaclyn Coryn for their outspokenness in the wake of the shooting, taking on the NRA, and their “power to insist that America can be better.”
Time’s honorees attended the 2018 TIME 100 Gala in New York City on Tuesday night.
Another Israeli connection
For this year’s Time 100 list, the American publisher partnered with Israeli startup Apester to poll readers about who they think should be in the TIME 100 list, prior to publication.
The Tel Aviv-based startup provides publishers with tools to create, embed, and share interactive content in posts and articles. Time polled its readers using a new Apester story format launched in February, a gallery of slides with interactive buttons where people can click their choice.
The top image features a collage of Gal Gadot, left, in a photo taken by Gage Skidmore via Flickr (CC BY-SA 2.0), and Adam Neumann, right, in a photo taken by Noam Galai/Getty Images for TechCrunch (CC BY 2.0).