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Creative Commons, Tim O'Reilly lauded for work to promote Collective Intelligence

Press Release Date 
Friday, 19 December, 2008
Creative Commons - the nonprofit organization that allows artists, authors, publishers and musicians the option of creating a flexible copyright for their work - was honored with the first Collective Intelligence Recognition Award for an organization, honoring its work to restore the balance between copyright and public domain for intellectual property.

Tim O'Reilly, founder and CEO of O'Reilly Media, Inc. and an activist for open source, open standards and Web 2.0 technologies, received the individual Collective Intelligence Recognition Award for his efforts to promote open participation and collective intelligence on the web. The awards were presented by renowned computer visionary and inventor Douglas Engelbart and , curator at The Tech Museum of Innovation.

Said Engelbart: "Along the digital frontier, we rely on our scouts to explore the terrain and exchange information at the trading posts. Tim O'Reilly has set up the Internet Pony Express to broadcast the possibilities of Open Source and Web 2.0 to the rest of the world. Creative Commons has begun the development of trading post rules for us to collectively work together in developing and applying knowledge to solve complex urgent problems. On the 40th anniversary of The Demo, I am happy to recognize both for their demonstrated contributions to increasing our collective intelligence. Great stuff!"

The awards were made December 8th during the first annual "Program for the Future: A Summit & Workshop on Collective Intelligence," hosted by The Tech in partnership with the MIT Museum. The event coincided with the 40th anniversary of "The Mother of All Demos." It was then that Douglas Engelbart introduced an astounded public to the computer mouse, copy and paste, e-mail and videoconferencing. The efforts of Creative Commons and O'Reilly help advance Engelbart's vision that his technological breakthroughs would lead to improvements in our "collective intelligence," harnessing the combined brainpower of large groups to make better decisions and solve complex problems. As Engelbart foresaw, digital communications and networked computing promise a new explosion of collaborative creative activity. More than 150 participants from across the country attended the conference and about 3,000 participated online. The conference agenda included: 
  • High-level, inspiring debates on how best to enhance our capability for problem-solving, decision-making and knowledge organization
  • The launch of a global competition for new tools to improve Collective Intelligence. The winning entries, to be selected in December 2009, will be featured at The Tech and MIT museums
  • The release of a book by Engelbart and scholars Valerie Landau and Eileen Clergg, and an accompanying graphical timeline that visualizes the intellectual and cultural trends leading up to, and proceeding from Engelbart's 1968 demo.
Summit participants included: Renowned innovator Engelbart; Dr. Peter Friess President, The Tech Museum of Innovation; Professor Thomas Malone, Founding Director, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence; Steve Wozniak, co-founder of Apple; Peter Norvig, Director of Research, Google; Professor Hiroshi Ishii, Associate Director, MIT Media Laboratory; Professor Andries van Dam, Brown University; Alan Kay, president of Viewpoints Research Institute, and Paul Saffo of Media X. 

"When it comes to collective intelligence," said Peter Friess, president of The Tech Museum of Innovation, "The Tech not only talks the talk but walks the walk. Our Tech Virtual program takes a collective intelligence approach to creating exhibitions. The "Program for the Future" competition solicits ideas from all over the world, the best of which become real museum exhibits. The Tech is committed to using technology for the betterment of humankind, therefore we are proud to host this ground-breaking summit for technology, academia and business innovators, and to launch the quest for new collective intelligence tools."

Conference participants had the very first opportunity to engage more than a dozen hands-on, interactive examples of Collective Intelligence tools as part of the December 8th evening program at Adobe. The tools came from all corners of the country and are as innovative as they are compelling.

"We're delighted to be collaborating with our colleagues at The Tech in this initiative. The MIT Museum's mission is to engage the wider community with MIT's research and innovation, in ways that will best serve the nation and the world in the 21st century," said John Durant, director of the MIT Museum. "MIT is a major contributor to the continuing development of Engelbart's farsighted vision, notably through the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence; and I hope very much that our global competition attracts new creative minds to this important area of innovation."

About The Tech Museum of Innovation
The Tech Museum of Innovation is a hands-on technology and science museum for people of all ages and backgrounds. The Tech - located in the Capital of Silicon Valley - is a non-profit educational resource established to engage people in exploring and experiencing technologies affecting their lives. Through educational programs, the internationally recognized Tech Awards, presented by Applied Materials, Inc., and the annual Tech Challenge team competition for youth, The Tech Museum of Innovation celebrates the present and encourages the development of innovative ideas for a more promising future. 

About the MIT Museum
The MIT Museum presents exhibitions and public programs designed to engage and entertain the public. Robots, holography, MIT lore, and cutting-edge exhibits blending art and technology draw visitors from around the world. The new Mark Epstein Innovation Gallery opened in 2007 and showcases some of the newest research and creative energy from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, MA.

Contact:
Roqua Montez
Senior Manager Public Relations
(408) 795-6225