Joi Ito

Director, MIT Media Lab
Professor, Practice at MIT
Coauthor, Whiplash

The world’s foremost visionary on technology.

Add to Shortlist More Information Joi's PubPub


Joi Ito combines exceptional academic and practical experience to offer an unmatched bird’s-eye view of technology. As the director of the MIT Media Lab, Joi knows better than anyone what new technologies are just over the horizon. Combine that with his unerring eye for the next big thing — he was an early-stage investor in such internet titans as Twitter, Wikia, Flickr,, and Kickstarter — and you’ve got perhaps the most authoritative, unbiased perspective around on the business and development of technology.

He is coauthor (with Jeff Howe) of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future. As everything digital is getting faster, cheaper, and smaller at an exponential rate, we also have the Internet, Joi Ito (and Jeff Howe) have distilled nine organizing principles for navigating and surviving our faster future.

Joi’s long career has spanned an incredible variety of sectors. He sits on the boards of Sony Corporation, the Knight Foundation, the MacArthur Foundation, The New York Times Company, Mozilla Foundation, WITNESS, and Global Voices, and Creative Commons. 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.

In 2011, Joi was chosen by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the "Top 100 Global Thinkers”. Businessweek named him one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web in 2008. In 2011, he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in recognition of his role as one of the world's leading advocates of Internet freedom. In 2011 and 2012, Joi was chosen by Nikkei Business as one of the 100 most influential people for the future of Japan. He received the degree of Doctor of Literature, honoris causa, from The New School in 2013.



How to Survive Our Faster Future

Joi Ito and Jeff Howe

Today, not only is everything digital getting faster, cheaper, and smaller at an exponential rate, we also have the Internet. When these two revolutions-one in technology and the other in communications-joined, an explosive force was unleaded that changed the very nature of innovation. And with any change, we have seen many strategic blunders and extraordinary learning curves along the way.

At last, in Whiplash, Joi Ito and Jeff Howe have distilled nine organizing principles for navigating and surviving this tumultuous period. These principles give us a roadmap on how to thrive no matter what industry we're in.

With Whiplash, two great thinkers tell us how to adapt and succeed in today's unpredictable marketplace.

Grand Central Publishing (December 6, 2016)


Joi tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Investment and Innovation


Whiplash Book Talk | Harvard Book Store

For the Fun of It (Or, the Play in Great Work) | Wonderland Podcast

9 Principles of the Media Lab

Want to innovate? Become a "now-ist" | TED

Manufacturing, Design, Hardware, and the Code that makes sense of it all

Innovation in Open Networks

Emergent Democracy Revisited | PDF13


Comments from a major retail company event:

  • His message about the cost of innovation was intriguing. I had not thought about the hardware aspect of innovation and where it is going.
  • Joi Ito was fabulous. Practical, spoke to real life. Could implement mindset that he talked about immediately
  • Joi Ito's talk was amazing, great opportunity to learn from top talent in the world
  • I appreciated his insight regarding technology and innovation and how the cost of innovation has gotten cheaper. Great speaker!
  • Amazing speaker and great message for [our store] during our transformation.
  • Joi Ito's speech on innovation was refreshing to look at things from a non-traditional corporate structure perspective on how to move the company forward with innovation.
  • I really enjoyed the Joi Ito's discussion on technology and innovation. I believe that the ability to embrace technology and innovate will be critical to [our store's] future.

An American retailing company:
Joi’s definitely brilliant and his presentation was engaging, thought provoking and inspiring.


— Chicago Tribune
— Computer Weekly
— Business Insider
— The Boston Globe
— Wired
— TechTarget
— Wired
— Joi's PubPub
— MIT News
— CoinDesk
— International Business Times
— Journal of Design and Science
— Wired
— MobiHealthNews
— Xconomy
— How We Get To Next
— Wired
— Financial Times
— The Boston Globe
— Bloomberg Businessweek
— Wamda