In an interview with Will Knight at Technology Review, Joi Ito explains some of what he hopes to accomplish as director of the MIT Media Lab, and shows why he was a brilliant choice for the position. “It’s becoming more like a Media Lab ‘network’ than a Media Lab ‘place.'”
And is the case with networked knowledge, the value is in the differences it encompasses:
To take all the different technologies that we have and to connect it with someone like a Kevin Rose, or an Ev Williams, or a Shawn Fanning, that’s a really interesting two-way thing because the students here get how a real Internet startup guy thinks about a product, and how they think about design, and, you know, Shawn [Fanning] can meet people who do real math. To me, that’s a huge synergy that we don’t currently get from, say, relationships with some of the big companies we have.
As for Joi’s interests: ” …for me it’s Internet startups, openness, and human rights. I definitely have that bias.” What an excellent set of biases!
[Disclosure: Like much of the tech world, I count Joi as a friend.]