Christina Engelbart: Thank you. I know we’re all wish­ing that my father could have been here him­self today. He would have been deeply hon­ored, and I know you all have loved him. As his daugh­ter and also his long­time busi­ness part­ner, I feel so grate­ful for the oppor­tu­ni­ty to be accept­ing this award on his behalf.

Although many may not rec­og­nize his name, most peo­ple today are very famil­iar with the foun­da­tion­al tech­nol­o­gy that Doug Engelbart pio­neered begin­ning in the 1960s. From hyper­text to video tele­con­fer­enc­ing, from the friend­ly com­put­er mouse to graph­i­cal user inter­face, from new media to knowl­edge man­age­ment, online com­mu­ni­ties, dig­i­tal libraries, and much much more. By 1968, he and his team staged the first pub­lic demon­stra­tion of their work, which is now famous­ly known as the Mother of All Demos.

The fund­ing for his research came from Hall of Famer Bob Taylor at ARPA, who had been cook­ing up a plan to net­work all the com­put­er labs he was fund­ing. When Bob announced his plan to the prin­ci­pal inves­ti­ga­tors, Doug Engelbart was one of the first to line up, because it dove­tailed so beau­ti­ful­ly with his own research. So in 1969, when Len Kleinrock’s lab at UCLA was the first site on the ARPANET, Doug Engelbart’s lab at SRI was the sec­ond. UCLA had the addi­tion­al task of run­ning the net­work mea­sure­ment cen­ter to mon­i­tor ARPANET per­for­mance, and Doug Engelbart’s group ran a net­work infor­ma­tion cen­ter to serve and facil­i­tate the ARPANET com­mu­ni­ty.

Jake Feinler and Jon Postel got their start in Doug’s lab. His chief archi­tect Jeff Rulifson was a found­ing mem­ber of Steve Crocker’s Network Working Group. Vint Cerf and Bob Kahn were at one point both users of Doug’s col­lab­o­ra­tive hyper­me­dia sys­tem.

His accom­plish­ments span many dis­ci­plines, but it all stemmed from a sin­gle research agen­da in which he rec­og­nized a cru­cial need for human­i­ty to get smarter and smarter at solv­ing impor­tant prob­lems col­lec­tive­ly, espe­cial­ly in the face of accel­er­at­ed change, which he antic­i­pat­ed begin­ning in 1960. The single-minded pur­suit which he called aug­ment­ing the human intel­lect” and lat­er boost­ing our col­lec­tive IQ,” he saw not only as the great­est oppor­tu­ni­ty on the plan­et for unleash­ing our true poten­tial as a human race but our sin­gle great­est imper­a­tive as well. And here today, forty years lat­er, we have only still scratched the sur­face of this impor­tant research agen­da.

So to fur­ther hon­or his mem­o­ry and all that he worked for, I encour­age you, the inno­va­tors, the glob­al con­nec­tors, the pio­neers, the Internet Society, to con­sid­er this impor­tant chal­lenge, which is more rel­e­vant and press­ing today than ever. You can find his archives and his call to action on the Doug Engelbart Institute web site, and please do keep in touch.

I’d like to thank the Internet Society, and I know my father would like to thank also his team, because it always takes a col­lec­tive effort to get all of these things mov­ing. And then he always liked to thank his fam­i­ly so I’ll do that, for putting up with him all these years.” So, thank you very much.


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