Large-Scale Collective IQ

Dr. Douglas Engelbart invented or influenced the mouse, hypertext, multiple windows, bit-mapped screens, shared screen teleconferencing, and outline processing. But his ideas transcend technology and computer science and reach into the humanitarian. In this presentation, he tells how can we construct a collective vision as to where we are headed and where we should best be headed. The history of computing has always been marked by individuals who have been years ahead of their time. The nature of computing, its impact on society, and the acceleration of change in turn recursively accelerates change.

In 1962, Dr. Engelbart began focusing his efforts on constructing a conceptual framework that would become his seminal work, originally written in a research report prepared for the Director of Information Sciences of the U.S. Air Force Office of Scientific Research. In this work, Dr. Engelbart describes the groundwork for such concepts as augmenting human intellect, improvement infrastructure, co-evolution of artifacts with social-cultural language-practices, and bootstrapping. The motivations for this framework were (and continue to be) the idea that both complexity and urgency are increasing exponentially and that the combination of both complexity and urgency will soon challenge our public and private organizations. Thus, organizations must actively work against the pressures of complexity and urgency to become increasingly faster and smarter at their core missions, and as such, organizations will need to become faster and smarter at how organizations continue to improve.

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