Our History

You may have known our organization by its previous names – Bootstrap Institute or Bootstrap Alliance. We changed our name to the Doug Engelbart Institute in 2008 to better reflect its founding father, the man whose seminal work this organization represents.

Doug and his daughter/partner Christina Engelbart joined forces and incorporated the Bootstrap Institute in 1988 as a California corporation to "raise a flag" on neutral ground where organizations could coalesce and collaborate around his vision. He had previously been at SRI, a research institution, and then in large commercial companies such as Tymshare Inc. and McDonnell Douglas, but found he needed the freedom to explore and engage his visionary work full time. The Bootstrap Institute actually functioned more like a non-profit organization in its quest to cultivate strategic alliances between the public and private sectors. Thus was born the collaborative Alliance Program, which in 1997 was incorporated as the Bootstrap Alliance, a non-profit organizational base for collaboration, also founded and directed by Doug Engelbart and Christina Engelbart. Their work was funded primarily through government R&D contracts, Alliance sponsors, workshops, and consulting. Soon they dropped the corporate identity of Bootstrap Institute, folding their entire operation into and operating solely as the Bootstrap Alliance. The not-for-profit Bootstrap Alliance was later renamed more fittingly to the Doug Engelbart Institute.

Three names, one continuous vision and mission.