The first event of RootsTech 2012 was the keynote presentation “Inventing the Future, as a Community” by Jay Verkler, outgoing CEO of FamilySearch. Jay Verkler has led FamilySearch for ten years and has recently been replaced by Dennis Brimhall. During the time he led FamilySearch many innovations in technology have been implemented at FamilySearch. He has reached out to other companies to encourage new developments and collaboration.
I first heard Jay Verkler speak at the NGS Conference in 2010 and was further impressed with him at RootTech 2011, the first RootsTech Conference. He has been a pioneer in getting technology connected with genealogical research.
Jay Verkler’s keynote presentation was multi-media and he gave credit to many others who helped him create it. It can be viewed at RootsTech.org and there was a great article about it in The Church News. The The Ancestry Insider had a blog post giving more information about RootsTech reviews in The Church News.
Jay Verkler introduced the subject by giving background information about the population of the world and telling how we must collaborate to preserve family history information. He introduced Robert Gardner and David Barney from Google who briefly told us about new metadata that has been developed to optimize historical and genealogical searches. He introduced the CEO of BrightSolid, Chris van der Kuyl, and the CEO of Archives.com, Matthew Monahan. Both of these men expressed the importance of collaboration. There was a dramatization of collaboration between a FamilySearch researcher, a BrightSolid customer in Sweden, a Facebook user in America. The presentation finished with a vignette of a student in 2060 who was researching her family history. This was an inspiring presentation and made me grateful to have access to all the wonderful tools and possibilities for genealogical research. In conclusion Jay Verkler was presented a “To Turn the Hearts Award” by FamilySearch. He richly deserves this award.