What do you want to achieve with this project?

“Collective intelligence” has become a buzzword in many fields without always the substance, scientific grounding and know-how it deserves. This is particularly the case in the field of public action, where very little has been published outside highly specialized and academic publications. Many actors however are trying to innovate in policy making by tapping into a the wisdom of a wider, more diverse set of contributors. 

With this in mind, think-and-do-tank Dreamocracy wishes to bring together and analyze a unique set of real-life case studies through the lens of recent social science research. This will be in service to a diversity of readers, mainly policy makers, public authorities, service providers, academics, students, and the informed citizen, who urgently need inspiration, references and practical tools to foster collective intelligence for the common good.

Do you need help to put your idea into practice?

Dreamocracy’s team is undertaking this bold project as it believes that the world needs such a book to help accelerate positive change. As we have experienced with the first phase of conceptualization and scouting for contributors, the work required to recruit, coordinate and edit 50 co-authors is very significant. We also hope to put in place a concerted comms effort, as mentioned. 

The support we hope to obtain therefore from Citizens for Europe and any interested organization consists of: 

  • Active endorsement soon enabling us to continue recruiting and motivating the best possible co-authors.
  • Financial support for the staff involved in coordinating and disseminating the book, as well as financial support for co-authors who cannot contribute without a fee.
  • Support in finding the appropriate publishing house or in publishing the book as part of the Citizens for Europe’s own publications. 
  • Help with reaching out to relevant audiences to ensure the material’s maximum impact.
What are the details of the project?

With increasingly complex challenges needing to be tackled urgently and democracy being under threat, the purpose of Smarter Together: 50 Case Studies on How Collective Intelligence Can Help Government is to provide policy makers and civil society with an easy-to-read yet highly informed set of case studies that:

  • Inspires, by showcasing how societal issues can be addressed more effectively.
  • Informs about the real potential for collective intelligence approaches to help public authorities, by broadening readers’ understanding of what is collective intelligence, and by sharing the latest social science insights and a systematic review of relevant literature.
  • Equips readers, by providing them with key tips and tools, references to go further, as well as background material on a related website

After a foreword by a prominent policy maker – e.g. Kristina Persson, former minister for the future of Sweden-, and an introduction by the book’s editor, Stephen Boucher, the book will bring together 50 case studies, organized in a logical sequence of 7 sections, looking at the broad phases of the policy cycle as well as any creative process, plus one “meta-phase”: 

  1. Envisioning a better future
  2. Reframing challenges 
  3. Exploring new options / ideation
  4. Formulating and designing alternative solutions
  5. Overcoming resistance to change and exploring acceptability
  6. Developing a roadmap, implementing and evaluating for impact 
  7. Fostering a learning society

Each case study will be relatively brief (8-10,000 characters), and will have 3 parts:

  1. A story of a real-life (recent or not) instance when the people responsible deliberately used a specific methodology to overcome specific hurdles to collective intelligence addressing public matters. Told in an engaging and journalistic style, it provides key information regarding the players, dynamics, and challenges at play.
  2. Each case study is then analyzed in terms of the theory: what does social science tell us about the underlying principles at work from a variety of perspectives (social psychology, neuroscience, creativity, management…). It provides key references for further reading and quotes where appropriate key authors.
  3. A “How to” section, explaining what’s specific to the context; what methodological lessons can be drawn for replication; it providing practical dos & don’ts, where possible illustrated with infographics 

In the concluding chapters, a relevant academic and policy maker will highlight how these examples show how to unlearn the old way of doing politics; how we can overcome the reductionist dichotomy of “more” or “less State” in favor of state that acts more as a catalyst of society’s creative potential. It will also sketch out a reform agenda for public authorities to address the challenges of the XXIst century and enhance democracy, as well as what research agenda is needed in light of the case studies.

Contributors already committed are a mix of experienced academics, practitioners, experts and policy makers

Topics the proposal focuses on
  • analysis
  • Citizen Participation
  • Collaboration
  • Democracy and Participation