Our Initiatives 0

Our vision and mission are pursued along three vectors, or main pursuits:

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; telling the story through exhibits
  • Engelbart Archive Initiative
  • Software Preservation
  • Network with Digital Archive Community
  • Promote Engelbart Scholarship
Screenshot of Doug pointing into future
2. Advancing Doug's Big Idea To inform next-generation pursuit of Doug's compelling strategic vision, unfinished revolution, Call to Action, in Doug's own words
  • Clarify Doug's message
  • Pull forward from #1, key Talks, Interviews, Demos, Writings
  • Offer "Engelbart Academy"
  • Promote Engelbart Vision
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 and collaborators
  • Toolkits and Case Studies
  • Foster expeditions and networked improvement initiatives
  • Foster enabling technology for joint exploration
  • Promote 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.

  • 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. 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. 1a

  • 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. 1a

2. Advancing Doug's Vision 2

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

  • Doug's Strategic Vision Project
    Screenshot of Doug pointing into future How do we get our hands around the vision, call to action, 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 Engelbart Academy, plus our NEW Key Concepts Glossary, as framed in his Bootstrap "Paradigm Map". 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. 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. 3b

  • Pending 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. 3f

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, and advance 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, and implement.

  • Bootstrapping Brilliance
    Icon for Bootstrapping Innovation and Collective IQ How do we implement Doug's strategies in our own organizations and networks? This project distills Doug's Bootstrap "Paradigm Map" into five actionable organizing principles you can embed in your team, organization or network, develops resources for practitioners such as tool kits, workshops, and a forum for collaboration, and collaborates on case examples of organizations already practicing part or all of the organizing principles. See Bootstrapping Brilliance for details. 3a

  • Pending Expeditions and NICs
    How do we get started? Learn by doing in real-world hands-on experimental pilot projects. Working with selected pilot project groups, and writing up case studies. See our Community Showcase and University Showcase for examples . See also the Engelbart Challenge. 3e

  • Pending The 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 IQ. Special attention given to knowledge processes and to the ease of capture and utility of the group's emerging dynamic knowledge repository (DKR). Which emerging technologies can be cobbled together 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. See also the organizational component to the Engelbart Challenge. 3b

  • Enabling Technology Initiative
    How do we inspire the development of tools that facilitate the rapid evolution of Collective IQ? Based on decades of pioneering R&D and deployment of early prototypes, Doug 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. See About an Open Hyperdocument System (OHS) for more on the technology framework Doug called for. This project seeks to foster greater awareness and understanding among developers and end-users alike, and to facilitate collaborative implementations. See our Technology Showcase for examples. See also the technical component to the Engelbart Challenge. 3c

  • 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 Engelbart Challenge. 3d

  • Pending The Engelbart Grand Challenge - Creating a Brilliant World
    How do we inspire people and organizations to advance this frontier? We are preparing to issue an official call for organizations to begin doubling their Collective IQ. How do we do that? What raises or lowers Collective IQ? Where do we start? How do we measure progress? To include Awards and Special Recognition for Mini Challenge projects and Grand Challenge contenders. For executives, practitioners, tech developers, students and their professors. See case example How these rural initiatives in Uganda are already meeting the Engelbart Challenge, with more inspiration at Bootstrapping Brilliance and Community Showcase. Learn more at The Engelbart Challenge. 3g

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.

It is our greatest hope that, as the problems 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

  • Engelbart Academy - Doug's message to the future conveyed through past lectures, interviews, and management seminars, collected into this open resource on our website. 6a2

Research & Development 6b

Bootstrap Alliance 6c

  • Bootstrap Alliance (1998) - led by Doug Engelbart and Jeff Rulifson.
    "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).

    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.