Wikipedia founder Jimmy Wales was among this year's Campus Party speakers

Make London next Sillicon Valley urges Wikipedia founder

Jimmy Wales - the founder of Wikipedia has urged the UK government to open the UK to technology savvy entrepreneurial people from around the globe to turn London into the next Silicon Valley.

Speaking at Campus Party, a week-long technology festival at London’s O2 arena, Jimmy Wales has encouraged the decision makers to adjust the rules of entrepreneur visas to attract more technology experts to move to Britain – especially those working in the USA on temporary working visa with limited prospects of getting a Green Card.  

"I think we want to be able to go to Silicon Valley and say to all of those really talented people from China and India who are there on a H-1B (working) visa: As long as you are here on a H-1B visa the minute you lose your job you've got two weeks to leave the country, you have got no path to citizenship,” he said.

"Come to the UK. We've got a similar programme but it's a programme that will allow you to build a business and a future and a life for yourself rather than being a plantation worker for Google."

Wales also explained he believed living in London could actually prove to be far more inspiring than living in the current technology Mecca – California’s Silicon Valley - and could facilitate the creation of new disruptive ideas.

"Nobody wants to live in San Jose, California. It's incredibly boring. There are reasons to move there if you are an entrepreneur, if you want to get a job at Google,” he said, explaining Sillicon Valley-based companies tend to live and work in a bubble, without proper connection to the external world.

"They're a bunch of guys who live in an environment where they go to work and they code all day and go home and they really don't have a sense of what's going on outside there," Wales said.

"There's the possibility that you will have an idea because you live in a vibrant city that you would have never had if you lived in the Silicon Valley echo chamber."

Loving in London – one of world’s most cosmopolitan cities – provides an immediate link and insight into how people think and what they want, Wales suggested.

"We're moving into an era certainly in the consumer Internet world - where the ideas are about the way people live their lives and interact and so forth - it's not all going to be pure mathematical hard technology. I think that vibrant open culture is the second wave and it's more about how do we connect with people,” Wales said.

Campus Party, the annual week-long, 24-hour-a-day technology festival taking place in London since 1997 brings together thousands of hackers, developers, gamers and geeks.

Among this year’s speakers was also one of the Internet founders, Vint Cerf, currently the Vice President of Google, who advocated the ‘Internet for everyone’ vision. He said the human race would be "pretty stupid" if the World Wide Web was not accessible to everybody on the planet in the future.

70-year old Cerf, one of the five engineers awarded The Queen Elizabeth Prize for Engineering earlier this year said he believed the world will eventually move towards the stage where everyone would be able to benefit from, and  contribute to, all the information on the planet.

He also said that eventually, the international community would have to come together and draw a legal framework for the use of Internet to take action against cyber-criminals and those abusing the freedom of Internet

The Campus Party aims to promote digital skills and help entrepreneurs get their ideas off the ground. This year, it has focused on areas including robotics, gaming, social media and astronomy.

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