Despite a dark year, people have invariably stood out as bright spots.
The Straits Times salutes 30 go-getters and game-changers in Asia, from diverse backgrounds and with a gamut of achievements under their belt, whether it is an award-winning invention or a brilliant business idea.
Some are big names who inspire with their feats. Others dedicate themselves to helping the underprivileged.
This list also honours people who have had a difficult start, whose talent and gumption make us believe they have the potential to shine and soar.