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Joichi Ito is director of the MIT Media Lab, professor of the practice of media arts and sciences at MIT, and a visiting professor of law from practice at Harvard Law School. He is chair of the board of PureTech Health; a board member of the New York Times Company, MacArthur Foundation, and John S. and James L. Knight Foundation; cofounder and board member of Digital Garage; and strategy advisor of Sony Corporation. He is an independent senior advisor to the minister for financial services of Japan and a member of the Japanese Ministry of Education, Culture, Sports, Science and Technology Center of Innovation (COI) STREAM governance committee. He is a visiting executive researcher of the Keio Research Institute and the Internet & Society Lab at Shonan Fujisawa Campus in Japan, and a faculty associate of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He has helped created numerous Internet companies including PSINet Japan, Digital Garage, and Infoseek Japan and was an early-stage investor in Twitter, Wikia, Flickr, Kickstarter, littleBits, Formlabs, and other companies. He maintains a weblog (http://joi.ito.com/) and is the author, with Jeff Howe, of Whiplash: How to Survive Our Faster Future (Grand Central Publishing, 2016). He is also a PADI IDC staff instructor, an emergency first responder instructor, and a Divers Alert Network (DAN) instructor trainer.
Mr. Ito was named by Time magazine as a member of the “Cyber-Elite” in 1997, and in 2000 was listed as one of the 50 “Stars of Asia” by Businessweek and commended by the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications. He was selected by the World Economic Forum in 2001 as one of the “Global Leaders for Tomorrow,” chosen by Newsweek as a member of the “Leaders of the Pack” in 2005, and listed by Vanity Fair as a member of “The Next Establishment” in 2007. Businessweek named him one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web in 2008. In 2011 he was selected by Foreign Policy magazine as one of the “Top 100 Global Thinkers,” and he received the Lifetime Achievement Award from the Oxford Internet Institute in recognition of his role as one of the world’s leading advocates of Internet freedom. In 2011 and 2012 he was chosen by Nikkei Business as one of the 100 most influential people for the future of Japan.
He received a doctor of literature honoris causa from the New School in 2013, and the following year he was inducted into the SXSW Interactive Festival Hall of Fame and awarded the Golden Plate Award by the Academy of Achievement. In 2015 he received an honorary doctorate from Tufts University and ranked #68 on the WorldPost/GDI–Global Thought Leaders Index. In 2016 he was selected as one of the GK100: Boston’s 100 Most Influential People of Color and ranked #44 in the 2016 Wired 100 (UK). In 2017 he received the IRI Medal. He is a member of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.