Countries and World Culture; A Look at Russia, the U.S., the U.K. and China

In my last posting, Walt Disney, Jimi Hendrix, America, Popular Culture and the World, I presented some fascinating work done by the MIT Media Lab through its Pantheon website.  They are using the internet to determine which countries and individuals have the greatest impact on world culture. 

In this posting, I wanted to dig deeper and take a look at those countries that have had the greatest impact on the world over the last 100 plus years.  You may have created a different list but my choices were:  China, United States, United Kingdom and Russia.

The reason I wanted to look at these countries was to see how, each in their own way, had an impact on global culture and what impact they may or may not have had on those who engage in the business and / or practice of play.  In particular, I was interested in whose ideas these countries were exporting to the world.  In my next posting I will share my take away.  In the meantime, take a look and see what strikes you.  (Just a note:  We may or may not agree with the rankings but it is an interesting place to begin a conversation about culture and the play industry.)

United States

            Influencer                                  Occupation                Birth Date

  1. Martin Luther King Jr.                 Social Activist                1929
  2. Elvis Presley                             Musician                       1935
  3. Walt Disney                              Producer                       1901
  4. Jimi Hendrix                              Musician                       1942
  5. Andy Warhol                             Artist                            1928
  6. Bruce Lee                                 Actor                            1940
  7. Bob Dylan                                Musician                        1941
  8. John Kennedy                           Politician                       1917
  9. Stanley Kubrick                         Film Director                 1928
  10. Marlon Brando                          Actor                             1924

United Kingdom

            Influencer                                  Occupation                Birth Date

  1. George Orwell                           Writer                            1903
  2. John Lennon                             Musician                        1940
  3. Queen Elizabeth                        Nobleman                      1926
  4. Paul McCartney                         Musician                       1942
  5. Stephen Hawking                      Physicist                        1942
  6. Eric Clapton                              Musician                        1945
  7. George Harrison                        Musician                        1943
  8. Ringo Starr                               Musician                        1940
  9. Sean Connery                           Actor                             1930
  10. Anthony Hopkins                       Actor                             1937


       Influencer                                  Occupation                Birth Date

  1. Hu Jin Tao                               Politician                       1942
  2. Deng Xiaoping                         Politician                       1904
  3. Dalai Lama                             Religious Figure              1935
  4. Puyi                                       Politician                        1906
  5. Toshiro Mifune                         Actor                             1920
  6. Wen Jia Bao                           Politician                        1942
  7. I.M. Pei                                  Architect                        1917
  8. Jiang Qing                              Politician                        1914
  9. Jiang Zemin                            Politician                        1926
  10. Gao Xingjian                           Writer                             1940


            Influencer                                  Occupation                Birth Date

  1. Mikhail Gorbachev                       Politician                       1931
  2. Leonid Brezhnev                          Politician                       1906
  3. Boris Yeltsin                               Politician                        1931
  4. Yuri Andropov                             Politician                        1914
  5. Dmitri Shostakovich                    Musician                        1906
  6. Konstantin Chernenko                 Politician                        1911
  7. Vladimir Putin                             Politician                        1952
  8. Michail A. Sholokhov                   Writer                            1905
  9. Vasily Grigoryevich Zaitsev           Military                          1915
  10. Yuri Gagarin                               Astronaut                       1934

In my next posting, some thoughts on what we in the play industry can learn from this.


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