Wikipedia founder and friend of students everywhere Jimmy Wales is set to become an unpaid adviser to the British government. Prime Minister David Cameron's special policy adviser Rohan Silva revealed the news in a presentation on "Open Source Government, Enterprise and Innovation" at SXSW yesterday, suggesting that Wales will contribute to several specific projects though he gave no detail on what this might entail. The choice of Wales is hardly surprising — his success in creating the world's biggest crowd sourced website makes him the perfect candidate to help guide parliament's web presence.
The UK Government has experimented with crowd sourcing before now, asking workers in the public sector to submit areas they believed money was being wasted, and ditching 250 superfluous laws and regulations following public consultation. Rohan told attendees at the conference that "we want to usher in the age of open source government," referring to the www.gov.uk website that should unify Whitehall's web presence.