Umberto Eco, the Italian maverick, once commented that we write lists because we don’t want to die.
In the case of AOAV’s list of the 100 most influential people in armed violence reduction, I guess you could say we wrote this list because we don’t want other people to die.
Lists are a necessary evil in the modern world. We have Bucket lists, Hot or Not lists, Rich lists and Award lists. They tell us who’s in, and who’s out, who’s on the up and down, who we should follow and who follows us.
Our list of the 100 most influential in reducing violence bows to the same conceits, to some degree. We have our Jolie and our Clooney. We have our rich and our powerful. We have our headliners and opinion formers.
But there is a utility to our list. The people on it are truly influential – they have proven track records of mobilizing change, reforming wrongs and reducing the impact of armed conflict.
Our list not only pays testimony to their efforts but, we hope, acts as a way in which these influencers can find out about others in their field. A sort of ‘armed violence reduction blind date’ list, if you will. Perhaps connections could be made or acquaintances re-formed. We will let you know if anyone gets hitched because of us.
And for those who don’t make the list but sit, teeth gnashing, wondering why – despite their efforts – they remain unrecognized, unloved and unlisted: please don’t fret. I’m not on the list, and I think I should be.
Please use this list liberally. Follow those named on Twitter. Send it to journalists and lobbyists. Send us feedback if we have missed someone who you think rocks the world. Retweet it, Facebook it and email it.
Armed violence can be reduced. Communication and sharing is one way to do that. Please help us in our mission.
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