From tech leaders, innovators, and investors to activists, Rest of World identified 100 people outside Silicon Valley and the West whose efforts directly impact countries where the majority of the world’s population lives.
While the tech world’s attention is often drawn to Silicon Valley, where the last generation’s unicorns still dominate the discussion, the most exciting innovation and disruption in tech is happening outside the Western world. From Gurgaon to Guangzhou, and from Lagos to Lima, hungry, ambitious entrepreneurs have worked to build platforms, products, and services for the communities they know best and live in. They’re not just making add-on features to existing products, but solving real-world problems with genuine innovations — all while overcoming unique challenges that many entrepreneurs in the West never have to face. Over the past two years since we launched this publication, we’ve met these people and witnessed their ideas across the world — from a former investment banker whose startup became India’s largest online cosmetics retailer to a business analyst from Venezuela who launched the country’s only delivery app; from the investor who helps lead a collection of innovation centers across the African continent to an engineer who built a streaming platform that is set to transform the music industry.
Earlier this year, we set out to find 100 of the most influential, innovative, and trailblazing personalities in fintech, e-commerce, policy, digital infrastructure, and a range of other sectors that intersect with and influence technology for our inaugural RoW100: Global Tech’s Changemakers. To put together the list, our reporters and editors researched individuals in each regional ecosystem who have made an outsized contribution to their sectors while facing logistical, financial, and political challenges that come with building something groundbreaking in those communities. We also spoke to dozens of our sources, many of them peers of the people on this list, to gauge the true impact of our nominees beyond the hype and the press release cycle.