The Steering Committee is Vint Cerf–co-inventor of the Internet who also serves as co-host for The Future of Text Symposium & Ismail Serageldin, former VP of the World Bank and founder of the Modern Library of Alexandria in Egypt.
Advisors for The Future of Text Initiative are Barbara Tversky, author of ‘Mind in Motion’, Bob Stein, co-founder of The Voyager Company, the first commercial multimedia CD-ROM publisher, Bruce Horn, programmer of the original Finder in the original Macintosh Dene Grigar, former President of the Electronic Literature Organization, Howard Rheingold, author of ‘Tools for Thought’ and educator, J. Yellowlees Douglas, pioneer author & scholar of hypertext fiction, David De Roure, Academic Director of Digital Scholarship at the University of Oxford, Livia Polanyi, theoretical linguist & Consulting Professor of Linguistics at Stanford University & Ted Nelson pioneer and cinder of the term ‘Hypertext’.
Future Text Lab
Adam Wern, Alan Laidlaw, Andreea Ion Cojocaru, Brandel Zachernuk, Daveed Benjamin, Fabien Benetou, Leon Van Kammen, Mark Anderson, Peter J. Wasilko & more.
Frode Hegland founded the Future of Text initiative out of a passion for the potential for the future of text to augment how we think and communicate. He is therefore a cheerleader and experimenter. He thinks someone has to be. He says:
“I believe that when we develop the means through which we can interact with text in richer ways, we develop the means through which we can interact with our knowledge–and each other–in richer ways. This will not be done through technique or tool alone, it will need to be done by building more powerful tools to support more techniques, unceasing a deeper literacy.
It is all too easy to think that we know what text is, yet the way we interact with text has changed beyond recognition from analog to digital text. Tom Lombardo wrote* that “truth kills creativity”. We think, from our everyday experience, that the truth of what text is what text does for us today. This ignores the long history of experimentation with what text can be, such as by the great pioneer thinkers of early digital text. With extended reality, we have an opportunity to fire up our imagination again, and to truly question what text is and what it can be.“
He is a former infantry soldier, advertising executive and teacher of the year, who is now entirely focused on realising the most powerful futures of text. For himself, for you, but most of all, for his beautiful son Edgar.
His mentor was Doug Engelbart (inventor of much of modern computer interactions) and his philosophy of augmenting our intellect is the primary inspiration for this work.
His published academic ACM papers include: Visual-Meta: An approach to Surfacing Metadata, Robust metadata in multiple environments and Addressing the Skies of the Future of Text: A Call for Continuous Improvement in Infrastructures. Two papers are due September 2023 at Hypertext ’23.
Vint Cerf wrote an editorial in ACM Communications on this work: The future of text redux.
Adam Cheyer (inventor of Siri), says of this work that the “Augmented Text tools are essential components for textual thought productivity.” Stephen Fry (actor & technologist) writes about my tool Liquid: “Get used to it & you’re hooked”
Frode Alexander Hegland