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Facilitating the Evolution of our Collective IQ


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Doug Engelbart's Keynote Address at the Conference on Accelerating Change 2004 at Stanford University, Nov 2004


ABSTRACT: 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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Facilitating the Evolution of our Collective IQ

  1. 1. Facilitating the Evolution of our Collective IQ Strategically improving our capability for coping with complex, urgent, large-scale problems. Douglas C. Engelbart Accelerating-Change Conference Stanford University, 7-Nov-04
  2. 2. Life-Changing Epiphany Let me design a professional goal which will maximize the contribution my career can make to mankind! Just-engaged, 25-yr-old Country Kid, full of excited thoughts about building a family: “Hey, but there’s also that professional career. Some big plans there, too?” (Over-does it!)
  3. 3. Weeks Later: Naïve Country Kid’s Lifetime Goal Emerged, and Stuck! “As much as possible, to boost mankind’s collective capability for coping with complex, urgent problems” Continuous, dedicated pursuit now for over 50 years.
  4. 4. Consider a community’s Collective IQ as its relative capability for dealing with complex, urgent problems • To understand them as thoroughly as possible • To unearth the best candidate solutions • To assess resources and operational capabilities and select appropriate solution commitments • To understand how best to organize and execute selected approaches • To monitor progress and adapt effectively to unforeseen complications. Etc. …
  5. 5. Collective IQ: Emerged As Primary Strategic Focus Dynamic Knowledge Repository COncurrently Developing, Integrating, & Applying Knowledge CODIAK Capability
  6. 6. “Capabilities” become a key, central consideration … and we find very important things to observe about our capabilities: Consider how they are derived; And how they form an “infrastructure” that opens an important perspective to our quest for significantly boosting our “Collective IQ”!
  7. 7. Capability Infrastructure Humans’ Capabilities Depend Upon Skills Knowledge Training Basic Human Capabilities Sensory Perceptual Motor Mental (This interface is much more significant than “HCI”) Tool System Media Portrayal Views Study Manipulations Retrieve Compute Communicate Human System Paradigms Organization Procedures Customs Methods Language Attitudes their Augmentation System
  8. 8. Purposefully pursuing accelerated evolution of mankind’s knowledge development and application capabilities is a HUGE CHALLENGE, and requires very effective strategies in applying our resources. This Augmentation Model is valid over huge scale! Individual Human Community Of Practice A Complete Country The World Operative IQ Collective IQ Collective IQ Collective IQ
  9. 9. Concurrency:Concurrency: Scaling Up --Scaling Up -- actually, to, to global scopeglobal scope.. AggregateAggregate DKRDKR IntelligenceIntelligence CollectionCollection RecordedRecorded DialogDialog DKRDKRIntell.Intell.DialogDialog Critical Factor: “Concurrent” Evolution of Society’s DKRs
  10. 10. Large-Scale Facilitated Evolution • No one can specify the design for our future capability infrastructure – Far too many of the possible “improvement steps” will change the design environment for other improvement candidates. • Have to depend upon an Evolutionary Process! • BUT, we CAN learn to FACILITATE this evolutionary process!
  11. 11. Anticipate-able Today The World’s Organizations in Human-Tool Space Representative distribution of world’s societies Tool System Utilization HumanSystemDevelopment
  12. 12. “Co-Evolution Frontier” Human-Systems and Tool Systems Interactively Co-Evolving • Technology's quantum leaps generate accelerating rate of opportunities. • But, human paradigms already lag behind opportunities. • The scale of technology change = > • Paradigm changes have to be accelerated – Human skills, culture, governance already severely stressed Critically needed: Effective Facilitation of our Co-Evolution.
  13. 13. Emergent Co-Evolution Frontier On a scale we can barely anticipate Outposts? Best Routes? Where best should your organization head? ….By what route? Who else is out there?  We need a DKR that provides the best possible understanding of the current and projected states of this frontier.  Every member organization can then make its own choices about its movements into this frontier. Uncharted, and Changing Tool System Utilization HumanSystemDevelopment
  14. 14. Networked Improvement Community (NIC) Dynamic Knowledge Repository Recorded Dialog Networked Improvement Community (NIC) An Augmented Improvement Community, Using best-practice Collective-IQ Capability To improve its common-choice group capability. Org 2 Org N Org 1 • Investigate & collect intelligence • Share experience of using leading-edge, collective-IQ practices. • Objective: provide best understanding of the “Co-Evolution Frontier” for augmenting this capability. Knowledge Products Intelligence Collections
  15. 15. Large-Scale Facilitated Evolution Common Goal: Continuous Improvement of Large-Scale Collective Capabilities. • Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) defined around specific areas of interest • Prime Goal: Improve Collective IQ of NICs! • Organize NICs into a large-scale Improvement Infrastructure – for facilitating the Concurrent Evolution – of the associated Augmentation Systems.
  16. 16. Central Strategy: Bootstrapping The better we get at getting better, the better and faster we’ll get better. 1. Currently available information about Collective IQ 2. Best DKR/knowledge about improving Collective IQ The Bootstrap Feedback Loop 3 3. NIC immediately utilizing the best Collective IQ improvement knowledge NIC for Improving Collective IQ 1 2
  17. 17. Bootstrapping: Extension to Many NICs The Bootstrap Feedback Loop NIC for Improving Collective IQ NIC for Improving Capability Z. NIC for Improving Capability X
  18. 18. Towards Effective Facilitation Where/How to Start our First NICs? NIC Candidates? Special Improvement Infrastructures? Government Agencies? Businesses? Professional Societies? Universities? Philanthropic Organizations?
  19. 19. OHS - the critical missing piece The Need For An Open Hyperdocument System (OHS) To support the implementation and use of DKRs • “Open” - Scaleable, evolvable, interoperable across domains • “Hyper” - To enhance access, maneuverability, verification, study and integration. • “Document” – The Knowledge Container into which the emerging heterogeneous knowledge is captured, integrated, and managed. • “System” - Provides a complete “Community Knowledge Workshop”
  20. 20. Generalize and Extend the “Hyper” term Let “Hyper” mean this: “anything that new technology can bring to the generation, storage, processing, and portrayal of symbolized knowledge.” – This definition provides much more than is included in current “Hypertext”. – E.g.: High-Resolution Addressing; Optional Viewing; Heightened Mobility; Powerful Manipulation Capabilities; etc…
  21. 21. Other Framework Items: • Early Kickoff: a DKR about example DKRs • Open Hyperdocument System (OHS) • Launching OHS evolution: The HyperScope • Knowledge-Workshop Architects • Pedestrian Users … High-Performance Users • Multiple UIS Options • High-Performance Support Teams • Inevitable: Hardcopy documents become obsolete.
  22. 22. Challenges for DKR Development & Use: Rationale for Building a DKR of DKR’s • Special sets of skills required for increasing capabilities – Who will provide the integration & linking of disparate information into the solid, verifiable DKR structures • Properties & structural principles for DKR knowledge containers will be critical part of DKR evolution • Dynamic, seamless integration of new data while preserving the DKR’s evolutionary history • Assessment and rating of the organization’s capabilities to develop and use its DKRs • Capability Infrastructure – support a wide range of usage capabilities, e.g. multiple user interfaces that reflect increasing levels of user expertise.
  23. 23. Selected Reference Links • Subset of pubs that are on the Web: With Special interest in Items below: • #3: Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework. Douglas C. Engelbart. 1962. • #29: Toward High-Performance Organizations: A Strategic Role for Groupware. Douglas C. Engelbart. 1992. • #32: A Draft OHS-Project Plan (The HyperScope) Douglas C. Engelbart. 2000.
  24. 24. Argument visualization resources • Scholarly Ontologies Project Visualizing Argumentation (2003) Argument mapping for scholarly publishing, scientific and public policy debates, education, teamwork, and organisational memory.
  25. 25. More Reference Links • Extensive general listing: – .
  26. 26. THE END!! AC Conference Presentation Created and Presented by: Doug Engelbart