Ncuti Gatwa, viral librarian Michael Threets are among TIME magazine’s 2024 Next Generation Leaders

TIME's biannual Next Generation Leaders​ list features emerging creators, scientists and other influencers shaping our future across fields like business, entertainment and more.

TIME magazine Next Generation Leaders 2024
Ncuti Gatwa has landed on TIME magazine's list of Next Generation Leaders for 2024. (Photo: Kate Green/Getty Images)

TIME magazine has released its 2024 list of Next Generation Leaders, and it includes some familiar faces.

Actor Ncuti Gatwa, Olympian Simone Manuel, viral librarian Mychal Threets, and Kenyan entrepreneur Beth Koigi all made the list for contributions in their respective fields of work.

“TIME’s biannual Next Generation Leaders​ list features the 10-12 emerging leaders, creators, scientists, and other influencers shaping our future, across fields ranging from business to entertainment and more,” per the publication.

Gatwa’s life-changing contributions to the culture followed him being cast in the sci-fi series “Doctor Who,” a leading role that he’s embraced for its significance in British cultural history. As the first queer Black person to lead the show, Gatwa’s portrayal of the doctor brings refreshing diversity to the long-running series. 

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Despite the challenges of balancing fame with privacy, he said he approaches his roles with dedication and empathy. His road from uncertain beginnings to acclaimed actor underscores the transformative power of perseverance and representation in the entertainment industry.

Triumph and adversity have marked Manuel’s swimming journey. As the first Black American swimmer to win an individual Olympic gold (2016), she shattered barriers in a sport where diversity is scarce. After overtraining syndrome kept her from competing in the 2021 Olympics, she established the Simone Manuel Foundation, which aims to increase water safety and diversity in swimming, particularly in communities with limited access to swimming. 

“We just weren’t given the access,” Manuel said of the shortage of Black swimmers. “Segregation created this historical implication of us feeling like we weren’t invited into that space.”

Additionally, Manuel co-founded Togethxr, a company focused on promoting women’s sports and providing a platform for underrepresented athletes.

Threets, a 34-year-old librarian from California’s Bay Area, has garnered immense popularity on social media, amassing around 2 million followers by showcasing the local library as a welcoming community hub. With a childhood deeply rooted in library visits and an early passion for reading, Threets uses his platform to promote “library joy” and highlight lesser-known resources like free tax assistance and instrument rentals. 

Beyond his engaging content, he openly discusses mental health struggles, aiming to destigmatize topics like anxiety and depression while championing libraries as safe spaces for all. Despite recent challenges that led him to step down from his position, Threets remains committed to library advocacy, with some hailing him as a modern-day LeVar Burton.

Koigi and her collaborators Anastasia Kaschenko and Clare Sewell established Majik Water in 2017 to address water scarcity in arid regions, starting with Kenya. The company’s innovative approach utilizes atmospheric water generators that extract water from the air, filter it, and add essential minerals, providing clean drinking water in remote areas powered by solar energy. The entrepreneur envisions a future where Majik Water addresses wide-ranging water concerns tailored to diverse community needs.

“We want to become a company that offers holistic solutions,” said Koigi. “Water issues depend on the context.”