September 17 Dinner Meeting

Boosting Collective IQ, and Implications for Software Developers

Best known as the "father of the mouse," Dr. Doug Engelbart is a true pioneer and visionary. He has spent his career developing techniques to "augment organizations", including strategies for continuous improvement, human-tool co- evolution, and interactive collaborative hypermedia computing to support the knowledge-intensive work of groups and individuals.

Software Forum's September speaker will discuss boosting collective IQ in organizations. Describing Collective IQ as a real characteristic of any collectively acting body of people, we'll review the potential for its significant improvement as provided by emergent digital technology. Tool developers will play an important role; AND, the tools must co-evolve along with the "human system" part of what enables human capability. How to facilitate large-scale organizational improvement in this IQ-boosting pursuit is the central question -- and the answer is to employ best- available collective IQ in an appropriate organizational- improvement process.

Dr. Engelbart's early work done at SRI from 1957-77 involved developing NLS, a comprehensive strategic framework for organizational augmentation, out of which the following, "pioneering firsts" emerged. He developed an integrated hypertext/groupware system called NLS, most of whose now- common features were conceived of, and in full operational use, by the mid 1970s:

Since of these firsts only the mouse was deemed patentable at the time many people know Dr. Engelbart only as "the father of the mouse."

An early prototype of NLS was demonstrated live at the 1968 Fall Joint Computer Conference (videotape footage is on display at the Smithsonian Museum Exhibit on The Information Age).

Commercial rights to NLS were purchased by Tymshare which renamed it Augment. Dr. Engelbart moved to Tymshare in 1977 and continued development of this computer assisted collaborative augmentation system as part of their Office Automation Division until Tymshare was purchased by McDonnell Douglas in 1984. He stayed until 1989 working closely with the Aerospace Components of MDC on issues of integrated information-system architectures and associated evolutionary strategies (an extension of the SRI work).

Dr. Engelbart then spent 18 months at Stanford as Director, Bootstrap Project, where he laid the groundwork for a multi- corporate Bootstrap Initiative for cooperative advanced research in Collaborative Knowledge Development, including: requirements for an open hyperdoc system (OHS), exploratory pilots in which to co-evolve associated work methods with successive OHS prototypes, and strategies for in-house deployment and continuous improvement.

This led directly to Dr. Engelbart founding of theBootstrap Institute in 1990 of which he is Director. The institute pursues the implementation of his innovative and comprehensive strategy for bootstrapping organizations into the 21st century. This work covers architectures and design requirements for integrated collaborative hypermedia information systems, best practices for effectively harnessing the technology, and special strategies for developing and deploying these capabilities.

Engelbart's life work, with his "big-picture" vision of organizational augmentation, and his persistent pioneering breakthroughs, has made a significant impact on the past, present, and future of personal, interpersonal, and organizational computing.

Come join us September 17 to hear Dr. Englebart's vision of the best strategies for organizational success in the 21st century. Make reservations online or by calling our answering machine at (650) 854-8298. (You will receive a free drink coupon if you reserve at least a day ahead.) For other events, see our calendar.

Dinners are held at the Palo Alto Elks Lodge, 4249 El Camino Real, Palo Alto (see street map).
Cocktail Hour - 6:30 PM
Dinner - 7:00 PM
Cost: $25 members, $40 non-members
For more information, contact: Barbara Cass by phone (650) 854-7219, or by e-mail.
Click here to reserve using your browser.

Software Forum
Monthly Dinner Meetings

Software Forum started the dinner meeting program in 1984 to offer members the insights of high-profile speakers. Today, the dinner meetings, held on the third Wednesday of the month, are a well-attended Silicon Valley institution. These meetings provide a remarkable opportunity to interact as a group with well-known, influential software developers and industry executives.

Speakers discuss their experiences in building software businesses, developing new technologies, and launching new products. Members benefit by establishing business contacts, alliances, and support networks. For information on speaking at a future Software Forum dinner meeting, contact our Programs chairman.

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