Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales

Founder of Wikipedia

Keynotes by Jimmy Wales tend to center around Wikipedia. Wales attended Auburn University as an undergraduate, where he received bachelor's degree in finance. He later earned his master's degree, also in finance, from the University of Alabama.

During his academic career, Wales spent much time playing online games, which opened his eyes to the potential of broad, online collaborative projects. After his studies, Wales went to work for the futures and options firm, Chicago Options Associates in Chicago Illinois. This career later gave way to Wales' more entrepreneurial instincts.

From 2000 to 2003, Wales founded and ran Nupedia, a peer-reviewed, free encyclopedia that provided a conceptual framework for Wikipedia. By January 15, 2001, Wikipedia was live. Its profile has ballooned since then, elevating Jimmy Wales to celebrity status. He has been described by Time Magazine as one of the most influential people in the world.

Fittingly, Jimmy Wales' speeches focus on how technology can enhance the access to and quality of education.

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