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Jimmy Wales

Founder Wikipedia & Internet Entrepreneur

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Biography

As the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales is more than just one of the world’s most successful internet entrepreneurs. His is a man driven by a powerful belief and an unyielding conviction to make what seems like the impossible happen.

"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." Today Wikipedia.org is firmly positioned as one of the five most visited sites on the internet, with millions and millions of entries, in over 250 languages.

Born in Alabama, on 7 August 1966, Jimmy showed an early passion for knowledge, earning both a Bachelors and a Masters degree in Finance by the time he graduated from university. Inspired by the internet and the opportunities it offered for a collaborative, open-sourced network of information, Jimmy launched Wikipedia.org in January 2001.

By 2003, Jimmy had set up the Wikimedia Foundation, a non-profit organisation that could support the fundraising, technology and programming for its now enormously successful sister company. In 2004, Wikia.Inc was also established, only strengthening Jimmy’s vision for an online network of communities, powered by consumer-generated content. It currently attracts over 30 million unique visitors a month.

Jimmy Wales’ pioneering ideology has made him a respected businessman and online visionary. He was appointed a Fellow of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard Law School in 2005, and in 2006 he received the ‘Time 100 Award’ as one of the most influential people in the ‘Scientists & Thinkers’ category. In 2007, he was also recognised as a ‘Young Global Leader’ by the World Economist Forum. This prestigious award acknowledges 250 young leaders for their professional accomplishments, their commitment to society and their potential to contribute to shaping the future of the world.

Today, Jimmy sits on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, and acts as a key spokesperson for the brand. He is also on the Board of Directors of the non-profit organisation Creative Commons.

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