About

The Director’s Fellows Program aligns with the MIT Media Lab’s mission to create a better future for all, addressing pressing issues through the lens of civic engagement, social change, education, and creative disruption.

– Joi Ito, Media Lab Director

Founded by Joi Ito in 2013, the Director’s Fellow program connects a global community of charismatic and visionary leaders to the antidisciplinary research culture of the MIT Media Lab. Through curated collaborations, the program aims to expand the perspectives of our academic community, while strengthening the fellows’ capacity to serve, lead, and act as ambassadors of the Media Lab’s mission, addressing pressing issues through the lens of civic engagement, social change, education, and creative disruption.

A director’s fellow is offered a two-year honorary affiliation with the MIT Media Lab, and the opportunity to meet and connect with the Media Lab network both on and offsite to blur the lines between academia and the world.

Director’s fellows embody the Media Lab’s signature characteristics of uniqueness, magic, and impact.

who

Activists, artists, explorers, pioneers, policymakers, designers, educators, scientists, musicians, choreographers, justice seekers, visionaries, environmentalists, athletes, astrophysicists, makers, writers, filmmakers, magicians, futurists, comedians, hackers, philosophers, playwrights, journalists, storytellers, entrepreneurs, astronauts, data scientists, chefs, alchemists, technologists.

what

The program’s vision is to expand the diversity, reach, and impact of the Media Lab’s community through hybrid pop-up engagements around the world, promoting a deeper cultural exchange in the context of the Lab’s ongoing focus on technology, innovation, and creation.

why

The Director’s Fellows program aligns with the MIT Media Lab’s mission to create a better future for all, addressing pressing issues through the lens of civic engagement, social change, education, and creative disruption.

who

Activists, artists, explorers, pioneers, policymakers, designers, educators, scientists, musicians, choreographers, justice seekers, visionaries, environmentalists, athletes, astrophysicists, makers, writers, filmmakers, magicians, futurists, comedians, hackers, philosophers, playwrights, journalists, storytellers, entrepreneurs, astronauts, data scientists, chefs, alchemists, technologists.

what

The program’s vision is to expand the diversity, reach, and impact of the Media Lab’s community through hybrid pop-up engagements around the world, promoting a deeper cultural exchange in the context of the Lab’s ongoing focus on technology, innovation, and creation.

why

The Director’s Fellows program aligns with the MIT Media Lab’s mission to create a better future for all, addressing pressing issues through the lens of civic engagement, social change, education, and creative disruption.

2012

The Media Lab, Knight Foundation, and IDEO host an innovation workshop in Detroit, which plants the seed for the creation of a collaborative fellowship program at the Media Lab.

2015

Mexico City Workshop: Ciudad Prototipo. Our future is undeniably urban. More than half of humanity is currently living in cities; by 2050, that number will rise to include 70% of the world's population. It's time for us to collectively, creatively pursue the question: what are cities for?

2018

Media Lab researchers, university students from across Europe, and corporate collaborators engage in a dialogue between machines, design, and humans. What are the signals that connect us? How do we make sense of the noise?

2013

The Director's Fellows program welcomes its first cohort of leaders and catalysts of change.

2016

Members of the Media Lab community embark on an one-of-a-kind opportunity: a deep-ocean exploration off the coast of Southern California, on board of the Nautilus E/V (and its on-board partner explorers Hercules and Argus). Together with the students and research affiliates, three projects were brought on board for deployment.

Announcing our newest cohort

NBA star, Polynesian voyager, Stockton mayor among the new cohort working to build bridges between MIT and the world.

Meet the fellows

 

 

2014

The Media Lab goes to Kenya to explore the deployment of students projects in collaboration with iHub and Ranger.

2017

Students travel to Napa Valley and learn about the process of making some of today's most exclusive red wines under the guidance of director's fellow Allison Tauziet.

2019

Launched by Alaa Murabit and the Omnis Institute, the Emerging Women Leaders Lab brings together some of the most influential Next Gen Leaders from minority and marginalized groups around the globe, for a tailor-made skills accelerator Lab that builds their personal and organizational capacity to support scaling their work, impact and social change.

2012

The Media Lab, Knight Foundation, and IDEO host an innovation workshop in Detroit, which plants the seed for the creation of a collaborative fellowship program at the Media Lab.

2013

The Director’s Fellows program welcomes its first cohort of leaders and catalysts of change.

2014

The Media Lab goes to Kenya to explore the deployment of students projects in collaboration with iHub and Ranger.

2015

Mexico City Workshop: Ciudad Prototipo. Our future is undeniably urban. More than half of humanity is currently living in cities; by 2050, that number will rise to include 70% of the world’s population. It’s time for us to collectively, creatively pursue the question: what are cities for?

2016

Members of the Media Lab community embark on an one-of-a-kind opportunity: a deep-ocean exploration off the coast of Southern California, on board of the Nautilus E/V (and its on-board partner explorers Hercules and Argus). Together with the students and research affiliates, three projects were brought on board for deployment.

2017

Students travel to Napa Valley and learn about the process of making some of today’s most exclusive red wines under the guidance of director’s fellow Allison Tauziet.

2018

Media Lab researchers, university students from across Europe, and corporate collaborators engage in a dialogue between machines, design, and humans. What are the signals that connect us? How do we make sense of the noise?

2019

Launched by Alaa Murabit and the Omnis Institute, the Emerging Women Leaders Lab brings together some of the most influential Next Gen Leaders from minority and marginalized groups around the globe, for a tailor-made skills accelerator Lab that builds their personal and organizational capacity to support scaling their work, impact and social change.

Announcing the 2019 Cohort

NBA star, Polynesian voyager, Stockton mayor among the new cohort working to build bridges between MIT and the world.

Meet the fellows

Jaylen Brown

Jaylen Brown

Nonabah Lane

Nonabah Lane

Jan Fuller

Jan Fuller

Kate McCall-Kiley

Kate McCall-Kiley

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

Kathy Jetñil-Kijiner

Ayana E. Johnson

Ayana E. Johnson

Rodney Mullen

Rodney Mullen

Lehua Kamalu

Lehua Kamalu

Elizabeth Pettit

Elizabeth Pettit

AiLun Ku

AiLun Ku

Michael Tubbs

Michael Tubbs

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