Joichi (Joi) Ito
Director, MIT Media Lab
"SIGGRAPH is always at the crossroads and the forefront of change. I'm really looking forward to seeing the latest work from the participants and engaging in a conversation that I'm sure will help chart a new course for us if not a number of new courses."
Joi Ito has been navigating the “Xroads of Discovery” since he was a teenager in suburban Detroit and Tokyo. Over the past 30 years, he has become recognized around the world for his work as an activist, entrepreneur, and venture capitalist, and for his advocacy of emergent democracy, privacy, and internet freedom.
As director of the MIT Media Lab, he is currently exploring how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society in substantial and positive ways. He has served as both board chair and CEO of Creative Commons and sits on the boards of Sony Corporation, the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, The New York Times Company, and The Mozilla Foundation. In Japan, he was a founder of Digital Garage and helped establish and later became CEO of the country’s first commercial internet service provider. He was an early investor in numerous companies, including Flickr, Six Apart, Last.fm, littleBits, Formlabs, Kickstarter, and Twitter.
Ito’s honors include TIME magazine’s Cyber-Elite listing in 1997 (at age 31) and selection as one of the Global Leaders for Tomorrow by the World Economic Forum (2001). In 2008, BusinessWeek named him one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute. In 2013, he received an honorary D.Litt from The New School in New York City. And in 2014, he was one of the recipients of the Golden Plate award at the Academy of Achievement’s International Achievement Summit.