Engelbart is still trying to work with adults, speaking with groups ranging from academics to journalists to government organizations, including the National Knowledge Commission of India to help them envision a better approach to improving their systems and thinking toward solving complex problems. His nonprofit Bootstrap Institute is continuing to to pursue Engelbart’s technology and philosophical visions. Engelbart is driven by the belief that “if we don’t get collectively smarter, we’re going to crash.” One recent example he gave of how technology could have worked so much better was Hurricane Katrina. He believes that problems such as global learning could be solved if people were to organize information and themselves into “networked improvement communities” where wisdom would emerge from highly structured cross-discipline research.
A couple books you may want to explore, if you want to understand the contexts for the pioneering work Alan Kay and Doug Engelbart did decades ago:
- Dealers of Lightning: Xerox PARC and the Dawn of the Computer Age
- What the Dormouse Said: How the Sixties Counterculture Shaped the Personal Computer Industry