Skip to main content

Wikipedia's Jimmy Wales Appointed UK Government Adviser

The British government has just signed on Jimmy Wales as an adviser on transparency and public policy. The London Telegraph reports that Rohan Silva, a senior Downing Street aide to Prime Minister David Cameron, announced Wales' appointment was announced at South by Southwest last night in Austin, Texas, where Silva was giving a talk titled 'Open Source Government, Enterprise and Innovation.'

Speaking after the announcement, a government spokesperson offered a little bit of clarity as to what Jimmy Wales will be doing:

"Mr Wales will act as an unpaid adviser to Government to support its agenda to open up policy-making to the public," the spokesperson said. "He will advise Government on developing innovative new ways technology can be used to give the public a greater say in the policy-making process."

According to a Whitehall source that spoke to the Telegraph, Wales' role will see him providing help and advice to civil servants as opposed to ministers. Additionally, this source said that the father of Wikipedia is one of several unpaid advisers. Though Wales will serve as an adviser to all government departments, he's also said to have a few specific projects that he will be working on.

Wales co-founded Wikipedia over a decade ago, in 2001, and founded the Wikimedia Foundation in 2003.

Follow @JaneMcEntegart on Twitter! 

  • virtualban
    Congratulations good man!
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    About time they got knowledgable people from the biz rather than relying on stuffy pointless pen-pushers with all the technical background of an Amish man.
    Reply
  • hunshiki
    Jibby needz more money! :D

    http://chzmemebase.files.wordpress.com/2011/11/internet-memes-scumbag-jimmy-wales.jpg
    Reply
  • __-_-_-__
    I don't think it's a good thing. He should be impartial and avoid politics.
    Reply
  • mrmaia
    It just... doesn't sound right for me. I hope the donations Wikipedia begs for every year doesn't meet politicians' pockets.
    Reply
  • back_by_demand
    __-_-_-__I don't think it's a good thing. He should be impartial and avoid politics.That's why they asked him, because he is impartial and is a good person to ask for the best ideas
    ...
    Turn it on it's head, would you rather they appointed someone for advice who was entirley partisan and only motivated by political will?
    Reply
  • sicom
    This is really fantastic. He's only there to offer advice, and without the incentive of money swaying his opinion. Just purely open and honest advice on how to move the government into the digital age. Really shines a light on the UK.
    Reply
  • billybobser
    back_by_demandThat's why they asked him, because he is impartial and is a good person to ask for the best ideas...Turn it on it's head, would you rather they appointed someone for advice who was entirley partisan and only motivated by political will?Also, he is quite forthright in his views, which is a bonus.

    Previous 'advisors' to the UK governement have been political devices. 'independantly' approved gimmicks to throw backing to the governement.

    Not very often the Uk governement listens to good advice anyway.
    Reply
  • cronik93
    So does that mean everything about the UK government will be at the top of Google search now?
    Reply
  • Pherule
    This article rustled my jimmies!
    Reply