Our Initiatives 0

Pursuing our vision and mission, as summarized in What We Do, the Doug Engelbart Institute works along three main vectors:

Screenshot from Doug's 1968 demo
1. Preserving Historic Legacy Preserving and making broadly access­ible the con­sid­er­able repos­i­tory from Doug Engel­bart's 50 year career; show­casing the gems; telling the story
  • Engelbart Archive Initia­tive
  • Facilitate telling the story through ex­hi­bits, pre­sen­ta­tions; doc­u­mentaries
  • Promote Engelbart Schol­ar­ship
  • Software Preser­va­tion
  • Network with Digital Archive Community
Screenshot of Doug pointing into future
2. Advancing Doug's Forward Vision To inform and inspire next-generation pursuit of Doug's com­pelling strate­gic vision, unfin­ished rev­o­lu­tion, Call to Action, in his own words
  • Clarify his message to the future
  • Pull from #1 key Talks, Interviews, Seminars, Writings his strategic forward vision
  • Offer the "Engelbart Academy"
  • Promote Engelbart Vision, Paradigm, Strategy
Screenshot from Doug's 1968 demo
3. Putting Vision to Practice Learning what it takes to evolve more brilliant orga­ni­za­tions, and a brilliant world. A venue for prac­ti­tion­ers, devel­op­ers, collab­o­rators
  • Toolkits and Case Studies
  • Foster expe­di­tions and net­worked improve­ment ini­tia­tives
  • Foster enabling tech­nol­ogy and techniques thru joint explo­ration
  • Launch the Engelbart Challenge

1. Preserving Historic Legacy 1

Preserving and making broadly accessible the considerable collection of artifacts from Doug Engelbart's work spanning a 50 year career. 1a

  • Active The Engelbart Archives Initiative
    Photo of computer supported meeting 1967 How do we create a window into the repository of text, video, audio, slides, etc. for posterity worldwide? An ongoing collaboration to gather, sift through, catalog, index, digitize, upload, tag, and describe archival documents, video footage, photos, and digital files for preservation and broad-based accessibility; and to create meaningful exhibits from selected results - coalesced in The Engelbart Archive. Cornerstone project is our digital exhibits in the Epic Firsts Gallery, which links to detail showcasing gems from the archive such as the first mouse, the demo, his study on augmenting human intellect, his revolutionary design strategy. Currently working with 2,000+ digitized photos, 150+ digitized video tapes, plus dozens of digitized papers. This work complements the existing collections at Computer History Museum and Stanford University Libraries Special Collections. See our coverage Special Collections by Institution for more, including links into the extensive online resources already available. 1a1

  • Paused Software Preservation Project
    How do we create a window into the running software that was the tangible product of Doug's lab and basis for the 1968 and 1969 demos? The NLS/Augment software developed in Doug's lab was designed to facilitate Augmenting the Human Intellect to better address complex, urgent problems collectively. The end system represents decades of co-evolution through rigorous usage by his research team at SRI International as well as by over one hundred customer organizations. This project seeks to maintain a working copy of Augment, which runs on a TOPS-20 operating system emulator running on a Linux-based server, along with several versions of the client software used to access Augment via the internet. This requires securing a suitable operating environment, a network of qualified people to maintain the software, and to support end users exploring the Augment environment. 1a2

2. Advancing Doug's Vision 2

To inform next-generation pursuit of Doug's compelling Call to Action and strategic vision in Doug's own words, through compilations of recorded lectures, interviews, and meetings, as well as compilations of selected Engelbart texts. 2a

  • Active Doug's Strategic Vision Project
    Screenshot of Doug pointing into future How best to put forward his message for the future, call to action, strategic principles, and promising implementation strategies? This project makes more accessible Doug's Driving Vision, through key texts and videos made available free of charge in the All-NEW Engelbart Academy, as framed in his Paradigm Map, and highlighted in our NEW Key Concepts Glossary. This initiative relies largely on indexing, tagging, gleaning and highlighting key works from the Engelbart Archive Collection that illuminate his still prescient message for the future. For example: developing an enhanced video browsing tool and re-rendering video in higher quality for the all-new Engelbart Academy; currently indexing in detail the videos of his comprehensive 10-week Colloquium at Stanford from Spring 2000. Building on previous management seminars, we filmed high quality capture of Doug Engelbart, Jeff Rulifson and Christina Engelbart in discussion during August 2008 at the Stanford Video studio; editing is next – see the Bootstrap Dialogs Projects page for more detail. 2a1

  • Paused The New Demo Project
    Screenshot from Augment demo Bringing forward the underlying framework for information technology to facilitate dramatically increasing collective IQ, innovation, and collaboration. An extension of the Software Preservation Project above, this project will be capturing the full intent, functionality, and unique capabilities of the still working prototypes Hyperscope and Augment in screencast demo format. See our Demos page for existing demos. 2a2

3. Putting Vision to Practice 3

To create a venue where we can collectively inspire and learn to put Doug's Big Idea to practice, advancing our collective knowledge about what it takes to create brilliant organizations and a brilliant world. A venue for practitioners, developers, researchers, and end-user organizations to inquire, convene, connect, collaborate, implement, and succeed. 3a

  • Active Bootstrapping Brilliance
    How do we implement these powerful transformative strategies in our own organizations and networks? This project distills an award-winning life's work into five actionable organizing principles you can put to work in your teams, initiatives, and organizations, develops resources for practitioners such as tool kits, case examples, and workshopsIcon for Bootstrapping Innovation and Collective IQ. See Your Bootstrapping Brilliance Toolkit for details. Offering coaching and consulting, with opportunities to take it to the next level joining with others on the frontier (as follows). 3a1

  • Expeditions and NICs
    How do we best exploit these strategies? Learn by doing in hands-on pilot projects or expeditions - especially in networked improvement initiatives, or NICs. Working with selected networked initiatives, and writing up case studies. See our Networked Community Showcase and University Showcase for examples, and Bootstrapping Brilliance (above) and the Engelbart Challenge (below) for how to get started. Working toward facilitating an alliance network of select NICs to share learnings, strategies, best practices, and mutually beneficial pilot projects. 3a2

  • Specialty NICs
    How do we better "leverage group smarts" - a key organizing principle for yielding more brilliant outcomes? Initiatives whose mission is to advance the Collective IQ capability for their end users can garner extra bootstrapping leverage by using their own work product to raise their own Collective IQ in the bargain. Exploring and piloting best practices, best of breed enabling technologies, fleshing out end user requirements, iterative deployment strategies, etc. Anticipating the emergence of such initiatives forming one or more specialty networked improvement communities (NICs). 3a3

    • Dynamic Knowledge Initiative
      How do we more effectively tap the human potential for working smarter and faster on important problems collectively? This collaborative initiative explores more effective technologies and best practices for cultivating dynamic knowledge ecosystems that enable teams and communities to readily increase their collective insights and net effectiveness, or Collective IQ. Special attention given to knowledge work processes and to the ease of capture and utility of the group's emerging dynamic knowledge repository (DKR). Which emerging technologies can be harnessed to enable more substantive engagement, and faster/smarter advancement of shared objectives? Participants 'walk their talk' by using their collective top picks as part of the dynamic knowledge ecosystem they are prototyping to support their collaboration. Another early 'customer' of emerging results and findings are Expeditions and NICs (above). See also the organizational component to the Engelbart Challenge (described below). 3a3a

    • Launching Enabling Technology Initiative
      How do we inspire the development of tools that facilitate the rapid evolution of Collective IQ in teams, initiatives, and organizations? Building on decades of pioneering R&D and deployment of early prototypes, Doug Engelbart developed a list of baseline requirements for the technology organizations will need to keep increasing their Collective IQ and innovation capacity, most of which are largely unmet in today's information technology. What else has been missed in the prevailaing IT paradigm that would be beneficial or crucial moving forward? See About an Open Hyperdocument System (OHS) for more on the baseline technology framework. This project seeks to foster greater awareness and understanding among developers and end-users alike, and to facilitate collaborative implementations of pilotable working prototypes, with a special focus on our flagship HyperScope prototype that most closely exemplifies the OHS framework. See our Technology Showcase for examples. Early 'customers' of emerging results and findings would include the above Expeditions and NICs, and The Dynamic Knowledge Initiative. See also the technical component to the Engelbart Challenge (described below). 3a3b

  • Pending The Engelbart Challenge - Creating a Brilliant World
    How do we inspire people, organizations, and nations to advance this frontier? A call for organizations to be actively advancing their Collective IQ, to boost their capability to collectively think and act, innovate and transform more effectively than previously thought possible. How do we do that? What raises or lowers Collective IQ? Where do we start? How do we measure progress? What outcomes are we aiming for? Takes the above initiatives to the next level. To include Awards and Special Recognition for Mini Challenge projects and Grand Challenge contenders. For public and private sectors, organizations, institutions, networked initiatives, practitioners, developers, students and their professors. See case examples in Your Bootstrapping Brilliance Toolkit and our Networked Community Showcase. Learn more at the The Engelbart Challenge. 3a4

  • Paused Engelbart Scholars Program
    Photo Christina with our 2015 Scholars How do we engage the collective intelligence of the educational community, and support next-generation scholars, thought leaders, researchers and practitioners? Working with professors, students, and learning institutions and networks to inspire, provide academic resources, create opportunities to participate, and form collaborations such as with Virginia Commonwealth University's new cMOOC and Engelbart Scholar Award program, and internship opportunities. See also our Student Showcase for featured student projects, our University Showcase links to college course(s) that study and/or implement Doug Engelbart's work, as well as our Just for Kids page. See also the student and research component to the forthcoming Engelbart Challenge (above). 3a5

About Our Projects 4

Projects of the Doug Engelbart Institute are aimed at facilitating the advancement of Collective IQ the collective ability of organizations and societies to effectively address complex, urgent challenges. 4a

It is our greatest hope that, as the challenges in our world grow exponentially more complex and urgent, our Collective IQ capability can be advanced at a surpassing rate, and be applied to meet the ever pressing challenges in our communities, organizations, nations, and planet. 4b

Framing the Question 4c

It bears special note that the strategic approach we advocate originally served as the catalyst for the prolifery of breakthrough innovations that came pouring out of Doug's lab in the 1960s and '70s, probably more breakthroughs than any other lab in the history of computing before or since. He designed it into his lab. He began with the question (paraphrased) "How can we dramatically improve how we work together to solve important problems?" which led directly to the more challenging question "How can we accelerate this innovation so we can solve more problems sooner and more effectively?". We invite you to approach our projects (and yours) along the same lines: 4c1

  • How do you foster and accelerate innovation within and across organizations?
  • How do you network the stakeholders?
  • How do you capture, catalyze and organize the collective brainpower to optimize innovation?
  • What kinds of tools and practices would help raise your collective effectiveness?
  • How do you keep innovating the above, actively increasing your network's effectiveness, leveraging the collective IQ?
  • What if you could tap in to an innovation network that was focused on innovating innovation networks?

Past Initiatives 6

  Doug Engelbart at the 2006 HyperScope release party - photo by Peter Kaminski
HyperScope release party 2006
[Photo courtesy Peter Kaminski]

Events 6a

  • Historic Events - key events featuring Doug Engelbart and/or his seminal work, from his 1968 "Mother of All Demos", to the 2018 50th anniversary celebration of same. Also we produced several series of management seminars and workshops. 6a1

  • The Demo turns 50 - Our most recent celebration of Doug Engelbart's legendary 1968 demo - 2018 marked the 50th anniversary with a suite of events across three continents, covering past, present, and future. 6a2

Research & Development 6b

Bootstrap Alliance 6c

  Doug & Jeff presenting
  snapshot of the promotional packet
  • Bootstrap Alliance (1998) - led by Doug Engelbart, Jeff Rulifson, and Christina Engelbart.
    "The Bootstrap Alliance is conceived as a broad-based cooperative dedicated to the improvement of individual, team, and organizational performance in collaborative settings. Participants in the Alliance will find a forum to test new concepts and learn with and from peers and leading innovators who span across industry, government, academic, and public interest sectors."

    Watch Doug and Jeff present the emergent Boostrap Alliance initiative at the Engelbart Academy (scroll to #3).

    Browse the Bootstrap Alliance promotional packet: brochure, key documents, selected press.

    Resources: Website | About | Activities | Documents | Organization | Meeting Records. 6c1

  • Bootstrap Alliance (1991) - a collaborative initiative led by Doug Engelbart and Christina Engelbart, the Bootstrap Institute, to jointly: 6c2

    • explore and define new, more powerful paradigms for knowledge work, and for organizational improvement;
    • develop OHS prototypes suitable for supporting exploration within a multitude of application domains;
    • launch advanced exploratory pilots in which to accelerate the co-evolution of OHS tools and best practices;
    • share results, including requirements, deployment strategies, lessons learned, handbooks, and research data;
    • work closely with the vendor/supplier community to commercialize results.