Douglas Engelbart is a legend, and one that laid the foundation for his genius in the most impressive way I’ve heard in a long time. Perhaps ever, actually. At the age of 25, he took a few months to try to straighten out what he should be doing the rest of his life. What he realised was that if people don’t get better at collectively using their resources in order to get forward – the world would ultimately crash. So he put together his lifetime goal from this insight, and phrased it like this:
As much as possible, to boost mankinds collective capability for coping with complex, urgent, problems.
This then became the driving force behind his work, and life, for 55 years and counting. _Wow.
Engelbart spoke calmly and with a very humble approach. Today, many of the ideas presented are obvious and integrated in society and systems. Therefore a simple analysis would have been “heard it all before“. But this is where it started. From the beginning. I found it a bit difficult to keep that perspective in mind.
He stated that solving any truly large-scale problem requires collective capability. And in order to do this, one must develop an adequate comprehensive understanding of the following:
The problem situation
The possible solutions
The resources required
The resources available
Engelbart called the way of approaching this the Collective IQ. He also added that the augmentation model was valid over a very large scale, following this logic:
Individual human – Operative IQ
Community of Practise – Collective IQ
A Complete Company – Collective IQ
The World – Collective IQ
At times, the presentation was very abstract and hard to follow. Or at least to summarise in an easy way. Someone more skilled would definitely done it better. Check Technorati to see what others are writing.