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Can citizen science be used to solve Alzheimer’s? January 28, 2016

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Uncategorized.
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I’m cautiously optimistic about any positive news on the Alzheimer’s research front, yet deeply discouraged by the agonizingly slow rate of progress. I recently spoke with colleague Pietro Michelucci about an exciting new effort to dramatically accelerate progress by crowdsourcing the image processing.

One of the symptoms of Alzheimer’s is reduced flow of blood to the brain. This is a promising lead which scientists have known about from the outset, but is difficult to get a handle on for one simple reason: it takes an alert human to spot the abnormality in a brain scan. With hundreds of scans generated per research subject, and thousands of research subjects to be scanned and scrutinized, researchers estimate it would take a savvy team many decades to analyze all the scans needed to research solutions.

Here’s where citizen science, crowdsourcing and human computation come into play. An initiative has formed to create an online venue where volunteers can quickly learn to spot the abnormalities in the brain scans, and at their convenience access any number of actual scans to view and tag accordingly. Volunteers around the world can thus significantly increase capacity of the research team while dramatically accelerating progress.

See project website WeCureALZ for full description and to pre-register if you are interested in becoming a beta tester and/or citizen science volunteer when the time comes.

See the fabulous article in this month’s Science magazine co-authored by Pietro Michelucci, doctor of Cognitive Science and Mathematical Psychology and director of the Human Computation Institute (HCI), and Cornell professor of Natural Resources and director of Citizen Science at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology Janis L. Dickenson:

 “The power of crowds: Combining humans and machines can help tackle increasingly hard problems.” by Michelucci and Dickenson for Science, Jan 2015

Michelucci has teamed up with collaborators at Cornell, Princeton, UC Berkeley, and WiredDifferently to develop WeCureALZ.  I first met Dr. Michelucci at a Human Computation Summit which he spearheaded in Washington, DC, and now serve as a member of the External Faculty of his Human Computation Institute. I have already pre-registered on the WeCureALZ website and look forward to participating, and hope you will as well.

More articles about the initiative can be found in:

Wired Germany


Alzheimer’s Facts & Figures
Alzheimer’s is the 6th leading cause of death in the US — the only cause of death in the top 10 that is not preventable, curable, or slowable.  Afflicts 5.3 million Americans at a cost of $226 billion, plus 17.9 billion hours in unpaid care provided by family and friends. Figures expected to triple by 2050. Every 67 seconds someone in the US develops Alzheimer’s. (Source: Facts and Figures)

This hits close to home for me personally, as it does for millions of others who have lost their loved ones to this horrible disease. Currently 1 in 10 Americans has a family member with Alzheimer’s. 1 in 3 knows someone with Alzheimer’s. (Source: Use of Funds).

Bye Bye Babbage January 22, 2016

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Historic, Technology.

The Babbage Engine has been one of my personal favs at the Computer History Museum in Mt. View, CA since 2008. If you want to see it there, you have thru Jan 31, 2016, after which it moves home to London, England. The following is reproduced from CHM News, a newsletter of the Computer History Museum.


Last Call for Babbage Difference Engine No. 2

After eight years at the Computer History Museum (CHM), the Babbage Difference Engine No. 2 is bidding farewell and returning to its owner.

The Difference Engine No. 2 has had a wonderful home at the Museum. Our Babbage demonstrations have amazed more than 500,000 visitors, providing them with the unprecedented opportunity to see and hear the mechanical engine working—a stunning display of Victorian mechanics.

The engine was commissioned by Nathan Myhrvold, CEO of Intellectual Ventures and former CTO of Microsoft, and will soon be transported to his private collection. On behalf of the CHM community, we’d like to extend a special thank-you to Nathan Myhrvold for his generosity these past eight years.

We want to make sure everyone gets a chance to see the Difference Engine No. 2 in action one more time. Please check our schedule for demonstrations of the Difference Engine No. 2. The final demonstration will be January 31, 2016.

For more on Babbage:

• Visit CHM’s online exhibit
• Watch False Dawn: The Babbage Engine
• Read about “Charles Babbage and His Legacy,” Core, 2008

The Charles Babbage’s Difference Engine No. 2 exhibit is also made possible through the generosity of the following donors: Andreas Bechtolsheim, Bell Family Trust, Donna Dubinsky & Len Shustek, Judy Estrin, Fry’s Electronics—Kathryn Kolder, Dorrit & F. Grant Saviers, and Marva & John Warnock.

Special thanks to Doron Swade and the Science Museum, London, who built the engine, as well as CHM docent Tim Robinson and the Babbage team, who have been brilliant stewards of the device since its arrival at the Museum in 2008.

Going ‘Lean’ is strategic for any organization December 17, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Bootstrapping Brilliance.
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    Eric Ries – Lean Startup founder

I finally took a deep dive into ‘Lean Startup’, a practice founded by Eric Ries that blends customer development, design thinking, agile engineering, and lean manufacturing into an all-purpose entrepreneurial strategy that can be practiced by any team in any organization large or small, private or public, new or established. It’s for modern companies looking to create better products and services for their customer, and/or transform their way of doing business, faster, better and more cost-effectively. Practitioners brainstorm using the tear-away Business Model Canvas, check in constantly with customers, experiment with Minimum Viable Product solutions, and iterate like crazy while incorporating feedback and learnings throughout.

The Lean Startup practice dovetails beautifully into Bootstrapping Brilliance, a strategy originally pioneered by Doug Engelbart and further distilled in recent years. Bootstrapping Brilliance adds five strategic accelerators for enhanced leverage, alignment, and vision.

Lean Startup Basics

What is Lean Startup

Lean Startup playlist – my top pick video shorts for learning the basics

The Lean Startup – official website with links to resources

Key Players

Eric Ries – founder Lean Startup, author Lean Startup, coach
Alex Osterlander – founder Strategyzer, coach
Steve Blank – professor, author of Customer Development, mentor
And More – it’s an open source movement, an international community


Case Studies Playlist – quick run thru of key examples

Case Studies – on main website

Try It Yourself

Business Model Canvas – (pdf) print and put your post-its on
Business Model Canvas Tool – (googledoc) do it online
Business Model Canvas Tutorial – simple step by step instructions

Try mapping your current project(s) onto the Canvas, use it to brainstorm ideas for a new or improved product or service.

Go deeper with Value Proposition Canvas and Culture Map

Learn More

Startup Lessons Learned – Blogposts by Eric Ries and guests

Lean Startup Community – Join meetups, forum, wiki, …

Add Accelerators

Take Lean to the next level with Bootstrapping Brilliance.

See also the complementary Galbraith Star Model.

Calls to Action

Eric Ries – A call to action to the Lean community


Doug Engelbart – A call to action Augmenting Society’s IQs


Chart your organization’s initiatives using this Pioneers-Migrators-Settlers chart. Doug Engelbart used a similar “Frontier Map”.

The Pioneer-Migrator-Settler Map – Blue Ocean Strategy

Today in Tech History – the Mother of All Demos December 9, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Historic, Technology, Uncategorized.
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DEI_SanFran1968-cropDecember 9th, 1968 at 3:00pm at the Fall Joint Computer Conference in San Francisco, California, Doug Engelbart was slated to present his research. Instead of giving his talk,  he and his team demonstrated their vision and progress to an astonished audience of a thousand computer professionals throughout the 90 minute session. Attendees got a taste of how knowledge workers of the future would work together in an online interactive collaborative hyperlinked information space. This was not just a demonstration of what could be, it was a demonstration of how the researchers in Doug’s lab were already working on a daily basis, facilitated by breakthrough computing technology they had developed and were continuously advancing in their lab at Stanford Research Institute (now SRI International).

Technological firsts included the ‘world debut’ of the computer mouse, graphical user interface, hypermedia, shared-screen teleconferencing, and much much more. Engelbart was later honored with the National Medal of Technology and Innovation and other prestigious awards for his seminal vision and accomplishments.

Watch highlights of the actual demo

And more

Visit Doug’s 1968 Demo page for more footage,
archive photos, retrospectives, fun facts, and more

Read the Forbes article  by Gil Press
This Week In Tech History: The Mother Of All Demos

Esther Dyson’s ‘Way to Wellville’ Challenge a game changer December 7, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Bootstrapping Brilliance, Collective IQ, Human Interest.
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Here’s an exciting fresh approach to transforming the health of our communities.

“The Way to Wellville, a national challenge among five communities over five years to make significant, visible and lasting improvement in five measures of health and economic vitality. In the end, we’ll map new paths for entire communities to make changes that result in healthier people and places.”

This challenge effectively shifts the healthcare discussion to actionable, results-driven, community-based wellness initiatives at scale.

At present the US is spending a whopping $3 trillion per year on health care — on average about twice as much per person as other wealthy nations spend — and yet chronic disease, which is largely preventable, continues to worsen and drive costs higher still. Investing in wellness can potentially yield significant savings to society, with savings in direct healthcare costs just the tip of the iceberg. See for example the CDC’s The Cost of Chronic Diseases and Health Risk Behaviors. Among the many benefits of improving health across the board, I would expect to see economic indicators in these Wellville counties begin to reflect increased productivity, improved school performance  (healthy children and children in healthy families show up ready to learn), increased wealth that comes to places deemed desirable locations to invest, live, work, visit, and more.  Reeingineering investments in our nation’s health care using a community-based, collaborative, entrepreneurial, ‘wellness first’ approach is brilliant.


Wellville Founder Esther Dyson

The Way to Wellville is sponsored by Esther Dyson’s non-profit HICCup, which serves as a central support platform for the five chosen counties, and includes Wellville accelerators such as attracting investors and innovation partners to the table, and matching them up with specific initiatives in those counties.

In a future post we’ll take a closer look at the innovation approach driving the transformation.

Learn more

Who are the chosen Five? How does it work? For starters see:

Wellville Website | Short Video | Press release

For more about this unique approach, see:


Great Doug Engelbart Quotes December 3, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Human Interest.
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Quotes by Doug Engelbart

Be sure to  Comment and share your favs!

“The complexity of the problems facing mankind is growing faster than our ability to solve them” — Doug Engelbart

Source:  Doug Engelbart: Father of the Mouse,
by Andrew Maisel, SuperKids, 1996

“The mouse was just a tiny piece of a much larger project, aimed at augmenting human intellect.”  — Doug Engelbart, inventor of the mouse

Source:  Doug Engelbart: Father of the Mouse,
by Andrew Maisel, SuperKids, 1996

“If ease of use was the only requirement, everybody would still be riding tricycles” — Doug Engelbart

Source: Smithsonian Oral History Interview

“The rate at which a person can mature is directly proportional to the embarrassment he can tolerate”  — Doug Engelbart

Source: Computerworld 25th Anniversary edition,
June 22, 1992, p 43

“The digital revolution is far more significant than the invention of writing or even of printing.” — Doug Engelbart

Source: TBD

“In 20 or 30 years, you’ll be able to hold in your hand as much computing knowledge as exists now in the whole city, or even the whole world.” — Doug Engelbart

Source: TBD

“There’s a double pressure on the evolution of every organization: how you evolve to be more capable and effective, and efficient, but also how you stay in synch with the rest of the environment.” — Doug Engelbart

Source: Engelbart’s Colloquium at Stanford, January 2000

People have got to become more effective at handling complex problems – at their daily strugle with complex and urgent issues. The survival of man seems dependent upon it. Any reasonable possibility seen by society for increasing that effectiveness should warrant serious investigation.”  — Doug Engelbart (1968)

Source: ARNAS Report, January 21, 1968
as displayed in the photo below

011-screen of wisdom-zoom

Photo from Doug’s lab (1968)  – see more

Quotes about Doug Engelbart

“I don’t know what Silicon Valley will do when it runs out of Doug’s ideas.”  — Alan Kay

Source: TBD

“His demo was a tectonic shift in the computing industry.”  — Paul Saffo

Source: The Mouse Turns 40,
VentureBeat, December 1998

“All the brilliant things he has produced are mere baubles compared to the ideas he’s trying to get across.”  — Paul Saffo

Source: The man who sees the future,
US News, May 20, 1996 8

See more at
The human side of Doug Engelbart,
by Christina Engelbart

Related Quotes

“We need to train people in an entirely new set of 21st Century skills, which are in fact the oldest skills: communication, collaboration, empathy, respect and how to overcome cultural boundaries.” — Toomas Hendrick Ilves, the fourth President of Estonia

Source: Posted by Bruce Holland on LinkedIn

“Our age of anxiety is the result of trying to do today’s jobs with yesterday’s tools” — Marshall McLuhan

“We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” —  Albert Einstein

“Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed people can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.”  — Margaret Mead (see Source)

Source: WikiQuotes: Margaret Mead
This attribution is contested,
but still it’s a great quote.

“One never notices what has been done; one can only see what remains to be done.” — Marie Curie

Source: WikiQuotes: Marie Curie
This was very true of Doug Engelbart.


Meet this year’s Engelbart Scholar Award recipients November 25, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Engelbart Scholars, Human Interest, Uncategorized.
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Congratulations to Ayah Oweis and Marina Green, our 2015-2016 Engelbart Scholar Award recipients from Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU), and their professor Dr. Gardner Campbell, Vice Provost for Learning Innovation and Student Success, Dean of University College, and Associate Professor of English at VCU. Dr. Campbell is the mastermind behind the Engelbart Scholar Program, as an extension of his innovative online course Thought Vectors in Concept Space, inspired in part by the pioneering vision of Doug Engelbart.

Watch this short video of last year’s Engelbart Scholars Spring Tour with the Doug Engelbart Institute:

See Also:

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

Engelbart Scholars tour with Doug Engelbart Institute,
by Christina Engelbart, June 2015

Internet Society showcases Engelbart’s Legacy at VCU,
by Christina Engelbart, November 2015

Internet Society showcases Engelbart’s Legacy at VCU November 24, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Engelbart Challenge, Human Interest, Uncategorized.
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In April 2014, Internet Pioneer Douglas Engelbart was inducted into the Internet Hall of Fame (posthumous award). One year later, the Internet Society ran a profile piece showcasing his lasting legacy, in particular how one university — Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in Richmond, VA — is putting his vision to practice.

“Doug Engelbart’s greatest breakthrough may be to change how we think, how we learn and innovate, and how we collaborate.” – Excerpt

Read the article:
Internet Pioneer’s Greatest Contribution May Not Be Technological,
Internet Hall of Fame, May 5, 2015


Engelbart Scholars tour with Doug Engelbart Institute June 14, 2015

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Archives, Engelbart Scholars, Human Interest.
Tags: ,
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

Posted by Christina Engelbart in Uncategorized.
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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


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