Joi Ito is just one of those people who simply don’t fit a mold. Any mold. He is an entrepreneur who is an activist. He is an academic without a degree. He is a leader who follows. He is a teacher who listens. And an interlocutor who wants you to disagree with him. Overall, I hate to say it but I must put forward my own biases by admitting that this was probably the most fun interview I have ever done. Ever. So, either I let all my personal biases run free on this one or it was truly a gem of an interview. You be the judge as per which one it was and please don’t hesitate to let me know.
During our 90 min conversation with Joi Ito we cover a variety of interesting topics such as: being an entrepreneurial activist; becoming head of the MIT Media Lab even without an undergraduate degree; the impact of Kenichi Fukui, Timothy Leary and other his mentors; my transhumanist manifesto; my definitions of the singularity and transhumanism; why technology is not enough; the dangers of being exponential; self-awareness and meditation; complexity and systems thinking; our global prisoner’s dilemma; what the MIT Media Lab is all about; the importance of ethics, art and media; Whiplash and his PhD thesis on change; learning over education; why technology is the future of politics…
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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 and a Professor of the Practice in Media Arts and Sciences, he is currently exploring how radical new approaches to science and technology can transform society in substantial and positive ways. Ito is listed among TIME Magazine’s “Cyber-Elite” and was named one of the “Global Leaders for Tomorrow” by the World Economic Forum. He is co-author with Jeff Howe of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future and writes a monthly column for WIRED.