Wikipedia founder gets cash award for democratizing knowledge

The founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales, has been given a monetary award for developing the online user-based encyclopedia.

The Im Grueene Foundation awarded Wales the Gottlieb Duttweiler Award, which comes with 100,000 Swiss Francs ($104,000), saying that he deserved the prize for “democratising the access to knowledge,” which it said was “man’s most important resource.”

The Swiss organisation was established by Duttweiler, after which the award is named, in 1946, with the aim of providing independent research, focusing on people and not on capital, according to one of Duttweiler’s mottos.

The award is given out sporadically, the last time being to UN Secrety-General Kofi Annan in 2008. The fact that there has been a two year gap before another award has been given out suggests how highly the Foundation holds Wales and his achievements.

Wikipedia was launched in 2001, presenting an online collaborative medium for people to provide accurate information about people, products, companies, events, and anything else that others needed to know about. 

It has become one of the most used websites, despite the validity and credulity of the information contained within it being open to question at times, given the open nature of contribution. Despite these flaws it has grown to over 16 million articles, providing a database of knowledge for everyone to use.