Democracy is in crisis. Trust in public institutions and politicians is at an all time low. Populist and divisive rhetoric is dominating global politics, resulting in rising domestic tensions. Equally, the world is at a significant moment of change and is facing some of the most complex and impactful social and environmental challenges in our recorded history.
Amongst this complexity, local and national governments are increasingly looking to new forms of democracy by utilising technologies and novel methods of public participation to transform how decisions are made. From citizen assemblies on climate policy to agreeing the distribution of city budgets, these democratic innovations can lead to more equitable and economically and environmentally sustainable outcomes, as well as activating citizen interest and participation in public life.
But, how can we assess the impact of new forms of deliberation and participation? What role can technology play in this citizen-led future? And how can we scale and institutionalise new methods and tools to realise their benefit?
COLDIGIT will examine the application of collective intelligence methods and tools to transform 21st-century public institutions. This project will focus on three participatory budgeting pilot projects in Trondheim (Norway), Gothenburg (Sweden) and Helsinki (Finland), run in partnership with the University of Helsinki, University of Gothenburg, Digidem Lab and SINTEF.
Together with our partners, Nesta’s Centre for Collective Intelligence Design will co-create:
- An evidence-based framework for tool developers and civic innovators to scale and institutionalise collective intelligence for public institutions and democratic processes
- An evaluation of the three project pilots and comparative global case studies
- A collective intelligence tool repository and ecosystem model
- Policy advice for public institutions to embed these methods and tools and build a closer relationship between government and the pubic
This project builds on Nesta’s previous work, including the Collective Intelligence Playbook, Using Collective Intelligence to Solve Public Problems and Digital Democracy.
At its simplest, ‘collective intelligence’ can be understood as the enhanced capacity that is created when people work together, often with the help of technology, to mobilise a wider range of information, ideas and insights. Collective intelligence emerges when these contributions are combined to become more than the sum of their parts for purposes ranging from learning and innovation to decision-making.
Look out for project updates and blog posts on this page, and to find out more about this project, please contact Oli Whittington: [email protected]