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Another Day, Another Junket

by Gregory Kohs


On Saturday, October 18, Wikipedia co-founder Jimmy Wales and his politically-connected third wife, Kate Garvey, were in Dublin, Ireland to deliver separate talks at the prestigious “One Young World” 2014 Summit. The equivalent value for both of them to attend was approximately $5,400, including taxes, but of course for them the conference waived any registration fees. In fact, according to Henny Hamilton, the conference’s PR coordinator, One Young World merely paid for round-trip airfare and one night’s hotel lodging for the duo, and no speaking fee was paid to them.

Considering what the conference got for that airfare and hotel bill, it’s difficult to say whether it was worth it. Garvey, introduced as “a fantastic woman” to a light smattering of applause, was scheduled to speak to the audience about ambitious new objectives of the United Nations. But in actuality, the moment after she took the podium, Garvey explained that she was there “to introduce someone else” because she didn’t “do the speaking in this”. Garvey spoke for only 80 seconds before her spot at the podium was taken by a more youthful and nubile speaker, Alessandra Orofino from Brazil. Given that the conference is intended solely for delegates between the ages of 18 and 30, and many of them enjoy stunning Mr or Miss Universe good looks of their own, the audience was probably not disturbed by the agenda hand-off.

Jimmy Wales, for his part, was scheduled to speak for 30 minutes, and that’s exactly what he delivered. There was frankly nothing new disclosed in his talk to the audience. The speech consisted almost entirely of themes regurgitated from previous sessions delivered by Wales. One critic described Wales as looking more and more like Mike Myers’ comedy

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