Steve Jobs is among the early favorites to win this year’s Time Person of the Year award, after the recently passed Apple CEO was praised for helping “change the world as much as the Bible”.
Speaking at TIME’s 2011 Person of the Year discussion panel in New York, Chef Mario Mario Batali praised Jobs’ influence with the biblical comparison while long-standing Person of the Year pundit Brian Williams also lauded Jobs’ work, saying:
Not only did he change the world, but he gave us that spirit again that something was possible, that you could look at a piece of glass or plastic and move your finger, that’s outlandish… may he rest in peace.
Were Jobs to win the award, which last year went to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, he would make history as the first non-living person to receive the accolade.
Jobs’s main competitor is ‘Angry People’, an acknowledgement of the rise of civilian protests this year. The rise in global activism saw riots take place in London, the Occupy Wall Street movement emerge (and spawn other Occupy protests across the world) and the Arab spring uprising, all of which — amongst others — developed through the use of social media.
Angry People has the support of a number of high profile figures including actor Jesse Eisenberg who told the panel that it represents a significant change in global thinking:
The major shifts globally and domestically have been made by individuals that have formed together to resist, reject and often times even topple leaders. They’ve been movements of populism.
The New York debates were the beginning of the process which will see the TIME announce the winner of the award in mid-December. First though, the magazine will release a poll giving members of the public the chance to nominate their choice.