Doug Engelbart Supports Shaping Youth By Offering Digital History

doug signing muralJan. 30, 2014 Thinking pensively about the late, great Doug Engelbart on this birthday today, as he would’ve been 89. Let’s celebrate his spirit by raising the collective knowledge for humanity…and applying it every day of our lives!

Jan. 30, 2013 update: Make it great for #88! Just wrote birthday wishes on Doug Engelbart’s wall and reminded myself once again why we need to ‘teach our children well’ about digital history and ‘where things came from’…

To that end, here’s an overview from SRI Int’l about Doug Engelbart, and a fun ‘show and tell’ about the mouse (mice!) that ‘didn’t make the cut’ from ITWorld. (kids will love)

Original post: For those of us battling the ‘dumbing down’ of pop culture to shift negative influences of appearance-based, consumption-driven, behavioral cues into a healthier worldview for kids, we have to stop and ask ourselves:

“What kind of world do we want?”

How can we best use media and technology to raise the collective IQ of humanity toward problem solving? Where have we been, where are we going, what will this mean for youth and kids of the future? How do we collectively use technology to map our future with integrity mindful of the perspectives of others and future generations?

Doug Engelbart often ponders this ‘co-evolution’ (technology and tools with human and cultural systems) which I perceive as the ultimate ‘mashup,’ uniting the best of both spheres to design and create for a greater good. The very fact that Shaping Youth asked over two dozen kids of all ages right here in Silicon Valley, “Who invented the mouse?” and NOT ONE even came close, points to our ‘celebrity obsessed’ culture…

Names like Rihanna, Zac, Mandy, Corbin, Miley, Miranda et al may resonate with youth but no one could even tell me who co-founded Apple, despite the fact that ipods, iphones, and assorted accoutrement were literally hanging from the kids’ ear buds, belt loops, hip pockets and backpacks. Wow. Maybe Steve Wozniak will get a recognition pop from his guest appearance on Dancing with the Stars?

I’m not saying Doug Engelbart’s name will ever be a ‘household word’ among youth, but I AM saying that when Shaping Youth was asked to pair with ‘Celebrities for a Cause’ on the Facebook Marketplace/Oodle cause classifieds (’09), I immediately thought of Doug as the man closest to our vision.

doug-engelbartNow more than ever, raising the collective IQ of humanity through knowledge and positive media pursuits for advancement of the sustainability of our planet is critical.

We’re honored to have Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart offer some digital history and perspective for youth and educators everywhere to support Shaping Youth. Timing couldn’t be better, given the bleak economy and clamp down in donor dollars, as the idea of selling things you aren’t using is sublime.

Think of it as a virtual garage sale among 175 million users…What better way to support Shaping Youth with a quick click that won’t cost you a dime?

The  Oodle/Facebook Marketplace is perfect for those who want to show their support but don’t have the gift of time OR money to give…

And by the way, Doug Engelbart and Shaping Youth will be ‘featured’ as the cause of the day on March 23, 2009, so post some arcane, fascinating, or just useful offerings to get in on the fun and help support us without ever opening your wallet!

Here’s what the man responsible for the historic 1968 ‘mother of all demos’ is ‘selling’ to support Shaping Youth via the Facebook Marketplace Celebs for a Cause offering that just launched today:

doug-mousegreenDoug Engelbart is offering:

Two different SRI mouse pads depicting the original invention of the mouse by Dr. Doug Engelbart, a signed and updated edition of his interviews and conversations with Eileen Clegg and Valerie Landau called Evolving Collective Intelligence, (limited edition) and a 1 X 7 foot reproduction of the massive wall mural (double-click link for detail) displayed at the 40th anniversary celebration of Doug’s original “Demo.”

The mural is a 100-year timeline of the Co-Evolution of technology/human tools to raise humanity’s collective IQ for global problem solving.

Proceeds of the $300 (obo) digital history items will benefit Shaping Youth to further our nonprofit’s mission to champion change. (Questions? email/contact:

Many have asked ‘what does Shaping Youth DO exactly?’

shapingyouth-avi-250x250Shaping Youth uses counter-marketing and media literacy tactics to lift the veil and peek at the psychological agenda of selling insecurity for profit.

We empower kids with hands-on demos and arm them with collective knowledge on the vast landscape of childhood being accelerated at warp speed via “age compression” to sell stuff…(currently seeking funding to productize our games and activities into open-source digital downloads using a train the trainer format)

We use this blog as a megaphone to enlighten and inform ALL ages, industries and stakeholders in full transparency…

And…we tackle the problem from the inside out, recruiting powerhouse thinkers, technologists, animators, film directors within advertising, (skilled in persuasion and motivation) to use the same entertainment tactics and techniques to enlighten and inform by flipping harmful messages into productive pursuits.

We use the power of media for positive change three ways:

  • Counter-marketing (currently productizing via film for global scalability reach)
  • Eliciting content accountability and change from industry producers themselves
  • Raising media literacy awareness via blog, podcast & internet film

what2In short, we ask ourselves:

How can we tackle this problem with the brightest minds using media and marketing prowess, from the inside out to create more meaningful content?

How can we reverse the trend of undermining children’s emotional and physical health with junk food for the mind (and body) that’s eroding kids’ self-worth?

We ‘rewire’ the power of media and marketing to shift the energy in a positive direction, inspiring actions that create sustainable change. Why?

Because we feel the influence of media and marketing is defining kids before they can even define themselves.

Technology, social media, and the digital sphere have incomparable reach and ability to influence, and we’d like to see it be positive and productive, contributing to health over harm with regard to humanity and cues being sent to children. Example?

dora tweenLook no further than the current marketing flap over Mattel and Nickelodeon’s character Dora the Explorer who is currently being ‘revamped’ to go from curious outdoor adventurer and independent spirit into a ‘tween’ entity with vapid values of makeovers and fashionista finds under the guise of ‘growing up.’

Is THIS the world we want?

Sure, she’s being ‘productized’ into COMPUTER integration, but for what?

To LEARN and explore the world around her OR to hunt for jewels via shopping expedition and mallrat mentality?

This is just one of many instances of Packaging Girlhood (and boyhood, and childhood universally) that needs a systemic overhaul to promote smarter thinking. (Here’s a petition for you to sound off if you agree)

You can find countless articles on what we consider to be ‘damaging drek’ versus ‘positive picks’ in our sidebar…we’re not a ‘review’ site and sure won’t tell you what to think, but we ARE a strident supporter of championing healthier worldviews as agents of change…If I had to sum up our view on media and marketing’s impact on kids, I’d say:

“The price we pay to mine kids’ childhood will ultimately cost us all.” So:

doug engelbart 2005Let’s applaud intellectual brainpower, not dumb it down…

Support collective knowledge and participatory learning, not just use social media networks and virtual worlds to hawk stuff…

Use the power of brand marketing to promote positive actions in the world…

Raise the bar for humanity to increase the collective IQ through technological advancements…And most of all, keep asking the question:

“What Kind of World Do We Want?”

Thank you, Dr. Engelbart, for sharing your visionary outlook for the future and for your ongoing support of Shaping Youth and our vibrant NextNow Collaboratory of thinkers and do-ers.

I hope some fresh young faces will now remember your name…AND your legacy forevermore.

Here’s where to buy a bit of digital history…

Related Resources

NextNow Collaboratory: Program for the Future

Program for the Future Timeline Human/Media Tool Systems

Engelbart Legacy Foundation Augmenting Collective IQ

Dave Davison’s Collective IQ Blogspot

Program for the

The Tech Virtual/Program for the Future Challenge

Doug Engelbart’s Augmentation/Collective Papers

MIT Center for Collective Intelligence


The Engelbart Mural (4 X 27 mural reproduced as 1 X 7)

doug book no authorCelebrities for a Cause:

Doug Engelbart For Shaping Youth

An updated edition of the book at left, Evolving Collective Knowledge, authored by Eileen Clegg and Valerie Landau in conversation with Doug Engelbart (and hand-signed by Doug) is part of his generous offering on behalf of Shaping Youth, along with the incredible wall mural, mouse pads and poster. (I want to buy it myself, but I guess that kind of defeats the purpose, eh?) Here are some other ways you can support us:

Help Shaping Youth Without Opening Your Wallet

Items You’re No Longer Using Can Help Fund Us

Doug Engelbart’s Celebrities for a Cause Page

How and Why It Works: The New Facebook Marketplace Powered By Oodle

Shaping Youth’s Page To Buy, Sell, & Help

Do1Thing and NPR Feature: Sell For A Cause

Shaping Youth’s New Donor Buttons on Sidebar At Right (so yes, we DO take cash, it’s just that no one seems to have any, so we haven’t even tried to ask! Lightening the load to ‘precycle’ goods seems to be a win-win for the planet AND our cause…if anything sells that is!)

Doug Engelbart Digital History: 1968 Demo 1 of 9 on YouTube (check out the mouse and the keyboard!)



  1. Dear Amy – So lovely to see this tribute to Doug and reminder of 2009 and your support. Happy Birthday Doug! I always remember what Jim Spohrer said once about Doug, and I’m paraphasing here – that early in his life Doug had “seen the other side” and spent the rest of his life trying to explain it to the rest of us. As Alan Kay said, “he’d seen the promised land.” If there is one (and I would say yes), he is there now. We were all so changed by his vision for humanity and your post reminds me — keep up the work! Viva Collective IQ!

  2. Great to hear from you Eileen; love the paraphrase of Doug’s vision, captures ‘the other side’ so well…Ping me whenever you’re peninsula bound, we’re overdue for a catch up! Viva Collective IQ is right! 🙂

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