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Time Magazine unveiled the eight remaining finalists for its 2014 person of the year. They range from individuals who have taken defiant (and sometimes unpopular) stands on major issues to groups of people who have risen up to try to change the world around them.
Who's on your list? Weigh in on the nominees or add someone you think has been overlooked by sharing your list on Culturalist.
...and the nominees are:
The Ferguson Protesters
Joe Raedle via Getty Images
When an unarmed black 18-year-old was fatally shot by a white police officer in Ferguson, Missouri, it was a tragedy; when a grand jury declined to indict the officer, it was an outrage. We're having a rare moment in America where we're being forced to confront our troubled social history with law enforcement and race, and ask ourselves hard questions about who we are as a society. And the men and women in the streets in Ferguson are a big part of the biggest conversation of the year.
The Ebola Caregivers
Andadolu Agency via Getty Images
They are the front line in the war against the biggest Ebola outbreak in history. It's too easy to forget about an epidemic half a world away, but the healthcare workers struggling to contain the disease that has already killed 7,000 people in West Africa deserve to be recognized for their efforts, bravery, and sacrifice.
AFP via Getty Images
Sure, he's basically a Bond villain, but the Russian president has managed to stay in the spotlight this year from the protests around the Sochi Winter Olympics to the Russian annexation of Crimea, to promoting unrest in eastern Ukraine. You don't have to like the guy, but it's hard to argue with the effect he's had on 2014.
Time will tell if Taylor Swift's rejection of Spotify's music streaming business model was a tempest in a digital teacup or a seachange moment as artists push back against emerging forms of distribution. One thing is clear - as one of the world's top-selling artists, she has an important role to play in figuring out how the new digital world will compensate creative people for their work.
The former English teacher founded Alibaba (think the Amazon.com of China), and cashed in with a $25 billion IPO. We'd give that an A+.
This year, Apple's Tim Cook became the first openly gay Fortune 500 CEO, along with introducing iPhone 6 and a slew of other shiny new toys. Sometimes social change comes in small system updates.
Andadolu Agency via Getty Images
He's been president of the Iraqi Kurdish Region since 2005, and has been a spearhead in the region's push for independence. Barzani offers a new vision for what the region could be; now it's just a matter of getting there.
He hasn't had a good year by anybody's standards, but the embattled National Football League commissioner finds himself presiding over a seemingly endless storm of controversies around the league - domestic abuse, child abuse, murder charges, concussions, and cover-ups - that have started raising big questions about the role of professional football. Questions like: Is this even worth it?
Agree? Disagree? Come join the conversation by visiting Culturalist to see all of this year's nominees and make your own list of the Top 10 Best People Who Deserve to be the 2014 Person of the Year now!