TIM BERNERS LEE invented the www   World Wide Web. He leads the World Wide Web Consortium, overseeing the Web's standards and development.

In the 1980s, scientists at CERN were asking themselves how massive, complex, collaborative projects -- like the fledgling LHC -- could be orchestrated and tracked. TIM BERNERS LEE, then a contractor, answered by inventing the World Wide Web. This global system of hypertext documents, linked through the Internet, brought about a massive cultural shift ushered in by the new tech and content it made possible: AOL, eBay, Wikipedia,...

TIM BERNERS LEE is now director of the World Wide Web Consortium (W3C), which maintains standards for the Web and continues to refine its design. Recently he has envisioned a "Semantic Web" -- an evolved version of the same system that recognizes the meaning of the information it carries. He is also a senior researcher at MIT's Computer Science and AI Lab.

    "  It's hard to overstate the impact of the global system he created. It's almost Gutenbergian."    Time