I agree with some of Fortune’s choices in their annual list of the world’s greatest leaders, and I disagree with others. Among those I thought were solid was the inclusion of Hong Kong student activist Joshua Wong, who comes in ranked at number 10.
Here’s what the American business magazine has to say about Wong: “Slight, and with a bowl cut and black-framed eyeglasses, the 18-year-old Wong doesn’t look like Hollywood’s idea of a charismatic rebel leader,” they said.
“But Wong, a co-founder of the student-activist group Scholarism, was one of the most compelling figures in Hong Kong’s pro-democracy Umbrella Revolution last year. His nonviolent protest message and energetic idealism galvanized crowds that, over months, numbered in the hundreds of thousands.”
It’s not the first time Joshua Wong has been high profiled by the media.
Last year, he was on the front cover of the Asian edition of Time magazine, which also named him as one of the 25 Most Influential Teens of 2014. Foreign Policy last year listed Wong in their 100 Leading Global Thinkers, and AFP had him down as one of the 10 Most Influential People for 2014. British newspaper The Times named him as Young Person of the Year 2014.
Four years ago, Wong was just another high school student until the pro-Beijing Hong Kong authorities announced they were going to change the school curriculum to something akin to—as what Wong described as—brainwashing.
To oppose this, Wong co-founded Scholarism in 2012, which also had the general goal of giving students a voice in policies and society. Then came last year’s mass pro-democracy protests and his role in leading that.
See the video below for more on that, and why Wong thinks that more Hong Kongers should pay attention to politics and government policies:
What Wong and the tens of thousands of other Hong Kongers did on the streets in 2014 remains unfinished business. Last month, Wong said he thinks the government will bring in new antidemocratic measures that will make it necessary for the resumption of protests.
“I believe within this year they will have a new act, they will have occupy action, or civil disobedience again,” said Wong according to CNN. “And Occupy action will be happening more often in the future.”
If so, do you think it’ll be the same as last year?