No matter how big something is — be it an art form, subculture, industry, discipline, market, or social concept — it only takes one person, armed with one smart idea, to change it. Look at statistics. A few years ago, our idea of it was dry and boring — the stuff only pollsters and math wonks cared about. But in the lead up to the 2008 election, one man, Nate Silver, turned that on its head, bringing the same sort of data analysis used for baseball to politics and turning good-old-fashioned numbers into a hot cocktail-party topic. Visionary Marcus Samuelsson, too, has transformed the familiar role of star chef into a platform for broad social change, just as Aura Friedman is altering how the fashion world perceives hair color. Cara Chard is repurposing New York rooftops into gardens, and Jonah Boeker is turning ballet into the latest form of digital entertainment. Even young Amirah Kassem has made childlike, cartoonish cakes into the new fashion-event must-have!
We call people like these originals, upstarts, and — more specifically — visionaries, and this August, we're celebrating them all month long. For the next 31 days, we're delivering a new, in-depth interview every day with someone who is turning their professional or creative field on its head and figuring out what makes them tick, what motivates them, and how they found their calling. Whether we're sitting down with Rachel Comey, Susan Miller, or any of the names above, you'll learn what inspires these one-of-a-kind talents and how, in your own way, you can use their stories to blaze your own trail.