SIGGRAPH Keynote Speaker Joi Ito on the Intersections of Creativity

by | 21 January 2015 | Conferences, Industry Leaders

Joi Ito TED talk

SIGGRAPH is honored to have MIT Media Lab Director (and TED speaker) Joichi “Joi” Ito as our SIGGRAPH 2015 keynote speaker. Mirroring the 2015 theme of “Xroads of Discovery,” Mr. Ito’s body of work and experience spans the science, academic and business worlds. He’s an activist, entrepreneur, venture capitalist, and advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and Internet freedom. Known for his willingness to dig deeply to find unorthodox solutions and connections, Mr. Ito is the perfect fit for SIGGRAPH’s thoughtful, innovative and curious community.

Joi Ito In His Own Words

In his post “The Creativity Compass,” Ito looks at four different creative quadrants (Artist, Designer, Engineer, Scientist) and how they tend to become compartmentalized. Ito notes, “I think a lot of the most interesting and impactful creative works tend to require all the use of all four quadrants. Many of the faculty at the Media Lab work in the dead center of this grid – or as I like to call it, this compass – or perhaps they lean in one direction, but they’re able to channel skills from all four quadrants.”

He goes on to add, “The tyranny of traditional disciplines and functionally segregated organizations fail to produce the type of people who can work with this creativity compass, but I believe that in a world where the rate of change increases exponentially, where disruption has become a norm instead of an anomaly, the challenge will be to think this way if we want to effectively solve the problems we face today, much less tomorrow.”

In a post entitled “Antidisciplinary,” Ito writes: “The Media Lab focuses on ‘uniqueness, impact and magic.’ What our students and faculty do should be unique. We shouldn’t be doing something that someone else is doing. If someone else starts doing it, we should stop. Everything we do should have impact. Lastly, things should induce us to be passionate and should go beyond incremental thinking.

‘Magic’ means that we take on projects that inspire us. In the Lifelong Kindergarten group, researchers often describe the ‘Four Ps of Creative Learning’ as Projects, Peers, Passion and Play. Play is extremely important for creative learning. There is a great deal of research showing that rewards and pressure can motivate people to ‘produce,’ but creative learning and thinking requires the ‘space’ that play creates. Pressure and rewards can often diminish that space, and thus, squash creative thinking.”

A true innovator, Joi Ito is changing the way we think about collaboration! We hope you join us at SIGGRAPH 2015 to discover more of his vision.


SIGGRAPH 2015 Keynote Joi Ito

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