As board chairman and CEO of Qualcomm, Jacobs is the driver behind wireless data services that pushed the cellphone from a talking tool to a handheld computer delivering data and entertainment. Innovations under his leadership include GPS capabilities, over-the-air downloading of applications, and advanced reflective display technology. Jacobs has more than 40 patents to his name.
Co-founder of the private equity firm Hellman & Friedman, Hellman (1934–2011) built a fortune that he willingly poured into local causes, including education, athletics, politics, and the arts. A banjo player, he made his most visible impact on San Francisco with the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass Festival, an annual free event drawing some 750,000 people and headlining favorites such as Emmylou Harris and Jimmie Dale Gilmore.
When Waters opened the world-famous restaurant Chez Panisse in 1971, she never imagined that offering “real food” would help spark a revolution. More than anyone else, she is responsible for the movement to eat fresh foods that are grown locally and sustainably. Her latest focus, the Edible Schoolyard Project, aims to get children into the garden and kitchen to change the way we eat, one student at time. Follow her on Twitter @AliceWaters.
It’s hard to remember the time before “Google” became both a verb and one of the world’s most powerful forces for change. As the executive chairman of Google (and its former CEO), Schmidt has led the company through more than a decade of unprecedented expansion into politics, business, culture, privacy, copyright, and other broad interests. He also tackles issues of ever-increasing personal and global importance, including the responsible use of natural resources. Schmidt was named the Cal Alumni Association’s 2012 Alumnus of the Year. Follow him on Google+ or Twitter @ericschmidt.
McGonigal has a vision that games will change the world. How? They take us on epic missions, present us with urgent challenges, and offer exhilarating rewards. A pioneer in alternate reality games that aim to improve real lives and solve problems such as poverty, hunger, and climate change, McGonigal includes EVOKE, Superstruct, and World Without Oil among her best-known projects. MIT Technology Review named her one of the top 35 innovators changing the world through technology. Follow McGonigal on Facebook or Twitter @avantgame.
The Mulleavy sisters are the fashion design duo behind Rodarte, sold by more than 40 leading retailers worldwide. Melding elaborate details with imaginative shapes and textures, Rodarte’s masterful designs have caught the eye of international style icons, museums, even Hollywood — dancers donned their costumes in Darren Aronofsky’s Black Swan — and are reaping awards across the realms of fashion and art. Find Rodarte on Facebook or Twitter @officialrodarte.