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Wikipedia’s founder Jimmy Wales considers innovations we are yet to experience

Jimmy Wales

The Wikipedia co-founder is all too aware of the changes this industry has seen over the last decade, but what in particular has he thought about for 4 years time?

In the past few years, technology has allowed businesses to create and change the world we live in dramatically.

So looking ahead and seeing how innovation in 4 years time will change is a popular question.

It’s an iterative process that sees innovation in different industries appear almost daily, however certain trends have arched into the public and business mindset over a longer period of time.

Instant communication has not only changed the way businesses negotiate, but how the world talks to one another, how we pay for transactions, and search for new information.

The way we work has also undergone radical changes thanks to the trend of outsourcing, and the rise of companies such as Uber and AirBnB providing alternative modes of income.

The cloud too has become a vital element to the internet’s productivity, hosting million of files and programmes that can be accessed anywhere with an internet connection.

Information is one of the defining features of the internet, and on-one knows this better than Jimmy Wales, the co-founder of Wikipedia.

He’s aware that the last 5 years has fundamentally benefited the way we live today, and has no doubts that innovation in 4 years will act any differently.

“I think [the next 4 years] will look the same and we’ll continue to see industries being disrupted, but it’s hard to say which ones – I would be investing in them right now if knew.”

Certain sectors have seen changes that we didn’t even know needed improving – often the sign of a well-needed improvement – and one particular unicorn comes to mind, as Wales mentions.

“The car hire or chauffeur industry has been turned upside down by brands like Uber and Hailo…however the next industry to see this will be the driverless car impact on transportation, although this may not happen within 4 years.”

Driverless cars are certainly seeing a level of traction as innovation in 4 years time becomes widely discussed, and suggests the market is excited.

The true test however will be convincing governments and the public that it’s a viable alternative to traditional driving.


Jimmy Wales will be speaking in Barcelona at the 4YFN (4 Years From Now conference), which runs from the 22nd-25th February, alongside Mobile World Congress.