Chapter from “The Engelbart Hypothesis: Dialogs with Douglas Engelbart” by Valerie Landau and Eileen Clegg in conversation with Douglas C. Engelbart
Many years ago, I dreamed that people were talking seriously about the potential of harnessing a technological and social nervous system to improve the collective IQ of our various organizations. What if, suddenly, in an evolutionary sense, we evolved a super new nervous system to upgrade our collective social organisms? Then I dreamed that we got strategic and began to form cooperative alliances of organizations, employing advanced networked computer tools and methods to develop and apply new collective knowledge. I called these alliances Networked Improvement Communities (NICs).
The new technologies could enable more effective distributed collaboration, and the potential for shared risk and multiplied benefits seemed promising. In the dream, the solution involves giving high priority to the collective capability for a distributed community or organization to develop, integrate, and apply new knowledge. We already had this capability—organizations handle new collective problems all the time. But, in the dream, we become much more effective. I called this collaborative capability CoDIAK, for Concurrent Development, Integration, and Application of Knowledge.