The online encyclopedia Wikipedia, to which people from all over the world can add their own knowledge, today serves many companies as a role model for their internal exchange of information. Employees share their knowledge with each other in order to improve their everyday work. They contribute their personal potential and initiate innovation. That is why Wikipedia and its founder Jimmy Wales received the Leonardo - European Corporate Learning Award on Wednesday, 21st September, in Cologne at HRM Expo.
“In order to overcome the current economic crises, we need a mind-shift in respect to how we want to learn and deal with knowledge in the future,” explained Günther Szogs, founding member of the New Club of Paris and Secretary of the Leonardo - European Corporate Learning Award. Wikipedia will also receive this award for European education projects with beacon character, as it has put a holistic ideal of learning into practice.
“We can see that a change in thinking is taking place in education and learning from an industrial to a more individualized approach,” says Søren Henriksen, a member of the Leonardo Advisory Board. Everyone has the need to learn. According to the former CEO of the Danish Chamber of Commerce and Judge of Constitutional Law at the Danish High Court of Justice, new technologies make it possible for all people to learn how to make the most of their lives.
Leonardo ambassador Prof. Leif Edvinsson of Lund University emphasised that Wikipedia is a kind of pioneering “thoughtware” – an “ecosystem for learning”, which is currently used by 400 million people in 270 languages to share ideas, visions and knowledge with each other. In his laudation, the carrier of the “Brain of the Year” award compared the achievements of the “Wikipedians” with the spirit of Leonardo da Vinci, in whose tradition the Leonardo award, its initiators and supporters see themselves.
Three “Wikipedians” accepted award
“The free encyclopedia is an indispensable part of everyday life for millions of people,” said Pavel Richter, managing director of Wikimedia Germany, in respect to the award. That applies to schools and universities, but especially also to professional life. “Due to this remarkable development, we are especially happy to be able to accept this award on behalf of Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales.“
Leonardo network partner Rolf Hueber, Head of Management Education at Audi, handed over the award to three educational representatives of Wikipedia: Nando Stöcklin (Switzerland), Dr. Ziko van Dijk (Netherlands) and Denis Barthel (Germany). “The free access to knowledge is the core concept of Wikipedia,” explained Dr. van Dijk. Social techniques for sharing knowledge have always existed, added Nando Stöcklin, researcher at Bern University’s Centre for IT in Education. However, the key idea of Wikipedia was to adapt the encyclopaedia to the new world of the internet. “Dare to share”, Denis Barthel encouraged the audience. “Press the edit button!”