Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales to speak at Purdue

February 19, 2015  

Jimmy Wales

Jimmy Wales 
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WEST LAFAYETTE, Ind. — Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, will speak March 9 as part of the Purdue University Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics.

Wales will speak on "Democracy and the Internet" at 7 p.m. in Loeb Playhouse, Stewart Center. The talk is free and open to the public.

An Internet entrepreneur, Wales is best known for founding Wikipedia and the Wikimedia Foundation.

Wikipedia is an online international, collaborative, free-content encyclopedia. The Wikimedia Foundation is a nonprofit charitable organization dedicated to encouraging the growth, development and distribution of free, multilingual content.

In 2004, Wales and Angela Beesley founded the for-profit company Wikia Inc. Wikia is a collection of individual wikis on different subjects, all hosted on the same website. As part of his work at Wikia, 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.

Wales also is co-chair of and a stakeholder in The People's Operator, a British-based mobile phone network that donates a percentage of each customer's fees to charity. The company says Wales is directing development of an online viral community to expand the global network of mobile phone customers who share in the common belief of supporting causes.

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.

The Purdue Series on Corporate Citizenship and Ethics began in 2003. Speakers discuss business ethics and the role citizens play in corporate ethics, providing an overview of the impact of corporate ethics on business, the economy and society as a whole.

The series is presented by the Krannert School of Management, College of Liberal Arts, Purdue Convocations, Purdue Discovery Park's Discovery Lecture Series, and the College of Education's James F. Ackerman Center for Democratic Citizenship, with support from Purdue Federal Credit Union. 

Writer: Judith Barra Austin, 765-494-2432,

Source: Tim Newton, Krannert director of external relations and communications, 765-496-7271, 

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