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Who are the world's top thought leaders?

I've just read that Gareth Evans, Australia's former foreign minister, has been named #52 on Foreign Policy magazine's list of Top 100 Global Thinkers for 2011.

It follows the release of Evans's book, A Responsibility to Protect, about how the world can end mass atrocity crimes. Interestingly Barack Obama came in at #11 and #1 was the Egyptian novelist Alaa Al Aswany for his role in the Arab Spring.

Foreign affairs might not be your cup of tea, but if you're keen to learn more about thought leadership it's valuable to review these sorts of lists. They give an insight into who is seen as a leader, the work they have done and how they present themselves.

The Foreign Policy list is here. But there are others, such as the Thinkers 50, which has a business academic bent and heavyweight sponsors, and plenty of not quite so slick but still informative lists such as this one covering 20 top marketing gurus.

You might even make it an ambition to join these lists in the future.

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