The 30 Most Influential Teens of 2017
To determine TIME's annual list, we consider accolades across numerous fields, global impact through social media and overall ability to drive news.
Here's who made this year's cut (ordered from youngest to oldest):
Millie Bobby Brown, 13
Not many actors can say they got an Emmy nomination, and worldwide fame, for convincing the world that they have superpowers.
Brown can, thanks to her role on Netflix's sci-fi '80s-nostalgia-fest Stranger Things.She plays Eleven, a mysterious girl—part science experiment, part prodigy, part awkward teen—who uses telekinesis to ward off evil.
It has made Eleven the standout character on a show brimming with them, one who inspires Internet memes, Halloween costumes and new found interest in Eggo waffles (Eleven's favorite food).
Brown's own profile has risen as well.
Since the show's July 2016 debut, the British actor has rapped at the Golden Globes, signed with IMG Models and appeared on the covers of Entertainment Weekly, InStyle and more.
Wang Yuan, 16
With lyrics like “polish your leather shoes, put on a suit … arrive at every place with head held high,” Wang is not exactly the tattooed bad boy of Chinese pop.
But that hasn't stopped his singing trio, TFBoys, from ruling the charts.
Since its founding four years ago, TFBoys has amassed more than 20 million fans on the Twitter-like microblog Weibo and reportedly sells some $17 million worth of branded merchandise every month.
And Wang, who goes by the English name Roy and hails from central China, is poised for even greater success: As a solo act, he has also appeared in a bevy of movie and television roles, and was appointed a UNICEF Special Advocate for Education.
Brooklyn Beckham, 18
As the son of footballer David and pop star-turned-fashion maverick Victoria, Beckham was never going to live an ordinary life.
Case in point: although he just started his first year as a photography major at Parsons in New York City, Beckham has already published a book of his own photos (What I See), shot a campaign for Burberry Brit, worked with esteemed fashion photographer Nick Knight, and touts some 10 million Instagram followers.
“I'm just so lucky to have been given the opportunities that I have,” Beckham tells TIME. “I'm looking forward to the next few years and learning as much as I can and experiencing life as a student.”
Hu Ranran, 18
So it was especially daring for Hu to direct Escape—a 75-minute film about a transgender youth coming to terms with his sexual identity—and release it in her home country.
“I wanted to address the theme of being yourself,” she tells TIME.
To help realize her vision, which had basically no production budget, Hu tapped 37 students from her high school, which is affiliated with Beijing's prestigious Renmin University.
They made the sets and costumes themselves and shot the film mostly on school grounds.
Subsequent critical acclaim helped Hu gain a place at the University of California, Los Angeles, and reignited conversation about trans issues across the world's most populous nation.
“Getting to know [the stories of] LGBTQ people is the start to reducing prejudice,” Hu says.
Isaac Hempstead Wright, 18
The U.K. native has spent eight years playing Bran Stark, a character whose every move is scrutinized by Game of Thrones’ massive fan base—especially during the most recent season.
And as one of the show’s few remaining players, he can drive countless headlines by simply commenting on a plot or debunking a fan theory.
But Wright, who just started his first year at the University of Birmingham, isn't fazed by the attention: “You can go pretty much anywhere in the world and be able to drum up a conversation with someone and have something in common with someone,” he tells TIME.