Report by The GovLab and the Centre for Collective Intelligence Design at Nesta: “…The experience, expertise and passion of a group of people is what we call collective intelligence. The practice of taking advantage of collective intelligence is sometimes called crowdsourcing, collaboration, co-creation or just engagement. But whatever the name, we shall explore the advantages created when institutions mobilise the information, knowledge, skills and capabilities of a distributed group to extend our problemsolving ability. Smartphone apps like PulsePoint in the United States and GoodSAM in the United Kingdom, for example, enable a network of volunteer first responders to augment the capacity of formal first responders and give
cardiopulmonary resuscitation (CPR) to a heart attack victim in the crucial, potentially lifesaving minutes before ambulance services can arrive. Deliberative ‘mini-publics’, where a small group of citizens work face to face or online to weigh up the pros and cons of alternative policy choices, have helped governments in Ireland and Australia achieve consensus on issues that previously divided both the public and politicians. In Helsinki, residents’ involvement in crafting the city’s budget and its sustainability plan is helping to strengthen the alignment between city policy and local priorities.
Despite these successes, too often leaders do not know how to engage with the public efficiently to solve problems. They may run the occasional
crowdsourcing exercise, citizens’ jury or prizebacked challenge, but they struggle to integrate collective intelligence in the regular course of business.
Citizen engagement is largely viewed as a nice-to-have rather than a must-have for efficient and effective problem-solving. Working more openly and collaboratively requires institutions to develop new capabilities, change
long-standing procedures, shift organisational cultures, foster conditions more conducive to external partnerships, alter laws and ensure collective intelligence inputs are transparently accounted for when making decisions. But knowing how to make these changes, and how to redesign the way public institutions make decisions, requires a much deeper and more nuanced understanding….(More)”.