There are potentially rich synergies between socio-technical innovation in collective intelligence, mobilities research and Computer Supported Cooperative Work IT Design. Examples like Wikipedia, collaborative sense-making in crisis situations (Palen et al 2007), participatory sensing projects (Cambell 2008, Goldman 2009, Haque) and alternative reality games such as ‘I love Bees’ (Gurzick 2011) illustrate that collaborative work can mobilise many distributed people and diverse kinds of information and that the results can amount to ‘crowdsourced’ production of intelligence about complex problems (Zwass 2010). On the other hand, the concept can mask problematic tendencies – far from being emergent and self-organising – some forms of collective intelligence may be the result of ‘puppetmastering’ (McGonigal 2006). Alternatively, sensitive orchestration of public virtual mobilisation practices may open up new, genuinely collaborative opportunities for public engagement.
This workshop takes examples of collaborative work and collective intelligence in disasters and ‘creeping’ crises such as climate change to explore opportunities and challenges for socio-technical innovation.