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.
Facilitating the Evolution of
our Collective IQ
Strategically improving our capability for
coping with complex, urgent, large-scale
Douglas C. Engelbart
Stanford University, 7-Nov-04
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!)
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
Continuous, dedicated pursuit
now for over 50 years.
Consider a community’s Collective IQ
as its relative capability for dealing with
complex, urgent problems
• To understand them as thoroughly as
• To unearth the best candidate solutions
• To assess resources and operational
capabilities and select appropriate solution
• To understand how best to organize and
execute selected approaches
• To monitor progress and adapt effectively to
unforeseen complications. Etc. …
“Capabilities” become a key,
… 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
our “Collective IQ”!
Humans’ Capabilities Depend Upon
Basic Human Capabilities
(This interface is much more significant than “HCI”)
their Augmentation System
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!
Scaling Up --Scaling Up --
actually, to, to
global scopeglobal scope..
“Concurrent” Evolution of
• No one can specify the design for our future
– Far too many of the possible “improvement steps”
will change the design environment for other
• Have to depend upon an Evolutionary
• BUT, we CAN learn to FACILITATE this
The World’s Organizations
in Human-Tool Space
Representative distribution of world’s societies
Tool System Utilization
Human-Systems and Tool Systems
• Technology's quantum leaps generate
accelerating rate of opportunities.
• But, human paradigms already lag behind
• The scale of technology change = >
• Paradigm changes have to be accelerated
– Human skills, culture, governance already severely
Effective Facilitation of our Co-Evolution.
Emergent Co-Evolution Frontier
On a scale we can barely anticipate
Where best should your organization head?
….By what route? Who else is out there?
We need a DKR
that provides the best
understanding of the
current and projected
states of this frontier.
organization can then
make its own choices
about its movements
into this frontier.
Uncharted, and Changing
Tool System Utilization
Networked Improvement Community (NIC)
Dynamic Knowledge Repository
Networked Improvement Community (NIC)
An Augmented Improvement Community,
Using best-practice Collective-IQ Capability
To improve its common-choice group capability.
• Investigate & collect intelligence
• Share experience of using leading-edge,
• Objective: provide best understanding of
the “Co-Evolution Frontier” for augmenting
Large-Scale Facilitated Evolution
Common Goal: Continuous Improvement of Large-Scale
• Networked Improvement Communities (NICs) defined
around specific areas of interest
• Prime Goal: Improve Collective IQ of NICs!
• Organize NICs into a large-scale Improvement
– for facilitating the Concurrent Evolution
– of the associated Augmentation Systems.
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. NIC immediately utilizing the best Collective IQ
NIC for Improving
Bootstrapping: Extension to Many NICs
Towards Effective Facilitation
Where/How to Start our First NICs?
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
• “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
Generalize and Extend the
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…
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
Challenges for DKR Development & Use:
Rationale for Building a DKR of DKR’s
• Special sets of skills required for increasing
– Who will provide the integration & linking of
disparate information into the solid, verifiable
• Properties & structural principles for DKR
knowledge containers will be critical part of DKR
• 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.
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.
• #32: A Draft OHS-Project Plan (The HyperScope)
Douglas C. Engelbart. 2000.
• Scholarly Ontologies Project
Argument mapping for scholarly
publishing, scientific and public
policy debates, education,
teamwork, and organisational
More Reference Links
• Extensive general listing:
– http://www.usabilityvews.com/eng_by_backlinks.html .
AC Conference Presentation
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