The Forbes 30 under 30 list for 2017 was released yesterday, and what an inspiring list of 600 young entrepreneurs, innovators and game changers it was!

I stumbled across the Forbes list release whilst browsing trending key words on Google. The list represents individuals across a wide spectrum of industries including science, music, sports, education and finance. Being a strong advocator of education, STEM in particular, I was exhilarated at the prospect of learning about ventures undertaken by others of my generation.

Scrolling through the list (particularly education and science), I was amazed by the sheer talent, drive and innovation the individuals demonstrated through their work. I truly believe that this list SHOULD be showed to students in Secondary School to inspire them and demonstrate the creative aspect of education/STEM.

Speaking from experience, I have sometimes felt blocked from being creative in my field. Especially in STEM, there are such high walls when it comes to jumping out of textbook knowledge and into a more business mindset. Many-a-time, we’re told to learn, memorise and regurgitate. Creativity lacks immensely. Luckily, as a PhD student, I am afforded a great deal of creativity due to the nature of research. However, I am still held by the bounds of a research grant, and the needs to publish data fast.

I read about Matthew Ramires PhD, 26, who cofounded Writelab, a system that helps analyse and improve a piece of work. Ramires’ project uses artificial intelligence to automatically mark and suggest improvements within seconds of submission. An amazing innovation, well done!

There were also quite a few individuals within the education sector that founded various programmes to help bridge the gap between low-income and minority students in schools. This is something that I am quite passionate about, and so was great to see others across the pond also actively improving the situation.

Something that really made me smile was seeing the high number of immigrant/minority individuals making the list. In todays society, minority students NEED representation; it really works to drive up aspiration. It reflects the importance of being a go-getter and not relying on handouts, or on rich family members.

Excitingly, there were also a list of 30 scientists that made the cut. Everything from cancer researchers to assistant professors (some at 26; this is a mind-blowing achievement)! One individual that particularly stood out to me was Olivier Noel, 28. He is the cofounder of DNAsimple – a matchmaker of the genetic research world. DNAsimple helps connecting research scientists with DNA donors, allowing the study for certain diseases. This will hopefully speed up research and promote further scientific enhancement.

I urge anyone that has yet to check out the Forbes 30 under 30 list, if not for inspiration and motivation, to learn more about the enterprises embarked by young people.

Congratulations to all those features!

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