Instead of futurists, let’s be now-ists: Joi Ito at TED2014

Yes, learnt at Urban Mill too: ”Of course, this new model is scary. Bottom-up innovation is chaotic and hard to control,” he says. But it’s a better way. It’s a way that lets you pull resources—both human and technical—when you need them rather than hoarding what you think you’ll need before you start. And we need to educate children to think along on these lines. “Education is what people do to you and learning is what you do for yourself,” says Ito. “You’re not going to be on top of mountain all by yourself with a #2 pencil … What we need to learn is how to learn.”

”Ito urges us to follow a compass rather than a map. Instead of planning out every exact points before you start, allow yourself to make the decisions you need as you go in the general direction of where you need to be.

“I don’t like the word ‘futurist,’” he says. “I think we should be now-ists. Focus on being connected, always learning, fully aware and super present.”

TED Blog

Joi Ito. Photo: Photo: James Duncan Davidson Joi Ito. Photo: Photo: James Duncan Davidson

On March 10, 2011, Joi Ito was in the MIT Media Lab, in discussions about whether he should be the next director of the mythical innovation space, when he heard that a major earthquake had hit the Pacific coast of Japan.

“My wife and family were in Japan,” he says. ”As news was coming in, I was panicking. Listening to the press conference and hearing about the explosion at the nuclear power plant, all I could think about was how our house was 200 kilometers away.”

Ito wasn’t hearing useful information on the news. ”So I got on the internet and tried to find out if I could take matters into my own hands,” he says.

There, Ito found others concerned, with bold technological ideas about how to get information out to the people about the situation in Japan. They formed a group called Safecast that created…

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