It was the year of the Olympics, the omnishambles, the Higgs boson and the Facebook flotation. In American and Russian elections voters stuck with the faces they knew, while France and China ushered in a new slate of leaders. The eurozone teetered on another brink, while the southern hemisphere powered ahead. But who were the people that shaped 2012? Guardian editors and staff nominate their pick for Person of the Year 2012.

Top left to right: Serena Williams, Mario Draghi, Danny Boyle, Malala Yousafzai, Fabiola Gianotti
Bottom: Fabiola Gianotti, Bill McKibben, Clare Balding, Bradley Wiggins