John Werner

Chief Innovation Officer

Innovation is the disciplined creation of new knowledge.  At MIT, we believe that innovation occurs more frequently when individuals from diverse disciplines connect in new ways to help create the future.  John Werner is responsible for organizing the creative forces of the Connection Science Community towards strengthening our innovation-centric culture to produce great research. He acts as the central hub of our global network of collaborators in academia, industry and, government.  John represents MIT and Connection Science on the world stage towards advancing MIT’s mission of bringing knowledge to bear on the world’s greatest problems.

John Werner has made a career of bringing ideas, networks and people together to generate powerful results.  He is the CEO and co-creator of the world famous Imagination in Action global forum and, with Professor Sandy Pentland launched Blockchain+AI+Human at MIT and the World Economic Forum at Davos.  John also is the founder of TEDxBeaconStreet, (talks accumulated 250+ million views).  In 2024, He was named one of the top 50 technology power players in New England by the Boston Globe.

John additionally serves as Managing Director at Link Ventures. He was a VP at Meta, a Y-Combinator augmented reality startup based in Silicon Valley. Prior, he was the Head of Innovation and New Ventures at the MIT Media Lab's Camera Culture Group and, served as a Managing Director of Emerging Worlds SIG where he helped lead the launch of collaborative innovation centers in India. John is the Founder of ARIA, a community focused on the potential of AR.  John was a co-founder of Citizen Schools; advisor for PhotoButler and VestigoVentures; passionate photographer; and an accomplished triathlete and organized the Boston Light 10 mile Swim. He was a Loeb Fellow at Harvard.