Jimmy Wales receives Gottlieb Duttweiler Award 2011

Jimmy Wales receives Gottlieb Duttweiler Award 2011

Media release 25 January 2011
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute, Rueschlikon/ZH:
Jimmy Wales receives Gottlieb Duttweiler Award 2011

The Gottlieb Duttweiler Award 2011 goes to Jimmy Wales, founder of Wikipedia, the online encyclopaedia. Wales receives the award for his merits of democratizing the access to knowledge. The award ceremony will take place on January 26, 2011. Roger de Weck, designated director-general of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR, will hold the eulogy.

In barely one decade, Jimmy Wales has succeeded in establishing a worldwide network of knowledge. Wikipedia, his online encyclopaedia, accessible on the Internet for free, has become a symbol of a radical change in the media economy. Moreover, it revolutionized the access to knowledge as man's most important resource and thus contributed to democratizing knowledge.

Owing to its independence and neutrality, Wikipedia enjoys great acceptance and credibility. Its pioneer Wales is not looking for money or fame but wants to share and pass on knowledge. His non-profit organization is financed by donations, collaboration is voluntary and the participative model deeply democratic – since “voluntary acceptance of responsibility is the price of freedom” (Gottlieb Duttweiler).

The politically independent Gottlieb Duttweiler Award is conferred at irregular intervals to persons who rendered outstanding services to the general public. Previous award winners among others were former UN Secretary-General and peace Nobel prize winner Kofi A. Annan, Germany's former Foreign Minister Joschka Fischer, and the Czechoslovak President Václav Havel.

With Jimmy Wales, the award goes once more to a mastermind who assumes the good in man. The handover of the award, coming with the prize money of 100 000 Swiss francs, will take place at the Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute in Rueschlikon near Zurich on January 26, 2011 with invited guests. Roger de Weck, designated director-general of the Swiss Broadcasting Corporation SRG SSR will pay tribute to the award winner. As one of the most experienced journalists and most distinguished publicists of the country, he is acquainted with the fundamental significance of free access to knowledge. As a media manager, however, de Weck also knows about the difficulties of free dissemination of information.

Contact:
Alain Egli
PR & Communications
GDI Gottlieb Duttweiler Institute
+41 44 724 62 78
alain.egli(at)gdi.ch