Grant awarded to Wikimedia Foundation

Awarded on 8 Sep 2011

United States of America

Information and Communication Technology

Grant amount £10,000.00

SAN FRANCISCO, CA – October 14, 2011 – The Indigo Trust, a London foundation that funds technology-driven projects that inspire positive social change, announced it has awarded a grant of £10,000 to the Wikimedia Foundation, the non-profit that operates Wikipedia. The money will go toward upgrading Wikimedia’s mobile platform, which will enable Wikimedia to better reach the millions of people in the developing world and low-income communities everywhere, who access the Internet exclusively through mobile phones.

“We’re delighted to be supporting this important intervention which closely aligns with my Trust’s key objectives” says Francesca Perrin, Founder and Director of The Indigo Trust. “We believe that access to information for all empowers people to change their own lives and communities.”

The Wikimedia Foundation is honored to be awarded the grant, which supports their efforts to expand Wikipedia to places where people are accessing the Internet more through mobile phones than through personal computers. Eighty percent of new mobile subscribers reside in the developing world, the World Economic Forum says. Due to this growth, Wikimedia now has the potential to reach new communities around the world that often lack access to others types of knowledge resources, such as libraries.

“The digital divide is being bridged over the phone,” said Tomasz Finc, Director of Mobile Development for the Wikimedia Foundation. “My team is inspired every day when we think about the new people who will be able to access Wikipedia for the first time on their mobile phones. We are very grateful to the Indigo Trust for supporting our work.”

Dr Loren Treisman, Executive of Indigo Trust adds, “This intervention is particularly exciting given that the majority of those living in the developing world access the web by mobile and access to critical information can improve development outcomes and enhance incomes, which ultimately save lives. Wikipedia’s simplification of the editing process will also stimulate an increase in content tailored to local context.”

Earlier this month, the Indigo Trust and the Omidyar Network hosted the “The Power of Information: New Technologies for Philanthropy and Development Conference” in London, that brought together organizations that use innovative approaches to technology to produce social benefit, primarily in Africa. Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was the keynote speaker at the conference. To watch Jimmy in conversation with Indigo Trustee William Perrin, click here.

On September 14, the Wikimedia Foundation launched its new mobile gateway, which is the first step in Wikimedia’s plan to improve the experience of reading and editing Wikipedia on mobile devices.

This press release was kindly prepared by the Wikimedia press team. To read more, click here.