Janessa Gans Wilder: On her own mission
When two planes crashed into the World Trade Center in New York in 2001, Janessa Gans Wilder was in the middle of her training with the CIA. Two years later, President Bush invaded Iraq, and Gans Wilder volunteered as a Middle East expert to travel with military units through highly dangerous war zones. Shocked by the trail of devastation and the political void her homeland left behind in Iraq, she wanted – back in the US – to make America better. She founded the Euphrates Institute, which offers support to local peacemakers from India to Tanzania. Today the mother of three has a clear message: "Turning the other into a brother" – and thereby create a real chance for change.
#1 Greta Thunberg: A Voice for our Future
It all started little more than a year ago with a simple cardboard sign in front of the Swedish parliament building. All by herself, a seemingly shy, 15-year-old girl with long braids confronted her government with a call to action that would spark a movement: “School Strike for Climate.” In the year that followed, the little girl has grown into a global icon and role model for an entire generation, inspiring millions to take to the streets to protest for more sustainable climate policies. There is no doubt that Greta Thunberg dominated this year’s news coverage: a new hope for some, an enemy for others. The OOOM 100 jury voted Greta Thunberg to the top of the ranking of “The World’s Most Inspiring People 2019,” honoring her unrelenting fight for the planet. Thunberg proves to all of us that every person has the power to change the world.
#2 Jane Fonda: A Legendary Rebel
Iconic actress, fitness queen, sex symbol, rebel – Jane Fonda was many things in her life. She became a peace activist during the Vietnam War, and almost 50 years later she has raised her political voice again. As a climate activist, Fonda is engaged in passionate, radical, and fearless protest for a better world, having been arrested many times since October while leading weekly demonstrations on Washington’s Capitol Hill. She knows: “We can’t abandon the youth in their fight for their future.” She has become a beacon of hope for the climate movement. The OOOM 100 jury ranked Jane Fonda #2 in its “The World’s Most Inspiring People 2019” ranking: a role model and heroine of our time.
Sebastian Reich: Startup for Generation Z
The Austrian startup scene is growing at a fast pace. Some start at a very early age. Sebastian Reich, 18, is one of those young entrepreneurs. He started his startup linuru during school with a vision to connect groups of motivated students outside of the traditional media like Facebook. His simple business card app allows students to connect in person by scanning their in-App generated QR-codes. This allows connecting with people they met in real life instead of connecting with only virtual friends via Facebook. His app already attracted various student organizations. OOOM spoke to the Viennese about difficulties, future goals, and the Austrian startup scene.
Parov Stelar: From pop music to art shooting star
As the king of electro swing, he performs to sold-out crowds from New York to Milan. More than a million fans follow him on Facebook, and his videos have been watched more than 500 million times on YouTube. Parov Stelar is Austria's most successful popstar – and right now, he is in the process of reinventing himself. His newest tracks sound like hits, but there is a perceptible shift away from his signature mix of swing and electro-beats. Most recently, Parov Stelar, a former designer, has started to successfully present his work as a pictorial artist as well. OOOM visited him on Mallorca – and shows his newest work for the first time.
When hell broke loose in Paradise, Allyn Pierce became a hero.
It was as though the gates of hell had opened. On November 8, a giant sheet of flames rolled over Paradise, a small town in the Sierra Nevada just north of Sacramento and home to 26,000 souls. The fire turned the quaint community into a battlefield. Apart from only a handful of homes, the entire city was obliterated in the inferno. Fires raged across all of California at that time with a ferocity that America had never before seen until that point. When these lines went to press, 1,200 individuals were still missing. Allyn Pierce, a nurse at Adventist Health Feather River Hospital in Paradise, became a hero that day, a symbol for the United States that many Americans dearly miss these days: a country in in which people stand up for each other, where togetherness and mutual aid are lived values. Allyn Pierce almost paid for his heroism with his life. This is his story.
Lady Gaga: The star Madonna always wanted to be
She is the star Madonna always wanted to be. The OOOM jury voted Lady Gaga second in this year’s ranking of the world’s most inspiring people. She is the “Woman of the Year 2018.” In her film debut, A Star is Born, she garnered hymnic praise from the press and acting colleagues alike. She is multi-talented, strong, and convincing, but fragile and vulnerable at the same time.
Arnold Schwarzenegger: America’s conscience
As governor of California, Arnold Schwarzenegger showed how to lead a state with vision, determination, conviction and purpose. While his terms were rather mixed in terms of success, he made California a pioneer in environmental protection and implemented many crucial initiatives to counter climate change. Ever since president Trump took office, “Terminator” Schwarzenegger has transformed into the outspoken conscience of America. The OOOM jury voted him third in its ranking of the world’s most inspiring people. In times of transition and polarization, his voice is needed more than ever.
Modern Graphic Design – Titans of Design
Their influence on the modern graphic design landscape is unparalleled. Their designs, brand identities, logos and artwork have become icons of our times. Milton Glaser, Stefan Sagmeister, Paula Scher, Chip Kidd and Jan Wilker live and work in New York; OOOM brought all of them together for the first time. In Glaser’s legendary design studio in Kips Bay, where he developed New York Magazine, the designers talked about good design, responsibility, creative tricks, the polarization of America, terrible artwork, the end of books–and why Donald Trump is a great designer.
Big in New York: 20 years of „Sex and the City“
He is the face of New York. No other film and TV actor stars in more shows capturing the spirit of New York than Chris Noth. He chases the criminals of the Big Apple as a detective in “Law & Order” and “Criminal Intent.” He rose to global fame as “Mr. Big” in “Sex and the City” as the man of Sarah Jessica Parker's dreams in 96 TV episodes and two movies. For seven years, he impersonated a corrupt politician in the CBS series “The Good Wife”—a role that is more relevant than ever these days. Chris Noth changed his schedule for the exclusive OOOM cover story and flew from London to New York a day early. In our interview, the actor talks about his exciting career, his turbulent youth, the blessing and curse of the success of “Sex and the City,” about New York as it was and is, the decline of American politics and his own mortality.
9/11 American Hero – Jay Jonas
On September 11, 2001, Deputy Chief Jay Jonas was busy saving survivors from the North Tower of the World Trade Center, when the tower gave in and collapsed above him. As one of only a handful, he and his men survived in stairway B, while everything above and below him was obliterated. More than 3000 people died on the day of the terror attack on the USA, 343 of Jonas' firefighter colleagues did not return from duty. Some time later, Michail Gorbachev presented him an award as “ Man of the Year”, Paul McCartney called him a “hero of our time”. A decade and a half later, Jay Jonas, who by now is responsible for more than 40 firefighter units in the Bronx and the north of Manhattan, recalls the events of the day that changed his life forever.
In the center of Power: Inside the New York Times
The “New York Times” is the world's leading newspaper. More than 1250 editorial staff shape the stories and content of this news giant, which has fought a tooth - and - claw battle with Donald Trump since the US president's inauguration. On numerous occasions, Trump loudly predicted imminent ruin for the newspaper. But ever since Trump positioned himself as the Times' arch-enemy, the paper has been soaring, with massive increases in readership and circulation. OOOM looked behind the scenes of the media giant, participated in an editorial meeting and met Editor-in-Chief Dean Baquet and Editorial Director of NYT Global Jodi Rudoren for a talk about the unpredictable president, the division of America, fake news, the digitalization of media, competition with the 'Washington Post' and the search for truth.
A Voice from the Left: Cynthia Nixon
Cynthia Nixon, who rose to international stardom as Miranda in the cult-favorite series “Sex and the City,” is running for the public office. More specifially, she has thrown her hat into the ring, to become a candidate for the governor of the state of New York. If she wins the primary election, her chances of securing political edge over her rival, thereby of serving as the executive for 19.8 million Americans, and the world metropolis of New York City, are strong. OOOM joined the aspiring politician on her campaign trail, and enjoyed the opportunity to observe an unconventional, compelling, eloquent, and inspiring candidate.
A Billion Dollar Idea
This is the story of the most successful start-up in the history of Silicon Alley: in just eight years, a two-person start-up grew into the world’s largest network of work environments, communal offices, communities and workspaces. WeWork is valued at more than 20 billion dollars, operates 230 office locations in 21 countries and 71 cities around the globe, and aims to keep up this furious pace of growth. OOOM met the manager responsible for this runaway success in the global WeWork headquarters located in New York’s Chelsea district: Chief Growth Officer Dave Fano.
George Washington High: The Other Side of New York
For the last four years, Peter Tinguely, 32, has worked as Community School Director at George Washington High School in northern New York. The school, whose former pupils include singer Harry Belafonte and former US Secretary of State Henry Kissinger, has its best days behind it. Performance levels used to be high; now the institution has a reputation as problem school. The lack of a social safety net in the USA shows itself to be a merciless reality for children and youth. Many pupils in this school do not know where their next meal will come from, and one in three sleep in homeless shelters. A report from the shadows of the glittering metropolis of New York.
Shirley Tilghman: Princeton’s First Lady
Princeton University is one of the most prestigious universities in the world. The elite institution was founded in 1746; Albert Einstein taught here, and 42 graduates have gone on to win Nobel Prizes—18 in the field of physics alone. Only 8000 students have the privilege to study in the picturesque town of Princeton, 75 kilometers to the southwest of New York. Shirley M. Tilghman was the first female president of Princeton University. For the past 13 years, she sat on the Board of Directors at Google. In OOOM, she talks about the obstacles women have to overcome in science, why talent is key, how quickly Google makes billion-dollar decisions–and why immortality will remain out of reach for humans.
Stararchitect Daniel Libeskind: Master of Design
He is a global superstar of architecture. When the expansion of the Jewish Museum, which he designed, was about to be opened, the planes crashed into the Twin Towers in New York. On September 11, 2001, the world changed. Mayor Michael Bloomberg and Governor George Pataki commissioned him to create a design draft for the new “One World Trade Center” complex on Ground Zero . In OOOM, the son of Polish Holocaust survivors talks about architecture, emotions, 9/11, the rise of cities—and why the skyline of New York is, above all, a product of money.
The Heart of the Art World
The Guggenheim in New York is one of the most renowned museums in the world. Richard Armstrong helms the iconic museum in the Upper East Side as director and also serves as head of the globally active Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation, which runs museums in Venice and Bilbao as well. Armstrong talks to OOOM about expensive art, scandals, rarities, death threats, Jeff Koons—and about why it may have been a mistake after all to offer to loan Donald Trump a golden toilet instead of the Van Gogh the president requested.
As a New York model, Wallace J. Nichols was signed to the same agency as Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista. He later obtained a biology degree and began tirelessly campaigning for clean oceans. Nichols’ book Blue Mind, a New York Times bestseller , sparked a global movement for a new, emotional relationship with Earth’s oceans. His message was that water boosts people’s creativity, performance, and health whenever it is nearby. In this interview, Wallace J. Nichols speaks to OOOM about the effects that water has on the body and the mind; he also describes the advantages of this mystical yet boundless element and explains why he aims to change the world using a blue marble.
In the Spotlight
America is considered to be the land of opportunity. But how difficult is it for a young actor to break into the acting industry in the USA? Austrian actress Esther-Sophia Artner has lived in New York for the past four and a half years. She studied acting at Al Pacino’s renowned Actors Studio Drama School and is about to launch her acting and directing career. We spoke to the talented Viennese about auditions, discipline, tough competition, and why there are no leading parts for actors with accents.
The Lee Strasberg Film and Theatre Institute in New York is the world's most prestigious acting school. It was here that future stars like Julia Roberts, Scarlett Johansson, Angelina Jolie, Christoph Waltz, Uma Thurman and Julianne Moore learned how to act in front of a camera, and how to own a stage. Lee Strasberg developed his “method acting” approach here, a method with which actors access memories from their own biographies to embody a character role. This approach generates maximum identification. Victoria Krane, Lee Strasberg's sister-in-law, has headed the institute for the past 36 years. In OOOM, she explains how to become a successful actor.