Web inventor, Wiki co-founder share $1m Knowledge Award

Muaz Shabandri/staff Reporter
Filed on December 9, 2014
Web inventor, Wiki co-founder share $1m Knowledge Award

World Wide Web Inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and co-founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales received the first Knowledge Award.

Web inventor, Wiki co-founder share style=

Sir Tim Berners-Lee and Jimmy Wales after receiving the Knowledge Award from Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed.

World Wide Web Inventor Sir Tim Berners-Lee and co-founder of Wikipedia Jimmy Wales received the first Knowledge Award on Sunday. The duo was awarded a cash prize of $1 million from Shaikh Ahmed bin Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Chairman of Mohammed Bin Rashid Foundation.

“This year marks 25 years since I invented the web. Today, many young people have grown up with the Internet. When you develop something new on the web, you don’t have to come and ask me permission to create it. There is no central bottleneck and this is what made the Internet beautiful,” said Berners-Lee.

Speaking in the presence of His Highness Shaikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice-President and Prime Minister of the UAE and Ruler of Dubai, the inventor of World Wide Web reminded the world of a shared responsibility to help it grow.

“Majority of people around the world even today don’t have access to the Internet. This is a huge responsibility for everyone else who is connected and empowered. We have a responsibility to keep the web open and free,” he added.

He also urged the global community to keep the Internet open and free from biases to help share knowledge.

“People say the Internet has a culture of openness and freedom. It is a way of nurturing and keeping our individual cultures while creating a new global culture. Since the beginning, the people who worked to build the web have tried very hard to avoid a cultural or language bias. Today we can share knowledge to enhance our individual cultures.

The web technology was designed without a concept of nations. Let us use this technology to break down borders and celebrate our cultures while understanding other people.”

Wales also reminded the audience of how the website had changed the world since its invention 13 years ago. He said: “Wikipedia is a storehouse of knowledge which can be reused and reproposed for all kinds of things. It is now a part of the world’s infrastructure and so many people rely on our community.”

Wikipedia contributors have created 32 million articles in 287 languages.

“People seek knowledge and try to learn more about other people when they go online. It is really exciting to me that the ongoing march of technology is making usable Internet available really quickly,” he added.

Organised by Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum Foundation on the theme ‘Empowering Future Generations’, the conference kicked off on December 7 to 9, 2014.

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