Don Iveson, Age: 34
Hometown: Edmonton
Influential because: He proves nerds are cool and that young people can lead

Don Iveson can do no wrong. Last year, the 34-year-old Edmonton native swept every poll as he became the second youngest mayor ever to lead the city. And after overcoming the naysayers (“Too young,” “Too ambitious,” “Too academic”), his city is happily on board the bus he’s driving. Iveson, for his part, continues to impress – wowing, recently, international technocrats with his detailed knowledge of transit infrastructure, but also making regular Edmontonians swoon with his recent pledge to eat just 1,000 calories a day to understand what it’s like to be poor.

Much like U.S. president Barack Obama’s fairytale, young Iveson’s honeymoon in politics will end. But it’s mesmerizing to watch while it lasts. Recently, Iveson showed up at the Truth and Reconciliation Commission wearing a deerskin shirt – a sign of respect. In typical Iveson style, he left, walked down the hall to a black-tie event that he was (naturally) invited to, but did not change the shirt. And one gets the sense that those wearing tuxes were suddenly envious.