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Bridge Budapest TOP10 list

Ernő Rubik and István Szabó are still the most famous Hungarians

It is still the great wise men who stand at the forefront of the Hungarian Hall of Fame; nevertheless, behind Ernő Rubik, István Szabó and Imre Kertész, young people have also begun to appear on the TOP10 list. In the framework of the survey organised by Bridge Budapest, well-known representatives of the international media, such as CBS News, Die Welt, Gazeta and Huffington Post nominated the most influential Hungarians and success stories. This is how the Bridge Budapest Top10 list was born, indicating the most successful Hungarians.


The final outcome of voting on the Bridge Budapest Top10 list held several surprises – artists and innovators have the greatest impact according to non-Hungarians, while young people and women have less of a reputation. After Ernő Rubik and István Szabó, Imre Kertész is third on the list. Young people are fourth on the list: András S. Takács and Eszter Cseke participated in several international competitions with On the Spot, with better results than world famous news channels. “It is a great honour for us to be on the same list with Péter Nádas and Béla Tarr. I still have goose bumps, and I cannot believe that we can be placed ahead of these people. The simple fact that we figure on the list at all is due to the people who shared their lives and tough experiences with us from Gaza to Johannesburg. This was a huge motivation and responsibility for us at the same time: we had to learn how to tell their stories in a unique way, which made our report outstanding and special among all the other reports and documentaries around the world” – said the two documentary film-makers. Fifth place was taken by Béla Tarr, film director, followed by Péter Nádas, writer, and Iván Fischer, conductor and composer. According to Iván Fischer, a number of ingredients are required for world-fame: “international knowledge, discovering opportunities in our own country, the ability for constant change, and to see into the future”. The complete TOP10 list will also be published in the October issue of Forbes magazine with further details.



Bridge Budapest is a non-profit association that has launched the survey in order to prove that, in possession of the relevant knowledge and performance, it is possible to achieve world-fame, even starting out from Budapest – be it artistic activity or a global enterprise – while in Hungary today 90% of young people between 20 and 35 believe that it is only personal contacts – who you know – that make an impact on our career and professional success. In the unique international survey organised during the summer of 2014, the leading media and journalists from 12 countries – including the United States, Germany, Australia, Bulgaria and Turkey – were asked to nominate and vote for the 10 most influential Hungarian success stories who made an impact on the world, from a list of 50 candidates. The list was compiled independent of politics, and it included the names of innovators, sportsmen and women, and artists – including, among others, Gábor Bojár, the founder of Graphisoft, Krisztina Egerszegi, Olympic swimming champion, singers Márta Sebestyén and Veronika Harcsa, Ádám Somlai-Fischer and Péter Árvai, the co-founders of Prezi, director Árpád Schilling, and Bence Máté, nature photographer.


 According to Márta Sebestyén, this is the message it brings to young people today: "Follow your dreams, and your inner voice, to find what you believe is important and beautiful, and persist in it... just because. Something will come of it. If nothing else, then at least an inner development, and that’s nothing to sneeze at! We need many people today who are stubborn believers in their own hard work and their imagination, who will not be dissuaded from their own path of their convictions by momentary enticing trends!"


“It is great to see the diverse walks of life and different professional backgrounds that the individuals on this list have come from. Unfortunately, we often have the feeling that because Hungary is such a small country, and we have a language spoken nowhere else in the world, we cannot give as much to the world as we would wish to. This list proves the contrary. I am really positive that more and more Hungarian names will be added to this list, giving evidence that more and more ideas originating from Hungary will reach people all around the world which everyone wants to hear about.” – explained Péter Árvai, co-founder and managing director of Prezi.


The TOP10 list contains the names of the Hungarians who have made a career on an international scale, starting out from Hungary. The interviewed journalists mentioned several other Hungarians who became famous abroad, such as the co-founder of Intel, Andy Grove, investor György Soros, businessman Charles Simonyi, and writer Kati Marton.
Although there are many innovations that originate from Hungary, there are many young people who move abroad, hoping to make it elsewhere. The objective of Bridge Budapest – whose founders are successful start-up enterprises that launched their businesses in Hungary (Logmein, NNG, Prezi and Ustream) – with the Top10 is to demonstrate that it is possible to realise your dreams anywhere, even in Hungary, with a good idea, hard work, and luck: these success stories are exemplary. Real recognition of success and talent is measured by the fact that the success is considered world-fame, not only from within Hungary, but it really is in the wider world.


The TOP 10 list, set up Bridge Budapest

1. Ernő Rubik
2. István Szabó
3. Imre Kertész
4. András S. Takács - Eszter Cseke
5. Béla Tarr
6-7. Iván Fischer, Péter Nádas
8-11. Péter Árvai, Bence Máté, Márta Sebestyén, Ádám Somlai-Fischer