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Engelbart Scholars tour with Doug Engelbart Institute June 14, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Archives, Engelbart Scholars, Human Interest.
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Will and Anisa visit Hewlett-Packard Garage Engelbart Scholar Awardees on tour

I was honored and thrilled this last month to host some very special guests for a full week of site tours, meetings, and in-depth studies — a select group of Engelbart Scholars convening the week of March 9th at the Doug Engelbart Institute in Menlo Park, CA, for a “deep dive” into Doug Engelbart’s seminal work, including a tour of Doug Engelbart Archive collections at Stanford Libraries Special Collections, the Computer History Museum, and the Internet Archives.

The tour was arranged as part of the Engelbart Scholar Award program at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA, a new program sponsored jointly by the Doug Engelbart Institute and VCU. Guests of honor included our first two Award recipients, Mary Anisa Kannan and Will Sullivan, with their professor Dr. Gardner Campbell, accompanied by videographer Molly Ransone who came along to document their experience:

See Roster below for a complete list of folks who joined us on the tour, including an 8th grader from Portland, OR working on a documentary of Doug Engelbart for Oregon History Day project (which won her a place in the Nationals), as well as old colleagues and friends of the Engelbarts.

Gardner Campbell and Christina Engelbart Prof. Gardner Campbell and Christina Engelbart

The Engelbart Scholar Award is offered at VCU in conjunction with an experimental MOOC on Research Writing / Focused Inquiry “Thought Vectors in Concept Space” led by Dr. Campbell. This MOOC showcases the seminal work of Doug Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay and other pioneers of the Knowledge Age to inform new horizons for research inquiry and writing in the digital age (see our University Showcase for details). In the spirit of said pioneers, the MOOC is conducted as a cMOOC (collaborative or connective rather than broadcast/consume format), as they seek to explore the frontiers of focused inquiry using (drumroll)  focused inquiry in a scaleable collaborative online venue,  taught by a multi-disciplinary team of six faculty members, networking not only 120 enrolled VCU undergraduates, but participants from other universities and the research community as well.

Will and Anisa posing with Christina Engelbart Engelbart Scholar Awardees

Engelbart Scholar Award recipients win a scholarship that covers enrollment in this cMOOC, an all-expenses-paid trip to the Doug Engelbart Institute and other relevant sites in the San Francisco Bay Area, with Christina Engelbart and other of Doug’s long-time colleagues and archive curators. It’s an opportunity to delve into Doug Engelbart’s original source material, assist with the archive project, and conduct a focused research project that leverages and advances the Engelbart Legacy in some meaningful way. The Engelbart Scholar Award  and cMOOC are a pilot experiment designed to network and replicate within other universities and learning organizations.

For photos of our tour see: Photo Album A and Photo Album B.

In the News

Roster of Participants

From Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA:

  • Anisa Kannen – VCU Engelbart Scholar Award Recipient, Junior at VCU School of Engineering majoring in Biomedical Engineering/Mathematics, Biology, Chemistry
  • Will Sullivan – VCU Engelbart Scholar Award Recipient, Sophomore at VCU School of the Arts majoring in Illustration/Painting & Printmaking
  • Their Professor Gardner Campbell – VCU’s Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success, Dean of University College, and Associate Professor of English. Gardner is mastermind behind the expedition-quality collaborative massive open online course nicknamed Thought Vectors in Concept Space and first-ever Engelbart Scholars Award Program, both launched Summer 2014

  • Their Videographer Molly Ransone – Asst. Director of Learning Media Innovation, VCU, here to capture the Engelbart Scholar Award recipient experience

From ACCESS Academy for Gifted Students in Portland, OR

  • An Eighth Grader at ACCESS Academy, participant in this year’s Oregon History Day and National History Day competitions, she is producing a short documentary on Doug Engelbart, accompanied by her wonderful mom.

  Hosts / Curators

  • Christina Engelbart – Co-Founder and Executive Director, Doug Engelbart Institute, (also former Alumn of Doug’s Lab)
  • Marc Weber – our host at Computer History Museum, Founding Curator, Internet History Program at CHM. Marc hosted a private tour of the Museum’s extensive Revolution Exhibit, which showcases aspects of Doug Engelbart’s work, followed by lunch at the Lakeside Cafe, and later in the week a deep dive into the Engelbart Archives curated there

  • Henry Lowood – our host at Stanford Libraries Special Collections, Curator for history of science & technology collections and film & media collections at Stanford. Our visit included an ‘impromptu seminar’ with Henry on the history of Silicon Valley project, followed by a deep dive into the Engelbart Archives curated there.

  • Brewster Kahle – founding Director of the Internet Archive, the Internet Credit Union, Alexa and Thinking Machines and a member of the Internet Hall of Fame. We attended Friday Lunch at the Archive, and joined Brewster’s tour of the facility. The Internet Archive features over 100 videotaped lectures, demos and interviews from the Engelbart Archive.

Joined by Colleagues

  • Elizabeth “Jake” Feinler – retired Alumn of Doug’s lab, was Founding Director of Network Information Center (The NIC) stemming from Doug’s ARC lab, which eventually became InterNIC. Shares distinction with Doug as a Pioneer in the Internet Hall of Fame. Donated her NIC and Engelbart/ARC archives to CHM and managed the processing of them, now helping with archives at DEI

  • Harvey Lehtman – retired Alumn of Doug’s Lab, went on to Apple Advanced Research Group, and Institute for the Future, co-authored with Doug Working Together and OHS Technology Template, worked with Jake on archives at CHM, now helping with archives at DEI

  • Kristina Woolsey – formerly at Apple University, co-authored with Doug a chapter for her book on Multi Media in Education, longtime member of the New Media Consortium, shares distinction with Doug as an NMC Fellow, an educator with background in cognitive science and architecture, consulted closely on design of the all new SF Exploratorium

  • Sue Crane – together with her late husband Hew has been Doug Engelbart and family’s oldest dearest friend, Doug’s first assignment at SRI in 1957 was in Hew’s lab, Hew was one of SRI’s most prolific inventors, Hew and Sue were co-ounders of Ridge Winery, she a former mayor and long time City Council member of Portola Valley, served on the Board of Peninsula Open Space Trust, now advising Christina/DEI; plus her son’s family is Host Family this week to our two visiting Engelbart Scholar Award recipients

‘The Demo’ now an avant garde opera at Stanford April 1, 2015

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‘The Demo’ as avant garde opera at Stanford

Stanford Live presents an avant garde opera ‘The Demo’, a musical/video/lightshow reimagining the 1968 “Mother of All Demos” originally presented by Doug Engelbart and his team just down the road at Stanford Research Institute for the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, December 1968. For information:



Prior Engelbart Events at Stanford

President Obama cites Engelbart’s Innovations February 14, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Tributes.
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In his speech Friday at the Cyber Summit at Stanford University, President Barak Obama named key pioneers behind the breakthrough innovations that catapulted us into the digital Information Age, leading with Hewlett and Packard, and Douglas Engelbart.

Watch this segment of Obama’s speech

Shortlink for this segment: http://bit.ly/1vsPpv7

Transcript of this segment follows (bolding added for emphasis):

More than any other nation on earth, the United States is positioned to lead in the 21st century. And so much of our economic competitiveness is tied to what brings me here today, and that is America’s leadership in the digital economy. It’s our ability, almost unique across the planet, our ability to innovate, and to learn, and to discover, and to create and build, and do business online, and stretch the boundaries of what’s possible. That’s what drives us. And so when we had to decide where to have this summit, the decision was easy, because so much of our information age began right here, at Stanford.
It was here where two students, Bill Hewlett and Dave Packard met, and in a garage not far from here eventually built one of the first personal computers, weighing in at 40 lbs.
It was from here in 1968 where researcher Douglas Engelbart astonished an audience with two computers connected online, and hypertext you could click on with something called a mouse. A year later a computer here received the first message from another computer 350 miles away, the beginnings of what would eventually become the Internet.
And by the way it’s no secret that many of these innovations built on government funded research is one of the reasons if we want to maintain our economic leadership in the world, America has to keep investing in basic research in science and technology. It’s absolutely critical.


Check out Engelbart’s 1968 demonstration of hypertext and the mouse

Check out Engelbart’s role in early Internet/ARPAnet

Check out Engelbart’s essential pioneering firsts at a glance

Watch specific segment where President Obama cites Doug Engelbart

Watch President Obama’s entire speech

Of mice and … what’s that other thing? January 23, 2015

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The mouse was not the only input device invented by Doug Engelbart. The keyset, which Engelbart is using below with his left hand while operating the mouse with his right, was left in the dust by Jobs and others who sought to simplify. Jobs also refused to include a network connection and other high value addons. Maybe it’s time for another look…

Check out Of Mice and Men, a new piece by podcaster Luisa Beck who spoke with Christina Engelbart, Executive Director of the Doug Engelbart Institute, and Larry Tesler, who worked at Apple from 1980 to 1997 as VP and Chief Scientist:

Doug Engelbart using mouse and keyset (1968)

If you are looking at a computer screen, your right hand is probably resting on a mouse. To the left of that mouse (or above, if you’re on a laptop) is your keyboard. As you work on the computer, …

Farewell to Jim Norton (1931-2014) November 3, 2014

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Jim Norton (1931-2014)

We have just learned of the passing of another longtime Engelbart-ARC alumn Jim Norton, otherwise known by his NLS/Augment IDENT “JCN”, 22 Oct 2014 in Plattsburgh, NY.

Read of his life and passing in the Press Republican Obit: James C. Norton. The family invites you to post stories, memories, and photos on the Tribute Page provided (click Share a Story or Share a Photo).

Following are a few photos pulled from the ARC archives:

  Jim Norton (1931-2014)
Jim Norton (1931-2014)
Watch Jim demo the Augment “handbook” concept:

Jim Norton (1931-2014)

For more from the archives see the Doug Engelbart Archive Collection.


A Fond Farewell to Dave Evans (DAE) September 21, 2014

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Historic, Human Interest.
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One remarkable quality of Doug Engelbart’s legacy is the enduring alumni community that emerged from his lab, the Augmentation Research Center at SRI.

We are sad to report that one of our own, Dave Evans pictured at right in a 1968 archive photo, has passed away on Friday, September 19, 2014, following a stroke.

As a graduate student at Stanford in 1965, he met Doug Engelbart by chance at a Seminar, got hooked on bootstrapping, and began to visit and then to work with Doug and his team at SRI in the period 1966 to 1969.
Watch footage from 1969 demoWatch archive film footage from 1969 featuring Dave Evans demoing with Doug Engelbart. Dave served a valuable role at AHIRC/ARC was as a sounding-board for ideas and as a facilitator in management and community initiatives. See more on Dave’s career and accomplishments.

In April 2013, Dave was awarded the Medal of the Order of Australia by the Governor General for “significant service to science and innovation through commercialising and developing new technologies.” See press article “An innovative career” for details, and photos of the Investiture Ceremony below.

DaveEvans1960s-1 DaveEvans1960s-5 DaveEvans1960s-4
398107_201334716678775_1552132058_n australiaday-dave-family-3 australiaday-dave-awardees-group

A Message from his Family

This note is to let you know that David died last night (19 September 2014) just before midnight. His children and Elizabeth have been with him this week. He looked very peaceful this morning.

We are planning to hold a service and a celebration of his life on:
Tuesday 30 September 2014
1:30pm onwards
St Stephens Presbyterian Church on Morriset Street, Queanbeyan NSW.

David grew up in Queanbeyan and over the last couple of years he would take us there occasionally (his ability to issue directions was uncanny). He would take us to a series of places that were important to him in his childhood and young adult-hood – it was always an enjoyable way to pass an afternoon. Dad was not a religious man, but we think it is fitting that the service will be at St Stephens as the church has a long family history.

David has enjoyed the last few years in Canberra. He settled well into his new home and made friends with all and sundry despite his difficulty in communicating. That special sparkle that he had in his eye and his smile made him a favourite among staff and residents at Kangara Waters. He enjoyed receiving visitors and the notes and cards and emails that would steadily arrive from many of you. I hope some of you will consider making the trip to Canberra (and Queanbeyan) to celebrate his life with us.

Fond regards
Joey and Lindy

Announcing Summer MOOC and Engelbart Scholar Award at VCU April 25, 2014

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Collective IQ, Engelbart Challenge, Engelbart Scholars, Human Interest.
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Gardner Campbell and Christina Engelbart
Gardner Campbell and Christina Engelbart at VCU

Just returning this week from a wonderful visit with Gardner Campbell and company at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA, to announce the establishment of an Engelbart Scholar Award at VCU in conjunction with an exciting new MOOC on Research Writing and Focused Inquiry (VCU UNIV200). The MOOC is the brainchild of Dr. Gardner Campbell, Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success, and Associate Professor of English.

MOOC participants will learn about how the Internet affords a new medium for collaborative research and research writing through studying the visionary research of pioneers of the Information Age, including including Doug Engelbart, Ted Nelson, Alan Kay, and others, and will be simultaneously prototyping an open collaborative knowledge environment, including tools inspired by said research visionaries, in which to conduct and capture their creative inquiry. Whereas the typical MOOC is offered in a beamed lecture format, Gardner’s MOOC centers around the students’ engagement and participation as ‘fellow travelers’ on the frontier, forging what he calls ‘trails of wonder, rigorously explored’. So he calls it a cMOOC, for ‘connectivist’ MOOC, where the course venue is a shared blogging, commenting and tweeting space.

Course Website: www.thoughtvectors.net
Follow #ThoughtVectors and @ThoughtVectors
on Twitter to watch it all unfold

The Engelbart Scholar Award will be presented to two qualified VCU students enrolled in the MOOC to include registration in the course and an opportunity of an Internship with the Doug Engelbart Institute.

I especially love Gardner’s description of the course: “The course will be offered for credit for enrolled VCU students and will be open to participation by anyone in the world […] The topic? Well, on the books here the course is a sophomore-level course in research writing: UNIV 200 Inquiry and the Craft of Argument. We’re doing a fully online version that has an official designation as a DIGITAL ENGAGEMENT PILOT and what we hope is the intriguing alternate name of “Living the Dream: Digital Investigation and Unfettered Minds.” The “dream” is the one (are the ones) outlined by Vannevar Bush (“As We May Think“), J. C. R. Licklider (“Man-Computer Symbiosis“), Doug Engelbart (“Augmenting Human Intellect: A Conceptual Framework“), Ted Nelson (“Computer Lib / Dream Machines“), and Alan Kay/Adele Goldberg (“Personal Dynamic Media“). Our goal is to awaken students to these powerful dreams, to invite their engagement with research in the digital age along the lines suggested by these dreams, and empower them to imagine, design, and build inquiry projects that will serve them well both in the academy and beyond.”

Note that UNIV200 has been part of the core curriculum at VCU. Now students have the option of taking it in this unique cMOOC format.

Christina Engelbart with Gardner's MOOC team
Session with MOOC team

I am so thrilled and honored to be participating with the extended design team for the cMOOC, and proud to be offering the Engelbart Scholar Award in conjunction with the course. See selected photos http://on.fb.me/1nQ4Ygb.


Christina (center) with VCU Engelbart Scholar Awardees Will and Anisa

Christina (center) with 2014 Engelbart Scholar Awardees Will and Anisa

Oct 2015
Our first two Engelbart Scholar Award recipients got the grand tour over spring break – see blog and short video Engelbart Scholars tour with Doug Engelbart Institute. The Internet Society wrote a stunning feature article on the Thought Vectors experiment as a case example of Doug Engelbart’s enduring legacy: Internet Pioneer’s Greatest Contribution May Not Be Technological.

Gardner and team are repeating the cMOOC this fall, this time experimenting with the course format – of the six sections offered, two sections will be held entirely online, two will meet weekly in classrooms and participate online, and two will be some hybrid. This year’s Engelbart Scholar Award winners have been announced – congratulations to Ayah Oweis and Marina Green!
July 2014
The course launched June 10th, 2014, and the two winners of the Engelbart Scholar Award were announced — Congratulations to Anisa Kannen and Will Sullivan, our very first Engelbart Scholar Award recipients. Exciting times ahead!

A week later Gardner and team presented their pilot project MOOC at the New Media Consortium Summer Conference in June 2014, joined remotely by Christina Engelbart and Will Sullivan, one of our first Engelbart Scholar Award winners. Watch their joint presentation at NMC2014.

By way of welcoming participants in the course, Gardner posted
Our Summer cMOOC: Living the Dreams.

See also press coverage

Internet Pioneer’s Greatest Contribution May Not Be Technological
nternet Society feature article
Spring 2015

VCU ventures into online educational phenomenon,
Richmond Times-Dispatch
October 2, 2014

Connectivist MOOC helps students embrace digital media
VCU Public Affairs,
September 19, 2014

VCU embraces online courses
Richmond Times-Dispatch
October 2014

Doug Engelbart inducted to Internet Hall of Fame April 10, 2014

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Historic, Tributes.
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Celebrating the visionaries and innovators who were
instrumental in shaping today’s Internet and expanding its global connectivity

2014 Inductees and Stand-ins

2014 Inductees and Stand-ins

Hong Kong — April 8, 2014 — The late Doug Engelbart now named among the elite ranks of notable individuals who have been inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame for their significant contributions to the advancement of the global Internet. Today the Internet Hall of Fame recognizes Engelbart posthumously for his seminal contributions to personal and collaborative computing, and participation in the early formation of the ARPAnet, precursor to the Internet.

Doug Engelbart has been named a Pioneer of the Internet, a category which recognizes and celebrates individuals who were instrumental in the early design and development of the Internet.

Visit the Internet Hall of Fame website for a complete list of
Hall of Fame Inductees, the 2014 Inductees, and Inductee Doug Engelbart.,
as well as followup feature profile on Doug Engelbart, and Engelbart’s “The Mother of all Demos”


In the early 1960s, Dr. Engelbart founded the Augmentation Research Center lab at SRI in Menlo Park, Calif., where he and his team pioneered a system for “augmenting human intellect,” envisioning workers sitting at display workstations could collaborate on solutions to humanity’s problems through a vast online information space. He was the primary force behind the NLS system, which featured document sharing, hyperlinking, teleconferencing, digital libraries, and more, with novel human-computer interface elements such as precursors to the graphical user interface and the computer mouse. In 1968 he and his team staged the first public demonstration of their work, now famously known as the “Mother of All Demos.” Engelbart’s lab made Internet history in 1969 as the second host on the ARPAnet, sending and receiving the first transmissions on a distributed network, and by conceiving the first Network Information Center (NIC) to support the emerging ARPAnet community online.

In his 1970 paper on the implications of networking, Engelbart foretold the emergence of a new “marketplace” representing “fantastic wealth in commodities of knowledge, service, information, processing, and storage,” with “a vitality and dynamism much greater than today’s, as today’s is different from the village market.” In his 1995 publication “Boosting Our Collective IQ,” he outlined what he saw to be the baseline requirements for information technology to reach its potential, outlining his template for a ubiquitous open hyperdocument system (OHS).

“The 2014 Internet Hall of Fame inductees include extraordinary individuals who have helped shape the global Internet,” noted Internet Society CEO Kathy Brown. “This historic assembly of Internet trailblazers, innovators, and thought-leaders represent many different countries and backgrounds, each with an inspiring story to share. We applaud their achievements and determination to push the boundaries of technological and social innovation to connect the world.”

Christina Engelbart accepting for her late father

Christina Engelbart accepting for her late father

“My father was a true visionary.” recounts daughter and longtime business partner Christina Engelbart, who was invited to accept the award on his behalf. “With all the amazing advancements in internet and information technology to date, we have still only scratched the surface of the true potential he envisioned for humanity. He left us with quite a legacy to fulfill.”

Engelbart was honored at the Internet Society’s 2014 Induction Ceremony on April 8 in Hong Kong. Watch the Internet Hall of Fame induction ceremony online. More details on the 2014 Internet Hall of Fame inductees, including their biographies and photos, can be found at http://www.internethalloffame.org. You can follow the Internet Hall of Fame on Facebook and on Twitter at @Internet_HOF (#ihof2014).

– Internet Hall of Fame Announces 2014 Inductees
Engelbart, Roberts named to Internet Hall of Fame
– Internet Pioneer’s Greatest Contribution May Not Be Technological

About Doug Engelbart
Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart (www.dougengelbart.org) earned an unparalleled track record in predicting, designing, and implementing the future of interactive, collaborative and organizational computing. From his early vision of turning organizations into highly evolved “augmented knowledge workshops,” he went on to pioneer what is now known as interactive computing, collaborative hypermedia, knowledge management, community networking, and organizational transformation, with integrated prototypes in full operational use under the NLS system as early as 1968. After 20 years directing the Augmentation Research Center (ARC) at SRI International, and a decade in industry first at Tymshare, and then at McDonnell Douglas Corporation, Engelbart founded what is now the Doug Engelbart Institute with his daughter Christina Engelbart, working closely with industry and government stakeholders on collaborative implementations of his strategic vision. For outstanding lifetime achievement and ingenuity, Engelbart received the National Medal of Technology and Innovation, the ACM Turing Award, and the IEEE John Von Neumann Medal. His life’s work, with his “big-picture” vision and persistent pioneering breakthroughs, has made a significant impact on the past, present, and future of personal, interpersonal, and organizational computing.

About the Internet Hall of Fame
The Internet Hall of Fame (www.internethalloffame.org) is a recognition program and virtual museum that celebrates the living history of the Internet and the individuals whose extraordinary contributions have made the Internet, its worldwide availability and use, and its transformative nature possible. The Internet Hall of Fame was launched by the Internet Society in 2012.

About the Internet Society
The Internet Society (www.internetsociety.org) is the trusted independent source for Internet information and thought leadership from around the world. With its principled vision and substantial technological foundation, the Internet Society promotes open dialogue on Internet policy, technology, and future development among users, companies, governments, and other organizations. Working with its members and Chapters around the world, the Internet Society enables the continued evolution and growth of the Internet for everyone.

How these rural initiatives in Uganda are already meeting the Engelbart Challenge December 13, 2013

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Collective IQ, Engelbart Challenge, Human Interest.
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By guest contributor Patricia Seybold, Founder & CEO of Patricia Seybold Group, author of Customers.com, The Customer Revolution, and Outside Innovation.

How Uganda Rural Development Training Programme (
URDT) and the African Rural University (ARUare already meeting the Engelbart Challenge 

Twenty-five years ago, an innovative experiment was launched in western Uganda: to co-evolve a set of transformational techniques with impoverished people living in rural, under-developed areas—tools that empower people to create a vision of what they want in their lives and to work together to achieve that vision. Now, twenty-five years later, tens of thousands of people are teaching one another how to “Awaken the Sleeping Genius in Each of Us” as they improve the quality of their lives and the prosperity of their homes and their communities.

Video: Overview of URDT’s Unique Approach to Rural Development

One part of URDT’s “secret sauce” is to teach school girls to become change agents in their families and in their communities. This “low tech” example uses the brilliant minds of enterprising young girls to ignite the brilliant minds of their family members. These families prosper, and, in turn, teach others in their communities how to replicate their success, they then all move on to community-scale projects—building schools, water sources, roads, and farming co-ops.

Video: Safira’s Story—How a 13-year old girl empowered her family to move from poverty to middle class prosperity

To spread the power of this creative visionary approach to community development, many of these girls graduate from the URDT Girls School and become students at the African Rural University. There, they join other young women from across Africa to be trained as Rural Transformation Agents.

Video: Grace Biira—Why I am studying at the African Rural University

When they graduate, they are offered jobs in rural sub-counties—each young woman is now chartered to ignite the creativity and aspirations of people in scores of rural villages. Among their duties: identify and support additional school girls and their families to become role models creating systemic change in each village. Help villagers create and achieve visions for their communities.

Video: Resty’s Internship in the Field


How URDT Embodies the Principles of Improving Collective IQ

A. We teach children and adults how to create a vision of the goals they want to achieve, and how to use the structural tension between their current reality and their vision to generate actions that enable them to realize their goals. Students and their families apply these techniques in the students’ “back home projects” each school term. Students teach their parents new techniques to use each semester, and are graded on how well their families learn and do using this “Two-Generation” approach to education (kids teaching their parents and siblings).

B. We use systems thinking, participatory action planning, and collective reflection to continuously improve how quickly and how well people on campus and in the communities are able to achieve their goals. This is a daily practice, involving the entire student body, faculty and staff for an hour at the start of each day.

C. We are constantly identifying new opportunities for collective co-evolution. For example, school girls’ parents decided to form a savings co-operative to grant micro-loans for farming projects. Then farmers decided to improve the profits from organic farming by planting higher value crops. Then they decided to build agricultural processing plants to create higher-value food, like milled flour and animal feed. These locally-generated initiatives are replicated across the network of participating families and communities.

1. How do we Engage Our Innovators?

We start with the school children. We teach first school girls, now both girls and boys, how to use the creative process and the visionary approach. We also arm them with practical know-how in sanitation, nutrition, organic farming and business entrepreneurship.

The children teach their parents and their siblings—both first hand, and by writing and performing plays in the communities, and by broadcasting on the community radio.

These families who now have a creative, visionary orientation towards life inspire and teach others in their communities. Many start small businesses and hire and train others.

The school children and families are supported by the teachers and staff at URDT. The leaders in each village, district, and county become enrolled in the creative, visionary process through participatory action workshops. The community radio is used to supplement and reinforce the hands on training the interns provide and to mobilize community members.

The African Rural University student interns and graduates identify, train and support innovators in the rural communities they’re deployed in. They work with community members to identify needs, and to plan and execute community-driven projects to address those needs. They also train and support the leaders at each level of government.

These interns and graduates support one another and they are supported by the staff of URDT. The community members support one another and join together in a variety of community projects.

2. How Do We Leverage Our Collective IQ?

The University graduates who work in the field as “Epicenter Managers” and the secondary school children who work with their families on school breaks all report back what they are learning and what challenges they’re seeing.

Students, interns, faculty, and graduates write and share reports, create video documentaries, establish a baseline for each family and document the improvements in household income, health, nutrition, and education.

The educational institutions on the URDT campus use the learnings from all the field work that is taking place to study what works and what needs improvement. For example, the University students engaged in participatory research with groups of women in several villages about land rights. Who owned the land they were farming? What kind of ownership was it (there are 4 different kinds of land ownership)? Who inherits the land? What can you do to gain title to the land you are farming?  How can you ensure that you will retain title to the land when your spouse dies?  These village women—many of them illiterate—learned about their own properties and took the steps required to gain title to the land they were farming. This land rights participatory education program was so successful that it is now being developed into curriculum for secondary schools throughout Uganda.

3. How Do We Focus on Core Capabilities?

The goals of the people we serve are to improve their health, income, and quality of life.

We provide them the tools to envision and to achieve these goals by teaching them how to master the creative process to achieve what they want in their lives.

We also teach them the skills they need to improve sanitation, nutrition, farming productivity, carpentry, mechanics, solar technology, and many other trades and crafts, and we teach them how to start and run a profitable business.

The new vocabulary they use is related to having a creative orientation. They talk about creating and achieving a vision. They talk about engaging their family members in planning. They refer to obstacles as their “current reality.” They identify local resources they can mobilize to achieve their goals.

Their world view is very holistic. They have all become “systems thinkers.” They see the interconnectedness between sanitation and good nutrition and health. They discuss the need to improve the quality of their roads in order to increase commerce and gain access to better education and healthcare.

4.  Push the Frontier: How are we accelerating our human/tools co-evolution & understanding how quickly we can evolve?

By replicating the same practices from the school child to the family unit, to the community, to the sub-county, we are creating a recursive ripple effect. That’s why we call our employed university graduates—our Rural Transformation Specialists—Epicenter Managers. Each one is at the epicenter of a new set of waves of co-evolution and co-development.

Many of the people in the communities that are engaging with URDT and ARU and its students and graduates are wholeheartedly adopting the principles of the creative orientation towards their own lives. They have moved from resignation and apathy to being engaged creators of their own destinies. They are working across tribal and gender boundaries on common, shared projects. In addition to the pilot projects that are undertaken each year in 240 families (the families of the Girls’ School students) over a five to six year period, we also have two or three projects going in each village in which there is an intern or an ARU graduate. In addition to these projects, which have been stimulated by URDT/ARU students and graduates, many local people and village leaders are undertaking their own projects to improve some aspect of the community infrastructure (roads, schools, clinics) or of the local economy (savings societies, marketplaces, value-added production).

We can and do support and amplify the co-evolution through outreach, through radio programming, by interviewing and documenting success stories, by holding community meetings, and by bringing experts from all over the world to study what is happening in this corner of Uganda.

5. How Do We Walk Our Talk?

We excel in practicing what we preach. We are constantly coming up with new ideas for new ways to improve sustainable livelihoods in rural communities. For example, we provide training for urban youth on how to thrive in the rural communities they migrated from—how to engage in profitable agriculture and to build local sustainable businesses so they can remain in the countryside, rather than working in an overcrowded, congested urban setting.

We are embarking on a “green campus” program to take our current organic farm and sustainable energy practices to the next level as we continue to evolve and improve our campus.

Celebrating Doug Engelbart and the 45th Anniversary of the Mother of All Demos December 10, 2013

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Historic, Human Interest.
1 comment so far

December 9th, 2013 marked the 45th anniversary of the Mother of All Demos with a wonderful memorial celebration of Doug Engelbart, a new tribute site honoring Doug Engelbart, more tributes, and numerous articles.

Main Event


Technology Legend:
Honoring Douglas Engelbart

Computer History Museum, December 9th, 2013
With SRI International and Logitech, Inc. See photos from the event. Watch the entire program here:


We at the Doug Engelbart Institute wish to extend
our deepest heartfelt gratitude to the Computer History Museum, SRI International, and Logitech Inc. for an incredibly moving, rousing
and fitting memorial celebration.”
 – Christina Engelbart, Executive Director and Daughter.


Doug EngelbartTribute to Doug Engelbart Website
New tribute site honoring Doug Engelbart – share how you were touched, browse photo gallery, tribute videos, and more.

The Com­pu­ter Mouse: Enabling Personal Computing
A wonderful video short from SRI International

See the System Behind Engelbart’s Historic Mother of All Demos,
By Brad Neuberg, lead developer in the HyperScope project


An Homage to Douglas Engelbart and a Critique of the State of Tech
By John Markoff, NY Times, December 16, 2013

Computer History Museum Honors Technology Legend Douglas Engelbart
IT Business Net, Dec 9, 2013

Computer History Museum Honors Technology Legend Douglas Engelbart
Globe News Wire, Dec 9, 2013

Doug Engelbart Lives On – A Celebration of His Life and Unfinished Work
Tom Foremski, Silicon Valley Watcher, December 12, 2013

In Pictures: The Mother of All Demos – The 1968 presentation that sparked a tech revolution
CIO Magazine, Dec 9, 2013

The Mother of All Demos’ Is 45 Years Old, Doesn’t Look a Day Over 25
The Atlantic, Dec 9, 2013

45 Years Ago, We Saw The Mouse For The First Time 
Huffington Post,  Dec 9, 2013

Tech Time Warp of the Week: The Mother of All Demos, 1968
Wired, Dec 13, 2013

Mother of All Demos

DEI_SanFran1968-cropTo learn more about the demo or watch footage of the demo, visit Doug’s 1968 Demo at the Doug Engelbart Institute.


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