For the past year, Fast Company has interviewed innovators across several industries and geographies. This slideshow offers a shortcut to each of their stories, but unfortunately there is no shortcut to replicating their success. You won't find some magical strand of DNA that links these 28 individuals, they are all radically different from one another. But you will find that they often have a genuine curiosity about why things work the way they do, and a deep passion for their work—which they believe is having a positive impact on the world.
Who should I include in 2012's Innovation Agents series? Tweet your nominations to me (@noahr) using the hashtag #InnovationAgents.