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SEOUL digital FORUM 2005 “Quo Vadis Ubiquitous: Charting a New Digital Society” May 18~20, 2005. Improving on our “Improvement Systems”. Improving on our “Improvement Systems”. -- Bootstrapping Capabilities in a Collaborative Work Environment. Peter P. Yim < >.

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improving on our improvement systems

SEOUL digital FORUM 2005

“Quo Vadis Ubiquitous: Charting a New Digital Society”

May 18~20, 2005

Improving on our “Improvement Systems”

Improving on our “Improvement Systems”

-- Bootstrapping Capabilities in a Collaborative Work Environment

Peter P. Yim


(v 1.08)

changing times so what else is new
Changing Times – so what else is new?
  • “The only thing constant is change” … that’s already a cliché
  • The issue: it's not just about "change“ … its "accelerating change" that we need to cope with
  • from …Thomas Kuhn's structure of scientific revolutions, …to Moore's Law …to Ray Kurzweil's age of intelligent machines …to ‘the Singularity‘
  • couple that with urgency and complexity, and we might even have a doomsday story to tell
the internet has got it right but actually not quite
The Internet has got it right … but actually, not quite!
  • What’s right?
    • the technologies, the pool of knowledge and resources we can amass, the almost universal access, ...
    • it's moving us in the right direction
  • What’s not?
    • guess what is the most popular “search term” on the web now?
    • more importantly: How many of the solutions to those 15 millennium challenges takes center stage on the Internet now?
  • We still aren't coping with the grand challenges!
comes doug
Comes Doug …
  • Dr. Douglas C. Engelbart -- the inventor, visionary and humanist
    • maybe you don't recognize the name -- but I bet you are very familiar with his inventions and the work he pioneered
  • what really matters is that he is an optimist and pragmatist … and he believes in a normative future
  • with that, he postulated the “Bootstrap” vision and mission, as a means to allow us to cope with complex and urgent problems on a global scale
harnessing explosive technology depends to a new degree on the capability improvement capability


Tool System

Human System



Travel, View















Capability to Improve

Needs a prominentand explicit role!


Harnessing explosive technology depends, to a new degree, on the “Capability-Improvement Capability”

- Doug Engelbart, Jan. 2000 (excerpt from the Stanford ‘Unfinished Revolution-II’ Colloquium)

Percept. Motor


bootstrap in a nutshell
“Bootstrap” in a Nutshell
  • Encompassing powerful concepts like:
    • Augmentation
    • Capability Infrastructure
    • New perspectives on ‘work’ (A-B-C work)
    • Open Hyperdocument System Framework (OHS)
    • Dynamic Knowledge Repositories (DKR)
    • Concurrent Development, Integration & Application of Knowledge (CoDIAK)
    • Networked Improvement Communities (NIC & metaNIC)
    • Exploratory Environments and pilot outposts
    • Collective Intelligence
    • Co-evolution of Human and Tool Systems, … and
    • Improving on improvements

disclaimer: “Bootstrapping” as Doug Engelbart teaches it, actually defies being reduced to sound-bites. The author is only making a meager attempt to make an introduction here. =ppy

something to watch out for
Something to watch out for …
  • These are a few things at the intersection of technology and society that I would watch out for:
    • at the edge: communities of practice, open standards development, ontological engineering and the emerging semantic web, open/free software, …
    • at the core: collaboration, co-evolution, openness*, … andpeople
      • * ‘Open’ as in transparency, open access, open standards, open technology (like open source software), open content, open knowledge, …. and ‘open mind’
some bellwether activities
Some bellwether activities …
  • These are some projects (which the author has first hand knowledge on) that might give us a peek into what is forthcoming:
    • OASIS - developing open standards through open collaboration
    • SOFI System - culminating statistics and futures research methodologies in a participatory platform to ‘measure’ the future
    • Ontolog Forum - moving ontological engineering and semantic technologies into the mainstream
    • US Federal Enterprise Architecture – an US initiative and presidential management agenda toward E-Government
    • Open Virtual Enterprise(s) in ‘fishnet’ organizations
working as communities of practice what are cop s anyway
Working as Communities of PracticeWhat are CoP’s anyway?
  • a group of professionals, informally bound to one another through exposure to a common class of problems, common pursuit of solutions, and thereby themselves embodying a store of knowledge.(--Peter & Trudy Johnson-Lenz)
  • small groups of people who have worked together over a period of time. Not a team, not a task force, not necessarily an authorized or identified group. They are peers in the execution of "real work." What holds them together is a common sense of purpose and a real need to know what each other knows. (--John Seely Brown / Xerox PARC)
  • groups of people who share a concern or a passion for something they do and who interact regularly to learn how to do it better.(--Etienne Wenger)
  • in our case here, it could be groups that work together along lines of business within the government that are dedicated to the support of certain business functions(--Brand Niemann / US eGov Semantic Interoperability Community of Practice)
case examples of communities on the cim3 net collaborative work environments cwe s
Case Examples of Communities on the CIM3.NET Collaborative Work Environments (CWE’s)
  • CWE-dev
  • Ontolog-Forum
  • Bootstrap
  • eGov: COLAB
  • eGov: SINE
  • Millennium Project(AC/UNU)
  • Protégé
  • Digital Art Ontology
  • … (more)
trend in web application
Trend in Web Application

Knowledge medium

Transaction medium

Publishing medium




1990 1995 2000 2005 2010

oasis organization for the advancement of structured information standards
OASIS -Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards

OASIS (Organization for the Advancement of Structured Information Standards) is a not-for-profit, international consortium that drives the development, convergence, and adoption of e-business standards. The consortium produces more Web services standards than any other organization along with standards for security, e-business, and standardization efforts in the public sector and for application-specific markets. Founded in 1993, OASIS has more than 4,000 participants representing over 600 organizations and individual members in 100 countries.

OASIS is distinguished by its transparent governance and operating procedures. Members themselves set the OASIS technical agenda, using a lightweight process expressly designed to promote industry consensus and unite disparate efforts. Completed work is ratified by open ballot. Governance is accountable and unrestricted. Officers of both the OASIS Board of Directors and Technical Advisory Board are chosen by democratic election to serve two-year terms. Consortium leadership is based on individual merit and is not tied to financial contribution, corporate standing, or special appointment.

vision of the semantic web
Vision of the Semantic Web
  • “The Semantic Web is an extension of the current web in which information is given well-defined meaning, better enabling computers and people to work in cooperation.” [SA2001]
  • “The Semantic Web will bring structure to the meaningful content of Web pages, creating an environment where software agents roaming from page to page can readily carry out sophisticated tasks for users.” [SA2001]
  • “The Semantic Web is a vision: the idea of having data on the web defined and linked in a way, that it can be used by machines - not just for display purposes, but for using it in various applications.” [SW]

[SA2001]: T. Berners-Lee, J. Hendler, and O. Lassila. 2001. “The Semantic Web” In The Scientific American, May, 2001 issue


Ontolog an open, international, virtual community of practice working on the application and adoption of ontological engineering and semantic technologies.

big o ontology little o ontology
Big O: Ontology; Little O: ontology
  • Philosophy:“a particular system of categories accounting for a certain vision of the world” or domain of discourse, a conceptualization (Big O)
  • Artificial Intelligence: “an engineering product consisting of a specific vocabulary used to describe a part of reality, plus a set of explicit assumptions regarding the intended meaning of the vocabulary words”, “a specification of a conceptualization” (Little O)
  • Ontological Engineering: towards a formal, logical theory, usually ‘concepts’ (i.e., the entities, usually classes hierarchically structured in a special subsumption relation), ‘relations’, ‘properties’, ‘values’, ‘constraints’, ‘rules’, ‘instances’

- These definitions are derived from Guarino, 98; Guarino & Giaretta, 95

what can we do with a sofi system
What can we do with a SOFI System?
  • Viewing/reading up
  • Comparisons
  • Drill-downs and searches on related information
  • Asking what-if questions by “tweaking” the SOFI parameters, or exercising alternate Scenarios
  • Developing new SOFI's
    • SOFI’s for different Countries, Regions, Municipalities, … etc. (e.g. a Korea-SOFI, USA-SOFI, France-SOFI, Russia-SOFI, China-SOFI; or a EU-SOFI, Middle-East SOFI, Greater-China SOFI, Asia-SOFI, Latin-America SOFI; … etc.)
    • SOFIs for different government or industrial sectors (e.g. E-Government SOFI; Petroleum and Oil industry SOFI; Automotive Industry SOFI; Aerospace industry SOFI; Science & Technology SOFI; Nanotechnology SOFI; Tertiary Education SOFI; … etc.)
    • SOFI for Corporations; individual Organizations; Programs, Initiatives or Product Lines; …etc.
  • Collaboration and Collaborative Development
  • Interaction and accessing data, information and knowledge
    • Human-to-machine
    • Human-to-human
    • Machine-to-machine
  • Building up the system’s database and knowledgebase
  • Shared concepts and understanding through ontology development
cop s are just the beginning
CoP’s are just the beginning
  • CoP’s allow us to bring the right people together, and allow these people to understand, over time, who has the real expertise, who they can work with, who they can trust, …etc.
  • To do real work, we still need:
    • streamlined processes, and
    • effective organization
    • … the traditional processes and organizations that work in brick-and-mortar settings may not be optimal any more.
an organizational form that the cwe aims at supporting leading us toward open virtual enterprises

introducing: The Fishnet Organization

An Organizational Form that the CWE aims at Supporting – leading us toward Open Virtual Enterprises

these are temporary (or semi-permanent) hierarchies, that emerge out of the CoP's, which capitalize on distributed capabilities to achieve specific purposes; when those purposes are achieved (or when the opportunities no longer exist), they disband, and the resources (people, knowledge, skill sets) are returned to the CoP's where they come from.

Source: Institute for the Future: Johansen, R., Swigart, R.Upsizing the Individual in the Downsized Organization

the cim3 approach 1
The CIM3 Approach (1)
  • This is about optimizing systems of People - Process - Tools(with people as an integral part of the system & at the head of the list)
  • Augmentation - human-machine interaction - collaboration - communities
  • Openness - we use open-source software & comply with open standards as much as we can; we open-source our technology and content, and participate in open standards development
  • Capitalizing on the Internet technology: taking it
    • from the research and academic network
    • to the current form as publishing media
    • to Transactions and Web Services
    • onto being its future as knowledge media in the Semantic Web
  • System built upon a knowledge architecture optimized for distributed teamwork
  • Emphasis on effectiveness and strategic value - not technology
  • Supporting entire user spectrum: from the everyday users to the power users
  • While we do ‘open’ work, we believe in properly remunerating our contributors, and in helping create a viable economic model for ‘openness’, possibly in the form of Open Virtual Enterprises (OVE’s)
the cim3 approach 2
The CIM3 Approach (2)
  • We work towards providing a work environment for both humans and machines, optimizing between objectives like
    • Supporting the expressiveness that humans need to convey their ideas, and the structure and rigor that machines need to properly interoperate - in essence, promoting both creativity and operational efficacy
    • The ease-of-use that everyday users need, and the versatility and extensibility that power users need to take their work to the next level
    • Securing the borders of the cwe to malicious intruders, while encouraging access, participation, sharing and the free flow of information and knowledge among members of the trusted communities
    • Catering to the quality requirements of information and transaction processing systems and the realities of human behavior that just aren’t *
        • Fully describable, fully online, fully informative, fully accurate, or fully responsible
  • Our intent is to foster shared understanding and learning
  • We are trying to spur innovation, as well as organic or emergent behavior in the user communities and teams

*Ref: Winograd, Newman, Yim “Including People in CIM Designs”

the dao of it all
the DAO of it all
  • Live with the ‘Duality’ around us:
    • the Cathedral vs. the Bazaar
    • the Form vs. Free-form
    • Discipline vs. Creativity
    • Transaction Process vs. Collaborative Process
    • Classic AI vs. Augmentation approaches
    • the small ‘o’ vs. the big ‘O’ in Ontology
    • Planned vs. Emergent behavior
    • The reductionist vs. the holistic approach
  • we are not bound to choose one or the other
  • Lao Zi had this figured out, circa 500 BC
quo vadis ubiquitous desideri collaborare
Quo Vadis Ubiquitous? … Desideri collaborare.

one last conjecture:

… it might just depend on

‘our attitude toward sharing’