Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart was born in Oregon, USA, in 1925. After becoming an electrical engineer he decided to commit himself to the cause of enhancing the intellectual and collaborative capabilities of the mankind, in order for us to be able to cope with the huge, urgent challenges that arise. He has acomplished many hardware and software inventions, in the user interface and in hypertext. His approach is now being pursued by the "Doug Engelbart Institute".
Engelbart's goal is to improve the means the mankind has to face the complex, urgent problems at global scale. Computers can assist us to improve how we operate with knowledge, how we collect, manipulate and share it, and how we communicate with each other to build teams. He calls it augmenting intellect. It does not consist in a particular, already designed, closed method, but in a methodology of progressive improvement. Appart from doing particular activities (level A), organisations must work to improve them (level B), and other organisations must work towards improving the improvement process (level C).
Links checked on July 26th, 2012.
The Mother Of All Demos
In this historical demo from 1968 Doug Engelbart presented the NLS "Online System", a computing system with lots of inventions: the mouse, a special hand-keyboard, visual word processing, smooth hierarchy viewing and editing, editable navigation links, teleconference and many more. A tape is fortunately available:
Doug Engelbart Institute
The Doug Engelbart Institute based in California is an applied initiative to scale up the "collective intelligence".
The Library page from the Doug Engelbart Institute offers an overwiew and a detailed list of papers and videos.
At www.invisiblerevolution.net there is an interesting and rich web documentary presenting Engelbart's work and vision.
Programm For The Future: A conference inspired by him.