What’s Next in Tech?: Thrive in a ‘Wiki’ Future
Jimmy Wales speaks on a wide range of issues surrounding the future of technology, shedding light on the opportunities and threats for businesses and organizations in a globally connected world. Speaking fluidly about artificial intelligence, automation, and other new technologies that lie at the heart of disruption, Mr. Wales illuminates how open-source, open-content technology is changing the face of the internet and how businesses can adapt in order to compete and innovate. He reveals opportunities in tapping into new technologies—whether implementing new collaborative tools, or cutting-edge ways to interact with customers, distributors, and suppliers—to ultimately reveal what is needed to thrive in a Wiki future.
AI, Blockchain & The Future of Tech
One of the most sought-after visionaries in business and technology, Jimmy Wales has been in-demand at the biggest blockchain and AI conferences worldwide, including BlockShow Europe, the Digital Innovation Forum and Blockchain Institute. A bold and optimistic tech entrepreneur, Wales sheds light on the opportunities and threats of blockchain technology and automation, highlighting how organizations can adapt to compete and take advantage of the next wave of business disruption. His insightful commentary on the limitations of blockchain, and where the technology proves most helpful, regularly make headlines as he remains at the vanguard of innovation.
WT.Social, fake news, and the fight to save social media
Jimmy Wales launched WT.Social, a collaboratively editable social networking platform, in an effort to reclaim social media platforms from the corporate behemoths that only care about clicks, likes, and “engagement,” even if it comes at the cost of truth and democracy. In this fascinating, forward-looking talk, Wales shares his optimistic vision of how technology can actually help us change the way we digest news and shape society for the better. Highlighting where current social networks have failed by amplifying bad actors around the globe and allowing fake news to influence global events, Wales provides a roadmap for a better alternative: where data is never sold, where users have the power, and where the bottom-line is never a top priority. Fusing commentary on world affairs, technological advancements, business innovation, and the current media landscape, Wales offers eye-opening, timely insight into our world today, and where we’re going tomorrow.
Cybersecurity in the Digital Age
In this insightful speech, Jimmy Wales tackles the topic of cybersecurity and how it poses a threat to his vision of a globally connected world with free access to the sum of human knowledge. He addresses the dangers of government snooping, the value of encryption, and the negative impact of cybersecurity failures on freedom of expression and democracy.
Global Democracy and the Internet
Freedom of speech and the distribution of knowledge is the foundation of Wikipedia. Mr. Wales predicts that the internet will democratize developing countries by making the world ‘flat,’ opening markets, promoting cultural understanding, and giving developing nations the resources they need to compete in the 21st century. With current total Internet usage by one billion people set to double in the next five to 10 years (with the majority of new users arising from developing nations), Mr. Wales asserts that internet will combat stereotypes, censorship, media control, and monopolies while simultaneously allowing citizens of developing nations to have a more prominent voice. As Mr. Wales states: "It does not take a lot of technology to foster open dialog and debate. Even the simplest technologies like mailing lists, wikis, blogs can help a lot. What is needed mostly, I think, is more content in local languages, and support from people around the world to help others join in the global conversation."
Jimmy Wales launches WT Social
Wales is one of the most sought-after visionaries in business and technology, and this new platform embodies his genius as an optimistic, forward-looking leader whose work directly shapes society for the better.
As social networks have grown, they've also amplified the voices of bad actors across the globe. Fake news has influenced global events, and algorithms care only about "engagement", and keeping people addicted to platforms without substance. WT Social is different. As the site avows: "We will never sell your data... We will empower you to make your own choices about what content you are served, and to directly edit misleading headlines, or flag problem posts. We will foster an environment where bad actors are removed because it is right, not because it suddenly affects our bottom-line."
Wales drew on the technology and thinking behind WT Social to provide lessons on disruption, innovation, and today's media landscape at at the World Business Forum in Milan and Mexico, addressing audiences of 2,000 business leaders. He regularly receives out-of-this-world rave reviews such as:
Jimmy Wales sought-out for insights on business, disruption, and innovation
One of the most sought-after visionaries in business and technology, JIMMY WALES has been in-demand to illuminate the future of tech, helping companies both anticipate disruption and become disruptors, at events as varied as The World Business Forum and Geekpark's Innovation Festival. Audiences consistently praise Wales’ optimism for the future and masterful ability to break down issues ranging from Artificial Intelligence and automation to trends in new media and the digital economy, with passion, clarity and substance. He was also selected to address some 2,000 business leaders at the prestigious World Business Forum Mexico and World Business Forum Milan, and another 2,000 attendees at the Ringling College Town Hall Lecture Series. Wales was sought-out for a fascinating, in-depth interview in the first-ever episode of Vanity Fair and Facebook Grow's new podcast The Making Of..., and shed light on "What's Next in Tech?" at the headline-making Digital Innovation Forum (where Wales was also sought-out for an interview). At events, Wales regularly receives rave reviews such as: "It was great. After we opened up the invitation, we filled the auditorium and had an overflow room. C-SPAN broadcast live. He was engaging and interesting. Thanks for working with us on it!" (CATO Institute)
Jimmy Wales makes headlines at the biggest crypto conference in Europe
Wikipedia and Wikitribune Founder JIMMY WALES made headlines following his keynote and shrewd commentary at BlockShow, the biggest crypto conference in Europe. Delivering a keynote for 3,000 attendees as the headliner for the event, Wales opened up about the role of failure in spurring true innovation and shared analysis on the bitcoin craze, calling crypto “a bubble.” His comments made headlines in Cointelegraph, EconoTimes, and more, and in a follow-up interview he further delved into blockchain and its applications beyond the bitcoin space. A sought-out expert on innovation and decoding the future of tech, Wales also recently headlined the Sime Summer Conference and CMPC’s Innovation Week. Thanks to his signature combination of eye-opening insights and approachable speaking style, Wales consistently receives rave reviews such as: "We were all so thrilled with Jimmy. He was so open and dedicated to share with us, McCann people, media, students and the keynote audience such inspiring stories about him… We were all inspired in such a fantastic way by his presence here" (McCann/Thiess); "Jimmy was really great. Of course he is smart, thoughtful and visionary, all which worked well on our campus. But his presentation was well constructed, interactive and engaging. He definitely connected with our students…” (Stanford University); "Jimmy's speech was great and we also received very good feedback from the sponsors... Looking forward to collaborating again in the future" (World Business Forum).
Artificial Intelligence & Digital Disruption
As technological developments continue at break neck speeds, impacting businesses across industries and fundamentally changing the way we work, consume and live, these HWA experts are qualified to address questions at the at the top of business leaders' and employees' minds. Whether shedding light on both the opportunities and threats in automation, revealing the next wave in artificial intelligence, or preparing your business for the impacts of disruption, HWA represents some of the leading minds of the new economy and tech.
After a series of recent high-profile hacks, cybersecurity sits squarely at the top of company and organization to-do lists. HWA represents leading cyber experts who can address the broad spectrum of challenges involved in cybersecurity—from prevention and detection to recovery—and are able to shed light on the impacts of this crucial, ever-evolving issue.
Rave Reviews for Jimmy Wales
As the Founder of Wikipedia, a platform with over 400 million unique visitors every month, JIMMY WALES is a leading voice in the future of business and technology with a talent for bringing his unique insights and inspirational stories to life for any audience. From speeches at the nation’s most prestigious universities to international forums with hundreds of world leaders and industry experts, Wales leaves audiences in awe and event planners proud. Among the overwhelming praise: “We were all so thrilled with Jimmy. He was so open and dedicated to share with us… We were all inspired in such a fantastic way by his presence here” (McCann/Thiess), “After we opened up the invitation, we filled the auditorium and had an overflowing room” (CATO Institute), “Jimmy Wales was absolutely WONDERFUL!... He is such a kind and eloquent man… The feedback we’ve received has been outstanding!” (Night of Innovation). With plans to continue improving Wikipedia’s diversity and accessibility, Wales’ prominence as a thought leader who truly shapes modern society will only continue to expand.
Ranked by Forbes Magazine as a “Web Celeb”, Jimmy Donal Wales is a U.S. Internet entrepreneur, wiki pioneer, and technology visionary, who is best known as the Founder of Wikipedia, an international collaborative free content encyclopedia on the Internet, and the Wikimedia Foundation. He is also the founder of WikiTribune, a groundbreaking ad-free news platform that produces evidence-based journalism, and co-founder of Wikia, a privately owned free web hosting service he set up in 2004.
The origins of Wikipedia began in March 2000, when Mr. Wales started Nupedia (“the free encyclopedia”), which was characterized by an extensive peer-review process designed to make its articles of a quality comparable to that of professional encyclopedias. With the addition of wikis (a collection of web pages designed to enable anyone who accesses it to contribute or modify content), the project was dubbed “Wikipedia.” Mr. Wales laid down the founding principles and content, establishing an Internet-based community of contributors during that year. Wikipedia was initially intended to be a wiki-based site for collaboration on early encyclopedic content for submission to Nupedia, but Wikipedia's rapid growth quickly overshadowed Nupedia's development.
In a 2004 interview with Slashdot, Mr. Wales explained his motivations about Wikipedia, “Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge. That's what we're doing.”
The success of the project has helped popularize a trend in web development (called Web 2.0) that aims to facilitate creativity, collaboration, and sharing among users. As Wikipedia expanded and its public profile grew, Mr. Wales took on the role of the project's spokesperson and promoter through speaking engagements and media appearances. His work with Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted TIME Magazine to name him one of its “100 Most Influential People,” in 2006 in the “Scientists & Thinkers” category.
In 2003, Mr. Wales founded the Wikimedia Foundation, a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content, and to providing the full content of these wiki-based projects to the public free of charge. The Wikimedia Foundation operates some of the largest collaboratively edited reference projects in the world, including Wikipedia, the 5th most popular website in the world.
In 2004, Wales co-founded, with Angela Beesley, the for-profit company Wikia, Inc. Wikia is a wiki farm — a collection of individual wikis on different subjects, all hosted on the same website. As part of his work at Wikia, Inc., Mr. Wales is developing a human-powered search engine, Search Wikia, which will be based on the same open, transparent, community-driven principles of Wikia and Wikipedia.
In 2017, Wales founded WikiTribune, an ad-free global news platform that aims to address the idea that “the news is broken and we can fix it.” By pairing standards-based journalism with a team of dedicated community contributors and a crowdfunded business model, WikiTribune ensures articles are fact-checked and un-biased, sources are transparent, and users have the ability to flag and contribute to the articles they read. As citizens’ demand for reliable, fact-based journalism grows ever-louder, Wales is blazing a path forward that will reshape news media.
Mr. Wales is a Fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School. He serves on the Board of Directors of Socialtext, a provider of wiki technology to businesses and the non-profit organization Creative Commons. Mr. Wales has received an honorary doctorate from numerous academic institutions, including Knox College of Illinois where he was presented with a Pioneer Award from the Electronic Frontier Foundation, and Maastricht University, where he received the Common Wealth Award of Distinguished Service.
Mr. Wales received his bachelor's degree in finance from Auburn University and started with the Ph.D. finance program at the University of Alabama, where he left with a Master's. After that, he took courses offered in the Ph.D. finance program at Indiana University. He taught at both universities during his postgraduate studies, but did not write the doctoral dissertation required to earn a Ph.D.