In July we’re going to reimagine education together with 2,500+ education leaders and practitioners at BbWorld 2014. Who better to kick off our annual conference than one of the world’s foremost visionaries on technology: Joi Ito.

Here’s a few fun facts about Joi and why we chose him:

  1. He’s director of the MIT Media Lab, which pioneered wearable computing, tangible interfaces and affective computing. Every day faculty, students and researchers are working on over 350 projects that range from digital approaches for treating neurological disorders, to a stackable, electric car for sustainable cities, to advanced imaging technologies that can “see around a corner.”
  2. He’s got a pretty good track record in eying the next big thing.  He was an early investor in Flickr, Kickstarter and Twitter.  As we all think about what education will look like in the next 10 years, he’s someone we should be listening to.
  3. He’s a vocal advocate of emergent democracy, privacy, and Internet freedom and has served as both board chair and CEO of Creative Commons.  He also sits on the board of The Mozilla Foundation – all organizations Blackboard has been long partners of and advocates for.
  4. He’s received an honorary doctorate from The New School.  This was his first degree in higher education; Joi studied at two colleges, but did not finish his degrees.  Talk about alternative credentials!
  5.  In Japan, he was a founder of Digital Garage, and helped establish and later became CEO of the country’s first commercial Internet service provider.  In 2011 and 2012, Joi was chosen by Nikkei Business as one of the 100 most influential people for the future of Japan.
  6. He’s a guild leader in World of Warcraft.  Joi wrote on his blog in 2006: “My feeling is that what we are doing in WoW represents in many ways the future of real time collaborative teams and leadership in an increasingly ad hoc, always-on, diversity intense and real-time environment.”
  7. He’s an avid scuba diver.


On July 15, 2014, we will welcome Joi Ito to the BbWorld stage.  Joi will use his exceptional practical experience to offer an unmatched bird’s-eye view of technology and talk about what’s just over the horizon.

Join us – and Joi – July 15-17 in Las Vegas!



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  • Andrew Damp – Lakeland College

    Looking forward to hearing him speak! Can’t wait!