Freedom and Prosperity
Jimmy Wales is an American Internet entrepreneur known for his role in the creation of Wikipedia, a free, open-content encyclopedia launched in 2001. He serves on the Board of Trustees of the Wikimedia Foundation, holding the board-appointed "community founder" seat. In 2004, he co-founded Wikia, a privately owned, free Web-hosting service, along with Angela Beesley.
Together with Larry Sanger and others, Wales helped lay the foundation for Wikipedia, which subsequently enjoyed rapid growth and popularity. As Wikipedia expanded and its public profile grew, Wales took on the role of the project's spokesman and promoter through speaking engagements and media appearances. Wales has been historically cited as the co-founder of Wikipedia but he disputes the "co-" designation, asserting that he is the sole founder of Wikipedia. Wales' work developing Wikipedia, which has become the world's largest encyclopedia, prompted Time magazine to name him in its 2006 list of the world's most influential people.
Born in Huntsville, Alabama, Wales attended a small private school, then a university preparation school, eventually attaining a bachelor's degree and master's degree in finance. During his graduate studies he taught at two universities.
Jimmy Wales: From a practical point of view, one of the real things that’s making a huge difference – and today we’re seeing this in more and more places – is the idea of freedom – free markets, free minds, freedom of speech. Obviously it hasn’t penetrated everywhere yet; but increasingly we see more and more people are coming around to the idea that respect for individual rights is really important if you want to have a prosperous society. And I think that’s one of the things that shapes where we are today, and where we can go in the future if we want to have a healthy society.
Recorded on: Aug 10, 2007
A prosperous society is contingent on respect for individual life.
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