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October 22, 2011

[2b2k] Joi Ito on transforming the Media Lab from place to network

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.]

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