Statement about MIT Technology Review and the MIT Media Lab

Recent news about the connections between Jeffrey Epstein and the MIT Media Lab, and the subsequent resignation of the Lab’s director, Joichi Ito, has resulted in a number of enquiries about our relationship with the Lab and Mr. Ito, who was also on the board of MIT Technology Review. This statement lays out the details of the relationship.

Who we are and how we are funded

MIT Technology Review is a 501(c)(3), not-for-profit media company, wholly owned by MIT but editorially independent from it. Most of the members of our board of directors, including its chair, are senior officers of MIT. Our board provides financial oversight and corporate governance, and also offers strategic advice to the company's chief executive and senior staff. Its members have no financial relationship with the publication.

Mr. Ito was a member of our board from March 2015 until Saturday, September 7, 2019.

In addition to its revenues as a media business, MIT Technology Review receives investment support from MIT’s general budget. We do not receive funding from the MIT Media Lab. Therefore, none of our funding comes from money donated or channeled to the Media Lab by Jeffrey Epstein. We also received no money from Mr. Ito or any of his personal investment funds.

Our use of MIT Media Lab space

The MIT Media Lab building, located at building E14/E15 on the MIT campus, houses lab space, classrooms, and offices. It also contains one of the very few auditoriums on the campus able to host a large event.

For the past several years, we at MIT Technology Review have hosted many of our large conferences in the sixth-floor event space in the Media Lab. The use of this space is arranged through a barter-type agreement, whereby we allow a small number of corporate members of the Lab to attend our events at no charge or at a discounted rate. According to our records, Epstein never attended any of our events.

Occasionally, we host private events in the Media Lab. In those cases, we pay the Lab a rental fee for the use of their space.

Our collaborations with MIT Media Lab students, faculty, and staff

From time to time, we have collaborated with Media Lab staff to jointly develop conference programs for the benefit of our audiences. The most ambitious of these collaborations occurred when we worked with the team at the Media Lab’s Digital Currency Initiative to develop our Business of Blockchain event series. This event series launched in April 2017 and ended in May 2019. No financial exchange occurred; this was a collaboration of ideas.

Final thoughts

We join with our friends and colleagues across MIT in supporting the students, faculty, and staff of the Media Lab as they work through the recent news surrounding the Lab and Epstein.

More information about how MIT is handling the discovery and transition can be found here.

September 10, 2019