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[ba-unrev-talk] Bootstrap Alliance Update

The Bootstrap Alliance was started by Doug and is centered around Doug Engelbart's core ideas. The Alliance is committed to implementing his vision  in the way he wants to see it implemented.    (01)

There are many on the OHS and Unrev list who are implementing Doug's vision the way they believe it is most effective and most likely to succeed. Within Bootstrap Alliance, Doug's way, no matter how difficult it might appear to be, is the way we are committed to take.    (02)

We are discovering that the difficulty which Doug will not back off from, is that to get human-centric technology, we have to start with purposeful communities who are willing to tackle certain kinds of hard problems. What will it take to improve capability and what kinds of frameworks need to be put in place in order to evolve to the point where certain "too hard" problems become addressable. Finding these communities with the leadership that has the vision to do this has been the first task of the Bootstrap Alliance.     (03)

>From time to time, others have approached Doug to get his support for what they are already doing, and are disappointed to hear that he is still occupied with what he is already doing. At 78, he has not stopped a single bit to relax. By sheer force of will, and enormous personal courage and integrity, he is still concentrating, undistracted on the 52 year quest he has been embarked upon, which he recently described as follows:    (04)

"At 26, I set my lifetime goal.  As much as possible, to boost humankind's collective capability for coping with complex urgent problems. In continous, dedicated pusuit for over 50 years, I have found it matters."    (05)

At the Bootstrap Alliance, we are doing what we can to ensure that more of the vision of Engelbart is explicated and that he can have the dialogue that he wants to have, about the things that matter to him.     (06)

With that said, here (repeated from earlier ba-unrev message subject "SitRep") is the Bootstrap Alliance game plan for Planned Facilitated Evolution to boost collective capability for coping with complex urgent problems.    (07)

1. Engagement: Create long term partnerships with Improvement Communities.     (08)

2. Collaboration: Work with private and public funding organizations to augment human capabilities for community improvement
3. Enabling Environment: 3 components
a. Develop Frameowork of Open Source Tools
b. Training and Application Support to introduce new tools
c. Facilitate development of standards and governance for evolving communities and tools
4. Knowledge Building: Create Dynamic Knowledge Repositories (DKR's) allowing communities to CoDIAK _ Concurrently Develop, Integrate and Apply Knowledge
5. Convene: 2 components
a. Create Workspace for communities that facilitate the creation of DKR's
b. Evolve workspaces so they enhance communities' capability to improve    (09)

Status:    (010)

1. Underway. Bootstrap Alliance is affiliated and actively working with the following organizations identified as improvement communities or proto-improvement communities:
a. American Technology Alliances www.amtech_usa.org
b. Software Productivity Consortium www.software.org
c. Bootstrap Alliance's core technical partner is Dorai Thodla founder of www.imorph.com
d. Acrossworlds - a World Bank partner www.acrossworld.com    (011)

AmTech and Software.org are active on the Bootstrap Alliance Core Planning Committee. We meet weekly and have done so for the past 12-18 months.    (012)

Dorai Thodla has been meeting regularly over the past 12 months with Doug to document the technical specification of the Hyperscope. This has been reviewed with the Board of Bootstrap Alliance in the past couple of months.    (013)

Acrossworlds is working with us to engage with K4D - Knowledge for Development - the World Bank initiative to become a bank for developing Knowledge assets.    (014)

Bootstrap Alliance has other affiliates who are also working with us. Most recently we have start to engage with CPSquare, the Community of Practice of Communities of Practice www.cpsquare.com   They are particularly interesting to Bootstrap Alliance because they are the closest to a true
Improvement Community for "improving community capability" that we have identified to date.    (015)

2. Seed funding for Hyperscope prototype is in the process of being secured. Currently in full court press search for funding for the next components of the Framework of Open Source Tools for improving Collective Capability.    (016)

3. The Framework of Open Source (OHS) Tools is defined as follows:    (017)

I. Link to Legacy systems using familiar tools through DKR of open standard knowledge containers (XML-based) allowing people to freely navigate and integrate knowledge. Initially these knowledge containers in their first incarnation, are the things Doug has referred to as I-files or Intermediate files.    (018)

II. Database of Links to existing documents and source data so people can construct knowledge models (eg logical argument models extending well beyond existing contructs like today's spreadsheet and decision models). The knowledge models are conceived as building upon DKR's and able to be presented 
in views that are intended to be customizable and intended to be evolvable  in ways that increasingly enhance both collective and personal understanding.    (019)

III. Basic open architecture and application support that enables smooth transition to large-scale evolution of collective knowledge structures and system functionality.    (020)

Status on the Framework of Open Source Tools for improving collective capability.    (021)

I. use cases being developed. Idea is to bootstrap: We are working to define a sequence of initial cases that provide enough value to the user community that they convince community or funder or both, to fund next set of applications which enable the next series of use cases.    (022)

II. Link Data base is turning out to be one of the most significantly new concepts that makes possible the whole idea of Link to Legacy data and knowledge. Doug's conception of Link types, Link Expressions and programmable links truly gives the promise of evolving ways to both build on legacy and to "stand on the shoulders of giants" in terms of building on others knowledge structures.    (023)

III. We have a way to go on this....    (024)

So that's where we are in early June 2003.    (025)

Feel free to contact me personally if you are seriously interested in helping Doug on his terms, at this pivotal time.    (026)

I am located in Palo Alto. However, I will be in Boston from 6/5-6/8 this month if Boston unrevver's would like to get together to hear an "in person" update. Friday lunch time around MIT is a good possibility.    (027)

if Bay Area "unrevvers" would like to get together, let me know and I'll work to schedule something in mid June.    (028)

Mei Lin    (029)