The Internet has changed everything and surviving and thriving in the chaotic, open and uncertain environment requires a new kind of innovation. Innovation happens on the edges in ecosystems where standards are developed in non-governmental bodies, where intellectual property can become more of a burden to agility than an asset and where planning can cost more than doing. We know from the VC and startup scene that small companies thrive and can disrupt large incumbents with their agility and speed, but what is the role of academic institutions like the MIT Media Lab and is that an academic equivalent to the Silicon Valley startup scen
Media Lab director Joi Ito is a leading thinker and writer on innovation, global technology policy, and the role of the Internet in transforming society in substantial and positive ways. A vocal advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and Internet freedom, Ito is board chair (and former CEO) of Creative Commons, and sits on the boards of the Mozilla Foundation, WITNESS, and Global Voices. 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 more than 40 companies, including Flickr, Six Apart, Last.fm, Kongregate, 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.
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