2017 Medalist Address: The Antidisciplinary Approach – Beyond the Traditional

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Description

The Internet, machine learning, advances in manufacturing, and biotechnology have shifted substantial portions of our research and development power to startups and labs that do not fit neatly within traditional disciplines. In this new “antidisciplinary,” agile, and networked environment, governments, commercial ventures, and academic institutions are all being challenged to adapt. Some thrive while others struggle. For more than 30 years, the MIT Media Lab has set an example of how – by following a core set of principles – you can adjust to, and take advantage of, the changing trends and transformations we all are facing.

Contributors

  • Joi Ito, Director, MIT Media Lab

    Joichi "Joi" Ito has been recognized for his work as an activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and internet freedom. As director of the MIT Media Lab, he is currently exploring how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society in substantial and positive ways.

    Soon after coming to MIT, Ito introduced mindfulness meditation training to the Media Lab. Together with The Venerable Tenzin Priyadarshi, founding director of The Dalai Lama Center for Ethics and Transformative Values at MIT, Ito is promoting the contribution that awareness and focus can bring to the creativity process.

    Ito is Chairman of the Board of PureTech and as served as both board chair and CEO of Creative Commons. He sits on the boards of Sony Corporation, the Knight Foundation, the John D. and Catherine T. MacArthur Foundation, and The New York Times Company. In Japan, he is executive researcher of KEIO SFC, and he was a founder of Digital Garage, and helped establish and later became CEO of the country’s first commercial Internet service provider. Ito was an early investor in numerous companies, including Flickr, Six Apart, Last.fm, littleBits, Formlabs, Kickstarter, and Twitter.

    Ito’s honors include TIME magazine’s "Cyber-Elite” listing in 1997 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. He also received an honorary D.Litt from The New School in New York City, and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters degree from Tufts University. In 2014, Ito was inducted into the SXSW Interactive Hall of Fame and was one of the recipients of the Golden Plate award from the Academy of Achievement. He is co-author with Jeff Howe of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future (Grand Central Publishing, December, 2016).   

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