Andrew Lippman

Associate Director, MIT Media Lab
Senior Research Scientist Co-Director, Digital Life

A leading expert on viral communication and digital life.

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Andrew Lippman is one of the founders of the world-famous MIT Media Lab. With many years of work at the Media Lab under his belt, Andy is one of the world's foremost researchers on the evolution and impact of digital technology and media on business, society and everyday life. Celebrated for his expertise in viral communication, he is also on the cutting-edge of transformations in mobility, finance, and invention itself.

Andy’s work in viral communication explores how infrastructure-free, personal communications systems will transform society, the communications industry and business in general. He explores how communication is becoming embedded in our daily lives, and how social networks could be reshaped to work as fluidly as natural contact in a village.

Other projects include reinventing invention — moving beyond research on products to transform product platforms and architectures; creating mobile sensors that decode the world around us; and exploring through his Ultimate Media Program, how emerging technologies and insights into human behaviour can transform the role of visual interactions in people's and company's lives.

Andy’s highly animated, engaging presentations translate the latest trends in technology and research into clear, business-ready insights. Combining raw enthusiasm, a tremendous breadth of knowledge, and unmatched practical experience in both science and business, Andy’s tours of technological possibilities and their unexplored impact on business, lifestyle and human understanding never fail to make a lasting impact.

One of the key figures in the development of digital media, Andy helped develop the MPEG formats that play both HDTV pictures and MP3 audio. Nicholas Negroponte used to joke that Andy could generate "five patents a day”. His early work anticipated StreetView on maps and streaming TV; later, he created the Digital Life program, which under his leadership continues to create socially-driven technologies on behalf of over 30 member companies and spinoffs.

Some of the startups Andy has helped create include Echonest, which drives Spotify’s automated DJ system, Ember, which led the sensor revolution, and Beonten, which linked open markets to information systems. He is co-principal investigator of the Television of Tomorrow research program and principal investigator of the Media Bank Program. Andy is a member of the Technical Advisory board of EMC and the Nokia-Siemens Networks Customer Advisory Board as well as a PwC Exchange Fellow.


  • Associate Director, MIT Media Lab
  • Director, Digital Life Consortium
  • Director, Viral Communications Program, MIT Media Lab
  • Co-director, Communications Futures Program
  • Principal investigator, Media Bank Program
  • Co-principal investigator, Television of Tomorrow program
  • Eleven patents; developed MPEG/MP3 audio standards and HDTV video standards
  • Diamond Technology Fellow
  • Founder, Presto Technology
  • Board member, WaveExpress


Andrew tailors each presentation to the needs of his audience and is not limited to the topics we have listed below. These are subjects that have proven valuable to customers in the past and are meant only to suggest his range and interests. Please ask us about any subject that interests you; we are sure that we can accommodate you.

Riding the Digital Wave

The digital and Internet revolution is ongoing, and adapting to these constantly shifting sands is a constant challenge. A modern company needs a wider perspective than its normal interests to stay ahead. Andy brings that perspective, offering understandable, useful insights in virtually any industry.

Digital Life

We are rapidly reaching a new understanding of data, people, places, and things and the elements of innovation. Andy explores the wide-ranging effects of these changes — breaking industrial silos, giving us new media and autonomous cars, and disrupting traditional business categories.

Ultimate Media

TV and movies may be better than ever but technology and social forces are combining to wrestle them into new forms, formats, and fora. In this presentation, Andy draws on his forty years of invention and innovation in media technology to describe its future.

IT Architectures for the future

From Facebook and Wikipedia to cell phone minute trading in Africa and the Hundred Dollar Laptop, socially driven innovations from open systems that permit people to reinvent social interactions are emerging at a surprisingly rapid pace. The once sharp distinctions between open versus proprietary, centralized versus P2P, business versus customers, life versus work are now blurred. The main disruptor today is speed, agility becomes a new design point, and "inclusion" a new paradigm. In this session, MIT Media Labs leading futurist will explore the wake left behind by these and other seemingly unrelated endeavors and consider the architectures that can make them work for us.

Architectures for creative communications and community invention

Today's youth were born into a technology that is more a tool for invention than a one-shot product ("Technology is anything invented after you were born" — Alan Kay) — they reinvent our offerings at will and bypass the ones that can't be molded. Our challenge is to provide products that encourage this malleability, and to create working environments where that home-brew attitude reinvigorates an enterprise and keeps the employees engaged. Given the trend towards supercomputers in pockets that rival those of large banks and insurance companies, we have to consider both the technological and social architectures that will make them work.


ThinkAgency with Google

Re-Inventing the Way Brands are Built

Living The Future


A national financial firm:
Andy — thank you so much — you were a huge hit with everyone. I appreciate especially that you came and sat in on the other presenters and chatted with the clients.

Thanks again — love to have you do it again!

A trade show production and management firm:
I just finished the evaluation of the session for Dr. Lippman. His evaluations were EXCELLENT. Here are some of the comments.

  • Excellent speaker
  • The best speaker presentation by far!
  • Fascinating speaker, could have been longer.
  • Excellent, practical, motivating and fresh
  • This was very interesting and informative
  • Inspiring

So, I believe that we can say Dr. Lippman was a success!

A university sponsored conference:
I wanted to thank you personally for your keynote speech at our conference. Your presentation helped make the conference a big success. Your own presentation was one of the highest rated with over 60% finding your presentation excellent. Although I am not a conference professional, I have been involved in enough conferences in the past to know that the level of satisfaction from the conference attenders was superlative.

A major international brokerage and investment banking services company:
We were thrilled with Andy Lippman — his presentation was amazing and his ability to interact with our audience was exceptional. We definitely would like to have him back again.

An international broadcasters association:
In short, Andy was brilliant. He created a terrific "buzz" with his Opening Keynote Address - hitting all the right marks, challenging the audience in the right places, etc. Preliminary feedback has been uniformly excellent, with Andy garnering a 90%+ approval rating on the hand-in evaluation forms.

Thanks again for helping to make the Convention an unprecedented success.