Forbes’ annual 30 Under 30 list has rolled around for 2021, showcasing some of the brightest young talents across the globe – and giving 27-year-olds, like myself, another reminder of time’s endless treachery.
More than 600 young stars fill the list, spanning continents, careers, and competencies. Take the lone Australian* on the list: 21-year-old Ben Pasternak, the Sydney-born entrepreneur whose recent work on vegan meat alternatives caught Forbes’ attention. Make the perfect chicken-free nugget before 30, and you too could get that Forbes shine.
Other big names pepper the list, which has a heavy focus on social media influencers. TikTok stars Charli and Dixie D’Amelio appear, aged 16 and 19, respectively, along with Addison Rae, 20. So too do YouTuber David Dobrik, 24, tech review god Marques Brownlee, 27, and Jimmy Donaldson, aka MrBeast, age 22.
Seeing as this is Forbes, the list does skew heavily towards business and investment. The publication states 63% of this year’s 30 Under 30 cohort are founders or cofounders, suggesting that if you want the best shot at recognition, you’ve got to
grease the cogs of venture capitalism come up with some wild new ideas.
Some young winners in the fields of business and tech: Sharon Zeng, 29, a product manager behind innovations at Instagram; Adam Eizenberg-Molnar, 28, whose company Neurable wants to let you control video games with your brain; or Fareedah Shaheed, 23, who is driving online security training for a multi-billion dollar corporation.
Other big names include Chanel Miller, 28, sexual assault survivor and author of memoir Know My Name; Lana Condor, 23, the driving force behind To All the Boys I’ve Loved Before; and Shane Lindstrom, aka Murda Beatz, a 26-year-old hip-hop producer whose work is probably on your recent playlists
One of the youngest talents on Forbes’ 2021 list is Jalaiah Harmon, 15, whose Renegade dance shot across TikTok – and highlighted all the ways in which young folks, especially young people of colour, can have their name erased from their innovation. Fortunately, her talents have now been recognised.
If you want to scope out the full list, have a squiz right here. Fair warning: you may get the sudden urge to be hyper-productive after having a browse.
*Forbes lists NBA superstar Ben Simmons, 24, as American, a bold assertion which entitles us to claim Kyrie Irving as Australian.