Wikipedia: We built it from home
In the current coronavirus lockdown situation, company staff are increasingly working from home, and learning new lessons.
My work with Wikipedia has involved leading and coaching a community of tens of thousands of people, all working remotely
in a fully distributed way. While not every organization can transition to a work-from-home culture, those who can will find new ways to collaborate -
and there are lessons to be learned from how Wikipedia functions.
Innovation and Resiliency While Remote: Lessons from Wikipedia
One of the most sought-after visionaries in business and technology, Jimmy Wales led a community that built the world's largest and most popular encyclopedia-- the 5th most popular website in the world-- and did it all by working from home. In these engaging and actionable remarks, Wales provides lessons from the Wikipedia experience on remote work, and also bold inspiration on how even amid the current crisis there's opportunity for innovation and re-invention.
An optimistic, forward-looking leader whose work directly shapes society for the better-- Wikipedia has emerged as a trusted source of medical information amid the coronavirus pandemic, with millions of hits daily-- Wales draws on his personal experiences at the forefront of his industry, providing pragmatic lessons on how organization's can embrace change, and lean into new tech in order to become more agile and resilient.
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.
NFTs and the Future of the Crypto Economy
Wikipedia Founder and sought-after visionary in technology and business, Jimmy Wales offers leading-edge insights about the challenges and possibilities of NFTs and the crypto economy, and how to make an impact in this radical new arena. A legendary disruptor himself, Wales is passionate about how organizations and individuals can engage in this revolutionary trend.
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."
Tech visionary Jimmy Wales helps companies understand the possibilities and challenges of blockchain technology
Leading futurist and Wikipedia and WT.Social Founder JIMMY WALES shares a balanced perspective on the future of blockchain, decentralization, and capturing moments in internet history as digital assets. A sought-after expert when it comes to decoding the future of tech, Wales has been a leader in the blockchain space for years. In recent years, he has headlined the crypto conference BlockShow Berlin, delivering a high-impact keynote which made headlines in EconoTimes, Cointelegraph, and more, and was a huge success at CoinGeek London, where he shared his vision for the future of fighting fake news online, and the role blockchain technology could play in possible solutions. Bitcoin Association Founding President Jimmy Nguyen, who hosted the event, told CoinGeek: “Having Jimmy Wales joining us is a huge privilege and will offer a fascinating insight in one of the most talked-about phenomenon of recent years, fake news and the need for more reliable online information.”
In a compelling video profile by Christie’s, Wales shared what inspired him to create Wikipedia, and how creating an NFT of the site’s first edit is a natural extension of his passion for innovation. While some have called Wales a critic of blockchain, he is fascinated by the innovation and remains passionate about decentralization in general. For companies looking to hear a balanced perspective on what these new technologies may mean for them, Wales offers his signature combination of eye-opening insights and an approachable speaking style, bringing humor to complex topics. He consistently receives rave reviews: "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)
Leading futurist Jimmy Wales delivers high-impact lessons in resiliency for entrepreneurs and organizations
One of the most sought-after visionaries in business and technology, JIMMY WALES shares vital insights resiliency that resonate with audiences across industries. The Wikipedia and WT.Social Founder is highly in demand as a motivational keynote speaker, drawing on a wealth of experience in disruption to highlight how even amidst crisis, there is opportunity for innovation and re-invention. An optimistic, forward-looking leader, Wales illuminates how organizations of all kinds can embrace the future of tech and continue to innovate, in order to become more resilient. Some of the tech giant creator’s key resilience takeaways were highlighted by the World Economic Forum, and Wales was featured on the wildly popular The Tim Ferriss Show, where he shared how to develop a questioning mind and the value of optimism.
Wales offers candid insights about the role failure plays in spurring true innovation, and audiences consistently praise Wales for his masterful ability to break down complex topics – from AI to trends in new media to the digital economy – with passion, clarity, and substance. He regularly 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, Wikipedia and basically about such a wide array of interconnected subjects. We were all inspired in such a fantastic way by his presence here." (McCann/Thiess)
For 20 years, Wikipedia and its Founder Jimmy Wales have been solving the internet
Futurist and tech entrepreneur JIMMY WALES has celebrated the 20th anniversary of a groundbreaking innovation in decentralized knowledge as well as a cultural phenomenon: Wikipedia. The Wikipedia and WT.Social Founder spoke with the Reason podcast about what the site got right about social media, noting its focusing on utility, trustworthiness, and comprehensiveness. With his vast experience in business disruption, innovation, and cybersecurity, Wales is in demand for his insights about how the landscape has evolved in the past two decades, and what dynamics are impacting the future of tech. Wales has been featured in Forbes, The Economist, Gizmodo, The Wall Street Journal, and more, discussing the impact of the fifth most visited website in the world, as well as actionable takeaways for companies looking to understand how rapid innovation and global trends will impact them.
Jimmy Wales launches WT.Social
Founder of Wikipedia JIMMY WALES launched his latest groundbreaking project, WT.Social, a new collaboratively editable social networking platform that will change the way we digest news. 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)
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.