Joichi Ito (Kyoto, 1966) is considered a major proponent and scholar of the so-called emergent democracy, or the social processes, that with the advent of social networks and the establishment of networks of groups of creative people, are reshaping the relationship between the people themselves and the major networks of cultural and traditional power (religion, language, kinship, etc.) giving rise to a new form of direct democracy and a new economy based on sharing. Joichi Ito is currently executive director of the MIT Media Lab and Chairman of the Board of Directors of Creative Commons, Vice President for International Business and Mobile Devices of Technorati, president of Six Apart Japan, and Socialtext, CEO of Neoteny, a venture capital firm based in Tokyo. Ito has been very active as an entrepreneur and has founded several companies including: the above-mentioned Neoteny, PSINet Japan, Digital Garage, Infoseek Japan. He was also among the early investors and supporters of companies that a part of the history of websites like Twitter, Six Apart, Technorati, Flickr, Socialtext, Dopplr, Last.fm, Rupture, Kongregate, Inc and etology Fotopedia. Between 2004 and 2007 he was a member of the board of ICANN. Senior Visiting Researcher at Keio SFC Innovation & Entrepreneurship Platform Consortium. Ito also plays a very active part as author and commentator for major international newspapers and magazines including: The Asian Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and Mac World Japan.
Paul Steiger (New York 1942) since January 2008 has been President and Chief Executive Officer of ProPublica, a non-profit organization based in New York that finances and produces investigative journalism in the public interest and distributes it to all the major newspapers in the USA. Since 2005 he has chaired the Committee to Protect Journalists, a non-profit organization committed to the global defence of the rights of journalists and press freedom. Steiger is also a trustee of the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation, which promotes excellence in journalism, with the goal of ensuring every community "the information necessary for the preservation of democracy." In March 1999 he was elected to the Board of the Pulitzer Prize, where he remained in office for about ten years. For 16 years he was Managing Editor of the Wall Street Journal. Under his leadership, the journalists and OKCon (6th Annual Open Knowledge Conference) reporters of this leading financial newspaper in the United States won the Pulitzer Prize 16 times. In April 2010, thanks to an investigation into the events that took place in some hospitals after Hurricane Katrina, reporters ProPublica.org, coordinated by Steiger, won the Pulitzer Prize for Investigative Journalism. A historical event for the web as it was the first time a reporter of a website received an award which had until then had been the prerogative of the senior reporters of traditional newspapers.
David Weinberger (New York, 1950) is an American writer and philosopher. The Wall Street Journal called him a "marketing guru" to emphasize the role he played in the world of business in understanding the logic of the web and how it has revolutionized traditional marketing. Weinberger is co-author with Christopher Locke, Rick Levine and Doc Searls of Cluetrain Manifesto,_a book (released in 2001) that left its mark for his thesis on the very strong impact of the Internet in the world of corporate communications. Weinberger has published three other monographs that marked many turning points in his ongoing research focused on how Internet is changing human relationships, communication and society. _Archipelago Web (2002), In Praise of Disorder. The rules of the new digital world (2010) and Too Big to Know (2010). After teaching philosophy for over fifteen years, in 1985, he started to work on marketing and business in 1994 and he founded Evident Marketing, one of the first marketing agencies to implement the principles of “one-person marketing”. He is a marketing consultant and board member in several high-tech companies. Today Weinberger is a senior researcher at the Berkman Center for Internet & Society at Harvard University and co-director of the Harvard Law Library Digital Lab. He has always been a sought after columnist who now works mainly with the Knowledge Management World and the leading Italian financial newspaper Il Sole 24 Ore.