Joichi Ito

 Joichi Ito

Joi Ito is Director of MIT's MediaLab and Chair of the Board of Creative Commons, where he previously served as CEO. A pioneer of the Internet start-up revolution in the 1990s, he founded and helped establish a number of Internet companies in Japan.


Joichi Ito is the newly appointed Director of the MIT Media Lab. He is also General Manager of Neoteny Labs, a startup fund focusing on Asia and the Middle East. He is the Chair of Creative Commons, co-founder and board member of Digital Garage JSD:4819, and on the boards of CCC TYO:4756 and Tucows AMEX:TCX. He is a Senior Visiting Researcher of Keio Research Institute and the Internet & Society Lab at Shonan Fujisawa Campus in Japan. He is an affiliate of the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University. He is on board of a number of non-profit organisations, including The Mozilla Foundation, WITNESS and Global Voices. He has created numerous Internet companies, including PSINet Japan, Digital Garage and Infoseek Japan and was an early stage investor in Twitter, Six Apart, Wikia, Technorati, Flickr, SocialText, Dopplr,, Rupture, Kongregate, Fotonauts/Fotopedia, Kickstarter and other Internet companies. He is an adviser to Twitter, Zynga and DeNA. He maintains a weblog ( where he regularly shares his thoughts with the online community. He is the Guild Custodian of the World of Warcraft guild, He is a PADI Assistant Instructor, an Emergency First Responder instructor and a Divers Alert Network instructor.

Ito was listed by Time Magazine as a member of the 'Cyber-Elite' in 1997. Ito was listed as one of the 50 'Stars of Asia' by BusinessWeek and commended by the Japanese Ministry of Posts and Telecommunications in 2000. 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. Ito was also named by Businessweek as one of the 25 Most Influential People on the Web in 2008.

Positions held at the OII

  • Advisory Board Member, September 2011 - September 2014