Public Lectures: NEWS

22.05.2012

Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales, at the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, gave a Public Lecture “The Internet: Changing Tomorrow”

Jimmy Wales, founder of the Wikipedia, Wiki concept creator and a member of the Board of Trustees at Wikimedia Foundation, at the invitation of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation, gave a public lecture on the topic “The Internet: Changing Tomorrow”.

Five hundred Internet entrepreneurs, diplomats, students and graduates of the leading Ukrainian universities and winners of the scholarship programs of the Victor Pinchuk Foundation were among the listeners of the lecture.

Addressing the audience, Jimmy Wales talked about concept and mission behind the Wikipedia, about its structure and contents. He also emphasized that the Wikipedia is just a basic information storage place, not a library.

Jimmy Wales stated that despite cultural differences, all Wikipedia users are united by their interest to the global content, turning this internet-encyclopedia into a space where people are bonded by information: "Internet improves our lives; people have free access to knowledge. If you need to look up a map, find a road or an address - we all go to Wikipedia. But what’s more valuable is that people communicate, unite and connect on the global level."

The founder of the Wikipedia underlined that though Internet increasingly permeates our lives we should find time to communicate live with family and friends: “Does the Internet improve the quality of life? Yes, it does. It provides quick answers to many questions. But the most important thing is direct communication and unification of people. We can work together on various scientific, social and community projects. And together it is easier for us to generate ideas and learn.”

Following the lecture, Jimmy Wales answered numerous questions from Ukrainian youth on copyright, private non-profit projects, e-philanthropy, censorship and accurateness of information. Ukrainian boxer and public figure Vitali Klitschko was among the participants, and he also asked Jimmy Wales a question.

Finally, Jimmy Wales encouraged young people not be afraid of failures, stating that failures are an important part of success: “Don’t be afraid to fail. If you want to do something, just do it. A person who tried to do something and failed is a hero compared to the one who never tried."

The lecture was broadcast live on korrespondent.net and ictv.ua. Full video record of the event with a Q&A session can be found at pinchukfund.org in Photo and Video section, and also at youtube.com/pinchukfoundation

Also, during his first visit to Ukraine, Jimmy Wales appeared as a special guest at the 5th Zavtra.UA Youth Forum on May 14 in Kyiv. Jimmy Wales met with the winners of Zavtra.UA nationwide scholarship program and delivered a speech at the Forum Award Ceremony.

As part of the Public Lectures project, the Victor Pinchuk Foundation regularly invites world renowned politicians, thinkers and public figures to Ukraine to discuss challenges facing the world and Ukraine. By organizing such a dialogue between world leaders, experts and Ukrainian students, the Foundation wishes to contribute to fostering a new generation of responsible leaders.

In previous years, lectures were given, among others, by Professor of International Political Economy at Johns Hopkins University Francis Fukuyama; 2006 Nobel Peace Prize Laureate Muhhamad Yunus; James Wolfensohn, 9th President of the World Bank Group; Colin Powell, 65th US Secretary of State; former High Representative for Common Foreign and Security Policy of the European Union and Secretary General of NATO Javier Solana; former Vice Chancellor of Germany Joschka Fischer; the 42nd President of the United States Bill Clinton; President of Israel Shimon Peres, former Prime minister of Great Britain Tony Blair, and former Director of the International Monetary Fund Dominique Strauss-Kahn. 

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