The Doug Engelbart Institute, The Future of Text, Vint Cerf & The Computer History Museum Celebrates

The 50th Anniversary of Doug Engelbart's Demo
with an all-day Symposium at the Computer History Museum in Silicon Valley




On the 9th of December 1968 Doug Engelbart ushered in the era of personal computing with a demo which would go on to be called the ‘mother of all demos.’


Doug Engelbart wrote about the potential of computers to augment our capabilities in Improving Our Ability To Improve’, where he referred to interactive computers as “a tool that radically extends our capabilities in the very area that makes us most human, and most powerful”. He likened the power of computers to the use of fire by mankind as portrayed in native American folklore:


“There is a native American myth about the coyote, a native dog of the American prairies - how the coyote incurred the wrath of the gods by bringing fire down from heaven for the use of mankind, making man more powerful than the gods ever intended. My sense is that computer science has brought us a gift of even greater power, the ability to amplify and extend our ability to manipulate symbols.”


“We need to become better at being humans. Learning to use symbols and knowledge in new ways, across groups, across cultures, is a powerful, valuable, and very human goal. And it is also one that is obtainable, if we only begin to open our minds to full, complete use of computers to augment our most human of capabilities.”


Doug Engelbart felt that it was of “critical importance and enormous value in learning to use this new kind of fire.” We are still only poking at the embers of what he introduced us to 50 years ago.


We celebrate re-igniting his revolution and ask the question again: How can we augment our abilities to work to solve urgent complex problems collectively?


It is with these words The Doug Engelbart Institute, The Future of Text, Vint Cerf and the Computer History Museum invite you to join us in celebrating the fiftieth anniversary of Doug Engelbart's seminal demo with an all-day, in-depth symposium at the Computer History Museum.


Watch 24 min edited highlights to prepare yourself or the complete 100 min recording.


Join Ted Nelson, Tim O’Reilly, Adam Cheyer, Christina Engelbart, Tom Gruber, Howard Rheingold, Wendy Hall, Paul Saffo, Brant Cooper, Gardner Campbell, Stephanie Couch, Andy van Dam, Jeff Rulifson and members of Doug’s original team (subject to change) on the 9th of December in California:



The Symposium Celebrating the
50th Anniversary of Doug Engelbart's Seminal Demo




 9am til 5pm on December 9th 2018 at The Computer History Museum