Aruba, May 6, 2013 - “The barrier now isn’t lack of money,” Joi Ito, director of MIT’s Media Lab, says about innovation. “It’s lack of permission. Untapped capital gets unlocked when authority gets out of the way and lets people do what they would do if given potential and the context in which to do it.”

Mr. Ito’s comments, made to Fast Company’s Co. Exist in advance of his talk at a conference in New York, reflect his perceived need for cities to find and unleash young talent. He says small groups can have big impact when the opportunities present themselves.

“Scuzzy kids don’t need much space anymore, they just need a network and a place with a critical mass of energy to self-organize. Infrastructure comes later.”

He calls on governments and their mayors to step up and make change happen by reigning in bureaucrats who are too focused on the bottom line, and too close to property developers and wealthy business owners.

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