If you think Paris Fashion Week is a more fateful development in the recent history of humankind than magnetic resonance imaging, this list is for you.
The Project Management Institute last week unveiled its first ranking of the 50 Most Influential Projects of the past half-century. Paris Fashion Week (whose initial iteration in 1973 helped transform the fusty traditional preview of haute couture collections before a gaggle of reporters into a gathering of the glitterati) ranks No. 14. MRI meanwhile, which the institute notes “took the mystery out of medicine,” is No. 20.
Such lists are designed to stir publicity and controversy (and social media posts), but a few choices really had Outliers going, “Huh?”
Not much quarrel with the World Wide Web at No. 1. And the Human Genome Project clocks a respectable No. 5 finish overall and leads the biotech top 10. Also of note, MRI (first on the health top 10) is sandwiched between bitcoin and the Harry Potter phenomenon on the overall list.
The first baby born via in vitro fertilization nabbed No. 40 on the overall list and No. 2 on the biotech list. CRISPR, the revolutionary gene-editing technique, lands at No. 3 on the biotech list, but doesn’t make the overall 50. That list does squeeze in Live Aid (No. 8); Walt Disney World (No. 16); Star Wars (No. 37); and Singles Day (No. 6), when online shoppers in China buy themselves a little something.