Joi Ito: new director of the MIT Media Lab

Congratulations to our pal Joi Ito who has just been named the new director of the MIT Media Lab! I can't wait to see how Joi's incredible vision, creativity, curiosity, and kindness impact the place. From John Markoff's article in the New York Times:
 Images 2011 04 26 Science 26Lab Cnd 26Lab Cnd-Popup Mr. Ito... is neither a conventional Japanese technologist, nor your average college dropout.

Raised in both Tokyo and Silicon Valley, Mr. Ito was part of the first generation to grow up with the Internet. His career includes serving as a board member of Icann, the Internet’s governance organization; becoming a “guild master” in the World of Warcraft online fantasy game; and more than a dozen investments in start-ups like Flickr, and Twitter. In 1994 he helped establish the first commercial Internet service provider in Japan.

He was also an early participant in the open-source software movement and is a board member of the Mozilla Foundation, which oversees the development of the Firefox Web browse, as well as being the co-founder and chairman of Creative Commons, a nonprofit organization that has sought to create a middle ground to promote the sharing of digital information.

“The choice is radical, but brilliant,” said Larry Smarr, director of the California Institute for Telecommunications and Information Technology, a University of California laboratory that pursues a similar research agenda to the Media Laboratory. “He can position the lab at the edge of change and propel it for a decade.”

"Joichi Ito to Be Named Head of M.I.T. Media Lab"


  1. Does this mean its okay for me to list my guild leadership experience on my job resume as well?

    1. Actually, yeah I believe such things are relevant to work. Earlier today I interviewed a potential hire for a position not involving games at all, yet their experience in the gaming world came up and was perfectly appropriate. I think such things are becoming increasingly common. If I were hiring someone to coordinate the work of others then guild leadership experience is a huge plus. Regardless of what work those others do, the same set of skills apply to both contexts. If I’m ever CEO of some huge multinational middle management is going to be full of gamers.

  2. Don’t know if their lab has ties to it, but in manner of congrats I want to thank MIT and other Unis that are working in the Opencourse movement. And a round woot.

  3. Ah yes the MIT Media Lab, one of the most prolific generators of hot air in our time. Please anyone, name anything significant to ever come out of this golden retirement plum.

  4. From the linked NYTimes article:

    The Media Lab pioneered a range of computing-based technologies like the Aspen Movie Map, a forerunner of Google Street View, the $100 Laptop, an educational tool intend for students in the developing world, and E Ink, the display technology that makes an Amazon Kindle book reader viewable in bright sunlight.

    Perhaps its most important role, however, has been in helping to nurture a generation of innovative designers like John Underkoffler, a user-interface designer who is now a Hollywood consultant and who provided most of the futuristic interface ideas seen in the movie “Minority Report.”

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