By Greg Carannante
City & Shore Magazine
For its seventh year, the Broward College Speaker Series has lined up a trio of today’s top influencers. Not the social-media, click-bait variety of influencer — but the kind who leverage their success to affect multitudes of real people in the non-virtual world.
The series kicks off March 12 with “Web celeb” Jimmy Wales, the founder of Wikipedia. The internet visionary’s platform may be virtual, but its footprint is real-world and universal.
“Imagine a world in which every single person on the planet is given free access to the sum of all human knowledge,” he says. “That’s what we’re doing.”
Free, collaborative and international, Wikipedia is the world’s largest encyclopedia, and Wales’s work with it prompted Time to name him one of its “100 Most Influential People” in 2006. In 2017, he founded WikiTribune, an ad-free global news platform that ensures articles are fact-checked and unbiased, that sources are transparent, and that users can contribute.
Abby Wambach, one of the world’s all-time greatest soccer players, is set for April 29. Wambach led Team USA in scoring in the Women’s World Cup tournaments in 2008 and 2011 and the 2004 and 2012 Olympics. With 184 career goals, she is the No. 1 scorer in international soccer history and one of the most intense competitors in U.S. history.
But her competitiveness also plays off the pitch. Wambach is the leading voice for women’s sports as well as for her generation of female soccer players and athletes. She’s not only a fan favorite, but also a continual inspiration working as an ambassador for Right to Play and the U.S. Agency for International Development, among other organizations.
On May 18, the Speaker Series menu features chef José Andrés. Named one of Time’s “100 Most Influential People” for the second time in 2018 and awarded “Outstanding Chef” and “Humanitarian of the Year” by the James Beard Foundation, Andrés has become as laudable as a committed advocate of food and hunger issues as he has as an international culinary innovator, TV personality and chef/owner of ThinkFoodGroup.
In 2010, Andrés formed World Central Kitchen, which with #ChefsForPuertoRico served over 3.5 million meals to the people of Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria.
All appearances are at 7:30 p.m. at Broward Center for the Performing Arts in Fort Lauderdale. For more information and tickets, please visit broward.edu.