MIT Media Lab Director Joichi Ito: Collaboration Amped by 21st Century Technology

Innovation in an Open Network


Thursday, November 10, 2011, Noon, at Japan Society


New York, NY – MIT’s Joichi Ito says we no longer live in a world of central control but rather in ecosystem of "small pieces loosely joined" with innovation on the edges. The exponential growth of computer hardware and the universality of the Internet have dramatically lowered the cost of the creation and distribution of information, fundamentally changing the way we collaborate. Open source software and open standards thrive in this environment and push the networks to be even more open, expanding the agility we see in software and consumer Internet services to hardware.


But as a recent article in The Wall Street Journal noted, while open source networking and online tools can “amplify our collective intelligence,” there is still much resistance to sharing.


In Innovation in an Open Network, Ito looks at these trends, shares his thoughts on the future, and discusses common challenges and innovations ranging from startups to citizen Geiger counters. Presided by McKinsey Global Institute senior editor, Michael Zielenziger, the discussion takes place Thursday, November 10, at Japan Society.


Agenda: Noon, registration and reception; 12:30, luncheon; 1-2 lecture and Q&A


Admission: $65 lunch and lecture/$15 lecture only. Japan Society Corporate Members are entitled to a designated number of FREE admissions based on their company's membership level. Discounted rates are available for additional Japan Society Corporate Members, certain individual members, government officials and academics. To register or for more information, please email, visit, or call 212-715-1208.


MIT 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,, 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.


Michael Zielenziger, a senior editor for the McKinsey Global Institute, the business and economics research arm of McKinsey & Co., has devoted most of the past three decades to analyzing Asia’s dynamic economic and political landscape.  A visiting scholar at the University of California,  Berkeley, he is the author of Shutting Out the Sun: How Japan Created its Own Lost Generation published by Nan A. Talese/ Doubleday Books in 2006.


 A former Tokyo bureau chief for Knight-Ridder Newspapers, he was a finalist for a Pulitzer Prize for his reporting from China in the mid-1990s, contributed to two other Pulitzer-winning series, and in 2010 conceived and wrote a study analyzing China's potential to be an innovator in the life sciences. A recipient of the Abe Fellowship from the Social Science Research Council of New York City, he studied at Princeton and Stanford Universities.


Founded in 1907, Japan Society is a world-class, multidisciplinary hub for global leaders, artists, scholars, educators, and English and Japanese-speaking audiences. At the Society, more than 100 events each year feature sophisticated, topically relevant presentations of Japanese art and culture and open, critical dialogue on issues of vital importance to the U.S., Japan and East Asia. An American nonprofit, nonpolitical organization, the Society cultivates a constructive, resonant and dynamic relationship between the people of the U.S. and Japan.

Japan Society is located at 333 East 47th Street between First and Second avenues (accessible by the 4/5/6 at 42nd Street-Grand Central Station or the E and V at Lexington Avenue and 53rd St.) For further information call 212-832-1155 or visit


With support from Citigroup Inc.; Deloitte; Mizuho Securities USA; United Airlines; Toyota Motor North America; and WL Ross & Co., LLC.


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Media Contacts:

Shannon Jowett, 212-715-1205,

Kuniko Shiobara, 212-715-1249,

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