Joi Ito

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Joi Ito
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| birth_place = Kyoto, Japan| residence = Boston, Massachusetts, U.S.Japanese people>Japanese| alma_mater = Tufts UniversityUniversity of Chicago (attended)The New SchoolKeio University PhD| occupation = | known_for = Blogging, Moblogging, Creative Commons, MIT Media Lab| relatives = Mizuko Ito (sister) | }}}}{{nihongo|Joichi "Joi" Ito|伊藤 穰一|Itō Jōichi|born June 19, 1966}} is a Japanese activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and director of the MIT Media Lab. Ito is a professor of the practice of media arts and sciences at MITWEB,weblink Media Lab Director Joi Ito Appointed Professor of the Practice in Media Arts and Sciences {{!, MIT Media Lab||access-date=2017-01-08}} and a visiting professor of law from practice at the Harvard Law School.WEB,weblink Joichi Ito - Harvard Law School, 2017-07-15, Ito has received recognition for his role as an entrepreneur focused on Internet and technology companies and has founded, among other companies, PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan. Ito is the chairman of the board of PureTech Health.WEB, PureTech - Our Team,weblink 2015-12-28, Ito is a strategic advisor to Sony Corporation,WEB,weblink Press Release: Selection of Board Member Candidates, April 28, 2017, 2013-06-21, and a board member of The New York Times Company,WEB, Joichi Ito and Brian McAndrews Join The New York Times Company Board of Directors,weblink the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation,WEB, Joichi Ito, Trustee,weblink 2011-11-17, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2012-01-30, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation,WEB, MIT Media Lab Director Joi Ito to Serve on MacArthur Board,weblink and General Partner of Neoteny Labs.WEB, Team – Neoteny Labs,weblink 2010-04-29, yes,weblink" title="">weblink April 11, 2010, Ito writes a monthly column in the Ideas section of Wired.WEB, Joi Ito, Wired,weblink 2018-05-11,

Early life and education

(File:Joi Ito, circa 1981.jpg|thumb|left|Ito, {{circa}}1981)Ito was born in Kyoto, Japan. His family moved to Canada and then when Ito was about age 3 to a suburb of Detroit, Michigan, in the United States where his father became a research scientisweblink and his mother a secretary for Energy Conversion Devices, Inc., now Ovonics. Company founder Stanford R. Ovshinsky was impressed with Ito, whom he thought of almost as his son. Ovshinsky helped Ito develop his interests in technology and social movements, and at age 13 gave him work with scientists, saying, "He was not a child in the conventional sense."NEWS, Fisher, Lawrence M., The Ambassador from the Next Economy,weblink August 2006, strategy+business, Booz Allen Hamilton Inc. via Internet Archive, 2012-02-25, yes,weblink" title="">weblink December 8, 2008, Ito and his sister Mizuko Ito, who is called Mimi, spent summers in Japan with their grandmother who taught them traditional Japanese culture.JOURNAL, Kelly, Kevin, Rheingold, Howard, The Dragon Ate My Homework,weblink Wired, the Condé Nast Publications Inc., 1.03, July–August 1993, 2007-09-28, At 14, he returned to Japan when his mother was promoted to president of Energy Conversion Devices Japan. He studied at the Nishimachi International SchoolBOOK, Rheingold, Howard, The Virtual Community: Homesteading on the Electronic Frontier, 227, The MIT Press, 2000-11-01, 0-262-68121-8, and for high school, the American School in Japan in Tokyo.JOURNAL, Interview, The World Wide Blog, Ubiquity, Association for Computing Machinery, 5, 25, 2004-08-24, Ito also learned "street language, street smarts, and computers". One of few Japanese using modems before deregulation of networking reached Japan in 1985, Ito had found The Source and the original MUD by his teens (and by 26 was working on his own MUD).Ito returned to the United States to attend Tufts University as a computer science major, where he met, among others, Pierre Omidyar, later founder of eBay. Finding his course work too rigid and believing that learning computer science in school was "stupid", Ito dropped out of Tufts to briefly work for Ovonics. Ovshinsky encouraged him to return to school. He enrolled at the University of Chicago in physics but dropped out on discovering, in his opinion, the program at Chicago to be more oriented towards producing practical engineers than towards teaching an intuitive understanding of physics. In the Fall of 1985 he became the first student to register for a pioneering program of online courses offered by Connected Education, Inc., for undergraduate credit from The New School for Social Research.Ito received a PhD in Media and Governance from Keio University in 2018.WEB,weblink 慶應義塾大学学術情報リポジトリ(KOARA),, ja,weblink" title="">weblink December 4, 2018, 2018-12-04, His dissertation, The Practice of Change, is available online.WEB,weblink Practice of Change, Ito, Joichi, Practice of Change, en, 2018-12-04, Ito is one of Timothy Leary's godsons—a close non-traditional family-like relationship, an idea said to have been conceived by Leary for a few of his friends.WEB,,weblink 2007-10-04, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-10-11, WEB,, Timothy Leary Archives Blog,weblink 2009-03-04, Ito's sister is Mizuko Ito, a cultural anthropologist studying media technology use, and the musician Cornelius is his second cousin. Ito currently lives in Cambridge, Massachusetts, with his wife Mizuka Ito (née Kurogane). Joi and Mizuka had a daughter, Kio (輝生) on May 11, 2017.


Ito became a disk jockey working in nightclubs in Chicago such as The Limelight and The Smart Bar and to work with Metasystems Design Group to start a virtual community in Tokyo. Later, Ito ran a nightclub in Roppongi, Japan called XY Relax with help from Joe Shanahan of Metro Chicago/Smart Bar. He helped bring industrial music from Chicago (Wax Trax) and later the rave scene, managing a DJ team and visual artists, including importing Anarchic Adjustment to Japan.File:Ito Joichi.jpg|thumb|right|Ito in a 2008 Creative CommonsCreative CommonsIto was the Chairman of Creative Commons from December 2006 until 2012. He is on the board of Digital Garage,WEB, Digital Garage Corporate Information,weblink 2010-04-29, Culture Convenience Club (CCC),WEB, CCC Board of Directors,weblink 2010-04-29, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2010-05-21, Tucows,WEB, Tucows Board of Directors,weblink 2010-04-29, and EPIC,WEB, EPIC Advisory Board,weblink Electronic Privacy Information Center, 2008-11-29, and is on the advisory boards of Creative Commons and WITNESS. He is the founder and CEO of the venture capital firm Neoteny Co., Ltd. In October 2004, he was named to the board of ICANN for a three-year term starting December 2004. In August 2005, he joined the board of the Mozilla FoundationWEB, About the Mozilla Foundation,weblink 2010-04-29, and served until April 2016. He served on the board of the Open Source Initiative (OSI) from March 2005 until April 2007. He currently serves as a Board Emeritus for OSI.WEB, Elaina Hamilton, Joichi Ito Education,weblink 2016-03-16, He was a founding board member of Expression College for Digital ArtsWEB, People at Expression:Joi Ito,weblink Expression College for Digital Arts, 2007-09-28, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-10-08, as well as the Zero One Art and Technology Network.WEB, ZERO1 Board,weblink ZERO1, 2007-09-28, In 1999, he served as the Associate to Mr. Mount (the executive producer) on the film The Indian Runner.WEB, The Indian Runner (1999) Full Cast and Crew, IMDB,weblink 2007-09-27, Ito also served as a Board Member of Energy Conversion Devices from 1995 to 2000.Ito is a venture capitalist and angel investor and was an early stage investor in Kickstarter,WEB, Kickstarter Fesses Up: The Crowd-Sourced Funding Startup Has Funding Too,weblink Twitter,WEB, Twitter in Japan,weblink 2010-04-29, Six Apart, Technorati, Flickr, SocialText, Dopplr,, Rupture, Kongregate, Fotopedia, Diffbot, Formlabs, 3Dsolve and other Internet companies.WEB, Joi Ito, Joi Ito's Wiki,weblinkweblink" title="">weblink yes, 2006-08-19, 2007-09-27, Joi Ito Crunchbaseweblink A vocal advocate of emergent democracy and the sharing economy, Ito is a doctoral candidate in Business Administration focusing on the sharing economy at the Graduate School of International Corporate Strategy, Hitotsubashi University. He is the author of Emergent Democracy.WEB, Ito, Joichi, Emergent Democracy (Version 1.32),weblink June 28, 2003, Socialtext, May 4, 2010, yes,weblink" title="">weblink July 12, 2012, and BOOK, Lebkowsky, Jon, Ratcliffe, Mitch, Extreme Democracy, 13–39,, 2005,weblink 1-4116-3139-0, May 4, 2010, Ito is Senior Visiting Researcher of Keio Research Institute at SFC.WEB, Program: Electronic Media – Challenges and Opportunities, Higher Colleges of Technology,weblink PDF, 2009-11-19, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2008-12-30, In May 2011, it was announced that Ito's company, Digital Garage, will provide PR, marketing, product marketing research and market research for Linkedin Japan.WEB,weblink LinkedIn Has Value Preposition to Succeed in Japan, Digital Garage to Help | Penn Olson,, 2011, Joi, 2 June 2011, Ito is a PADI IDC Staff Instructor, an Emergency First Responder Instructor Trainer, and a Divers Alert Network (DAN) Instructor Trainer.WEB, Joichi Ito LinkedIn Profile, LinkedIn,weblink 2011-09-10, In recent years, Ito has become critical of what he sees as Japan's inward focus. He stated in a 2011 interview that he thinks Japan needs to look internationally if it is to continue to be "relevant".WEB,weblink Joi Ito: The Interview, 8 July 2011, Wilks, Jon, May 31, 2011, Time Out Tokyo, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 6 July 2011,


Ito has written opinion editorials for the Asian Wall Street JournalWEB, Japan Reform and Recovery, Joi Ito's Web (blog), April 7, 2002,weblink 2007-09-29, and The New York TimesNEWS, An Anniversary to Forget, The New York Times, August 7, 2005,weblink 2007-09-27, Joichi, Ito, NEWS, In Japan, Stagnation Wins Again, The New York Times, September 18, 2007,weblink 2007-09-27, Joichi, Ito, and has published articles in numerous other magazinesNEWS, World of Warcrack, Wired (magazine), Wired,weblink June 2006, 2007-09-27, and newspapers. He has had regular columns in The Daily Yomiuri, Mac World Japan, Asahi Pasocom, Asahi Doors, and other media sources. His photographs have been used in The New York Times Online,NEWS, For Jobs and Gates, a Night to Reminisce, New York Times, May 31, 2007,weblink 2007-09-27, John, Markoff, BusinessWeek,WEB, Entrepreneurs for the Ages, BusinessWeek,weblink 2007-09-27, American Heritage,WEB, The Birth of EBay,,weblink 2007-09-27, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2007-09-06, Wired News,NEWS, Schiffman, Betsy, Twitter CEO on How the Company Will Make Money: Ummm,weblink November 6, 2008, Wired News, CondéNet, November 6, 2008, Forbes,NEWS, Griffiths, Daniel Nye, It Takes Tweets to Tango – Murdoch, Kutcher, the ur-Jack and the dangers of Twitter,weblink January 16, 2012,, January 16, 2012, and BBC News.NEWS, Waters, Darren, Stark warning for internet's future,weblink April 24, 2008, BBC News, 2008-04-28, He was on the early editorial mastheads of Wired and Mondo 2000. He has authored and co-authored a number of books including Dialog – Ryu Murakami X Joichi Ito with Ryu Murakami, and "Freesouls: Captured and Released" with Christopher Adams, a book of Ito's photographs that includes essays by several prominent figures in the free culture movement.Freesouls He has hosted televisions shows including The New Breed and SimTV shows on NHK.He is currently the host of a TV show called "Super-Presentation" airing weekly in Japan on NHK.WEB, スーパープレゼンテーション|Eテレ NHKオンライン,weblink 2014-03-12,

Recognition and honors

Ito was listed by Time magazine as a member of the "Cyber-Elite" in 1997. He was also named one of the 50 "Stars of Asia" in the "Entrepreneurs and Dealmakers" category by BusinessWeekNEWS, The Stars of Asia (int'l edition), BusinessWeek, July 3, 2000,weblink 2007-09-16, and commended by the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications for supporting the advancement of IT in 2000.WEB, The Markets Are Stupid. The Current Internet Valuations Have Very Little to Do With the Actual Value of the Companies., Joi Ito's Web,weblink 2007-09-27, He was selected by the World Economic Forum in 2001 as one of the "Global Leaders for Tomorrow"NEWS, Economic Forum Entrepreneurs – Japanese put on list of world's 100 young leaders, Kyodo World News Service,weblink February 3, 2002, 2007-09-27, {{dead link|date=February 2019|bot=medic}}{{cbignore|bot=medic}} and chosen by Newsweek as a member of the "Leaders of The Pack (high technology industry)" in 2005,NEWS, Leaders of The Pack (high technology industry), Newsweek International, April 25, 2005,weblink 2007-09-27, and listed by Vanity Fair as a member of "The Next Establishment" in the October Issue, 2007NEWS, Vanity Fair (Re) Discovers Tech, Vanity Fair, October 2007,weblink 2007-09-27, and 2011.NEWS, Vanity Fair Next Establishment 2011,weblink October 2011, 2012-09-22, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2011-09-23, Joi Ito was also named by BusinessWeek as one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web in 2008.NEWS, The 25 Most Influential People on the Web: The Adviser: Joi Ito, BusinessWeek, September 29, 2008,weblink 2008-10-11, On July 22, 2011 he was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award in recognition of his role as one of the world's leading advocates of Internet freedom from the University of Oxford Internet Institute.NEWS, Director of MIT Media Lab Joi Ito Receives Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute, July 22, 2011,weblink 2011-08-09, In 2011, with Ethan Zuckerman, he was named by Foreign Policy magazine to its list of top global thinkers, in which he stated the Best idea is "Users controlling their own data".NEWS, The FP Top 100 Global Thinkers, November 28, 2011,weblink May 13, 2016, Ito received the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa, from The New School in 2013.NEWS, Honorary Degree Recipients, 2013-05-24,weblink 2013-05-25, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2013-03-24, On March 11, 2014, Ito was inducted into the SXSW Interactive Festival Hall of Fame.WEB, SXSW Interactive Festival Hall of Fame Honors Top Industry Trendsetters: 2014 Inductee is Joi Ito,weblink 2014-03-12, He was a TED speaker at the March 21, TED2014.Instead of futurists, let’s be now-ists: Joi Ito at TED2014 In 2014, Ito was awarded the Golden Plate Award by the Academy of Achievement.WEB, 2009 – 2014 Golden Plate Recipients, Academy of Achievement,weblink 2014-10-09, yes,weblink" title="">weblink 2014-10-14, On May 17, 2015 Ito received a Doctor of Humane Letters, honoris causa, from Tufts University.NEWS, Commencement 2015: Biographies – Joichi "Joi" Ito,weblink May 17, 2015, 2015-05-17, Ito was elected to the American Academy of Arts and Sciences in April 2017.weblink May 11, 2017 Ito was awarded the IRI Medal.NEWS, Joi Ito, MIT Media Lab Director, Awarded the IRI Medal,weblink 2017-05-26,

MIT Media Lab

The New York Times reported in April 2011 that Joi Ito was named to be the director of the MIT Media Lab. His appointment was called an "unusual choice" since Ito studied at two colleges, but did not finish his degrees. "The choice is radical, but brilliant," said Larry Smarr, director of Calit2.NEWS, Markoff, John, M.I.T. Media Lab Names a New Director,weblink April 25, 2011, The New York Times, April 25, 2011, Ito officially began his role on September 1, 2011.WEB, Joi Ito's Twitter Stream, I'm finally "officially" the Director of the MIT @medialab and here's my first blog post on the new Media Lab blog:,weblink September 1, 2011, NEWS, Kirsner, Scott, MIT picks Joichi Ito, Japanese venture capitalist and entrepreneur, as new leader of the Media Lab,weblink April 26, 2011, (The Boston Globe), The New York Times Company, April 26, 2011, He was appointed Professor of the Practice of Media Arts and Sciences at MIT, effective July 1, 2016.WEB, Media Lab Director Joi Ito Appointed Professor of the Practice of Media Arts and Sciences, June 2016,weblink 2016-06-13, Nicholas Negroponte, Media Lab's co-founder and chairman emeritus, described the choice as bringing the media to "Joi's world".NEWS, Joichi Ito named director of MIT Media Lab,weblink April 25, 2011, MIT News, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, April 25, 2011, In an interview with Asian Scientist Magazine, Joi Ito discusses his vision for the MIT Media Lab, and how he likes the word “learning” better than the word “education”.NEWS, Chan, Juliana, Newly Appointed MIT Media Lab Director, Joichi Ito, Talks To Asian Scientist,weblink May 2, 2011,, May 14, 2011, As part of his work at the Media Lab, Joi Ito is a part of the emerging dialogue around the ethics and governance of Artificial Intelligence, teaching a course on the topic with professor Jonathan Zittrain and co-founding the Council on Extended Intelligence with the Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE). WEB,weblink CXI - Council on Extended Intelligence {{!, IEEE-SA & MIT Media Lab|website=IEEE CXI|language=en-US|access-date=2019-01-14}}


  • BOOK

, Ito, Joi
, Joi Ito
, Howe, Jeff
, 2016
, Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future
, Grand Central Publishing
, 978-1455544592
  • BOOK

, Ito, Joi
, Joi Ito
, 2008
, FREESOULS: Captured and Released
, 978-0982029121

See also



External links

{{Commons category|Joi Ito}} {{MUDs|state=collapsed}}{{Authority control}}

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