A glossary for the repository of Collective Intelligence Tools and Case studies

The repository (https://coldigitkp.pory.app) presents collective intelligence tools (CI-tools) with examples of long-term implementation or examples of short-term projects using the tools. It is developed by the NORFORSK-funded project COLDIGIT.

This page provides a glossary to clarify specific terms used in the repository.


  1. Overall purposes of using CI-tools  

COLDIGIT is structuring the CI-tools in three overall purposes of co-creation relevant for the public sector. These are, in COLDIGT, seen as overarching activities for solution-finding within Collective Intelligence.  

Overall purpose Description
Co-funding and co-innovation Processes that aim to develop innovative solutions through collaborative, user-driven, and transdisciplinary approaches. Co-funding, such as crowdfunding or hybrid funding, is a means to complement mainstream funding activities and enables new types of research, innovations, projects and developments within the public sector. Co-innovation is aimed at generating new product or service innovations by using CI-tools and approaches. Both customers and users may be involved in such a process, and the process is linked to service design and user-driven innovation, which are traditions with established methodologies for supporting co-innovation.
Methods for co-funding and co-innovation: Civic crowdfunding, Co-design, Challenge competitions
Co-production of knowledge Processes that aim to open knowledge-building by involving actors that are not traditionally included in such processes. For the public sector, all societal stakeholders, such as citizens, different level government agencies, NGOs, and businesses, are relevant to involve. In co-production of knowledge an aim should also be to include knowledge from different actors on an equal level, and that knowledge is produced together throughout a knowledge cycle.
Methods for co-production of knowledge: Citizen science, Crowdsourcing, Crowd forecasting, Fact checking, Collaborative knowledge commons
Co-construction of policies and decisions Processes that aim to address wicked problems through co-creative and knowledge-based strategies. In the public sector, this is closely linked to the theories of deliberative democracy, in which a direct link between citizen participation and decision making is among the key characteristics
Methods for co-construction of policies and decisions: Deliberative citizen panels, Stakeholder-based negotiations, Crowdsourcing law, Participatory budgeting


2. Co-creation methods 

Concepts, approaches, processes, and methods that are used in co-creation processes. 

Co-creation method Description
Civic crowdfunding Civic crowdfunding means local communities raise funds for projects and campaigns publicly or with a common social goal, to create semi-public goods (De Crescenzo et al., 2021).
Co-design Co-Design is a process of involving all relevant stakeholders in a design process to ensure the outcome meets the needs of all the stakeholders (Stratos Innovation Group, 2016).
Challenge competitions An open challenge competition refers to searching for solutions to address common problems through a competitive mindset. They help spur novel ideas (Trebon, 2014).
Citizen science Citizen science is collaborative scientific research conducted at least partly by amateur scientists. It can also be seen as “public participation in scientific research”. Citizen science increases the capacity of scientific communities by helping them answer questions scientists cannot answer alone and increases public understanding about science.
Crowdsourcing Crowdsourcing (crowd + outsourcing) is a sourcing model where actors seek goods, services, work, information, knowledge, opinions, ideas, micro-tasks and/or finances by engaging contributions from a large and open group of people, typically via the Internet, to achieve complex, common goals. Crowdsourcing is usually based on voluntary participation.
Crowd forecasting Crowd forecasting utilises the wisdom of crowds to forecast future events. By engaging a large group of people, the forecast data will be relatively accurate and diverse. Predictions are aggregated with statistical methods into a consensus forecast.
Fact checking Fact-checking is a process aimed at investigating the factuality of some content, claim, statement or story. Fact-checking tries to promote the veracity and correctness of reporting. It can be done before or after a text is published and can be made internally by the publisher or externally.
Collaborative knowledge commons (Collaborative) Knowledge commons mean information, data and/or content that is collaboratively owned and managed by a community, usually via the Internet. Knowledge commons can be accessed by multiple users simultaneously without effect on their quality or quantity.
Deliberative citizens panels Panel discussions which gather citizens to have deliberative discussions on common issues.
Stakeholder based negotiations A negotiation process which engages all the relevant stakeholders to take part in the negotiations.
Crowdsourcing law A process where the wisdom of crowds is harnessed in traditional law-making processes to improve both the process and the outcome of the lawmaking process.
Participatory budgeting Participatory budgeting (PB) is a democratic and deliberative decision-making method where citizens decide how to spend part of the budget of a public entity. Participatory Budgeting enables citizens to prioritize money allocation and gives them real power to make decisions about public money spending. The process usually involves idea suggestions and voting.  Such processes may also include citizen monitoring in the implementation phase.


3. Functions enabled  

Those functions that are enabled by the CI-tool and technology that is applied by the CI-tool. 

Function Description
Gamification Gamification refers to the strategic attempt in using game-like elements to make engagement in collective intelligence projects more fun (Peach et al. 2020).
Geographic information system (GIS) GIS refers to a system for collecting, managing, displaying geographic data from the real world (Scholten and Stillwell, 1990).
Survey (Social) survey is a method of social research for collecting systematic data (often in the form of a variable-by-case grid) of social elements (e.g., behaviour, knowledge, attributes, beliefs, and attitudes) from a sample of the population. A survey often relies on questionnaires via papers, emails, online tools, phone calls, to collect data from respondents (Jupp, 2006).
Voting Voting is the action of choosing somebody/something in an election or at a meeting (The Oxford Dictionary).
Video Video is a system of recording moving pictures and sound, either using a digital method of storing data or (in the past) using videotape (The Oxford Dictionary).
Open suggestions Open suggestions refer to a form or technique to openly gather ideas from the mass population.
3D-modelling 3D-modelling is the process of developing a mathematical coordinate-based representation of any surface of an object in three dimensions (Wikipedia).
Natural Language Processing NLP allows computers to understand, interpret and extract key information from human language. NLP techniques can be used to carry out automated analysis of user-generated text from sources like social media, to better understand what issues matter to people, translate languages or simulate language (Peach et al., 2021).
Classification Classification is one of the essential supervised machine learning techniques to solve diverse problems of classifying images, texts, videos, information and so on (Knox, 2018).
AR/Augmented Reality Augmented Reality (AR) is a real-time direct or indirect view of a physical real-world environment that has been enhanced / augmented by adding virtual computer-generation information to it (Carmigniani et al., 2011).
VR/Virtual Reality While AR augments the sense of reality by mixing virtual objects with real-world objects in real time, Virtual Reality (VR) completely immerses users in a synthetic world without seeing the real world (Carmigniani et al., 2011).
AI/Artificial Intelligence Artificial Intelligence (AI) is a broad field that aims to understand and build intelligent entities, particularly machines that can compute how to act and think humanly and rationally. 1) Acting humanly: a machine can communicate in a human language (natural language processing), gather and represent knowledge (knowledge representation), answer questions and draw new conclusions (automated reasoning), adapt to new circumstances and improve algorithms automatically through learning processes (machine learning); 2) Thinking humanly: a machine can learn about human thought to think like a human (e.g., introspection, psychological experiments, brain imaging); 3) Thinking rationally: a machine can conduct deduction, inference, predict, and make decisions autonomously under diverse circumstances; 4) Acting rationally: A rational agent is not merely programmed to do something but to achieve the best (expected) outcome under uncertain situations (Russell and Norvig, 2002).
AI agents /Intelligent agents AI focuses on constructing agents (machines) that do the right things under the circumstances, meaning that agents generate effective behaviours by making algorithmic decisions (Russell and Norvig, 2002).
Swarm Intelligence Swarm Intelligence is a type of AI that aims to solve problems by creating teams of simple agents (e.g., ants and bees in nature) guided by collective rules. Swarm Intelligence involves self-organizing processes based on feedbacks and interactions between multiple agents (Tan et al., 2014).
Smart contracts A smart contract is a transition protocol that automatically executes the contractual terms of an agreement (e.g., vending machine and blockchain, and e-voting) (Zheng et al., 2020).


4. Steps of the governance process 

The Crowdlaw taxonomy (Crowdlaw, n.d.) is adapted to describe the steps of the co-creation processes. While the Crowdlaw taxonomy focuses on the law and policy cycle and thus relates to co-construction of policies and decisions, our process also covers co-funding and co-innovation, and co-production of knowledge. 

Process Description
Problem Identification This stage is dedicated to developing clear, straightforward problem statements. The goal might be to setting up topics to be addressed by the law, or to defining requirements for developing an innovative solution or producing knowledge.
Citizen engagement opportunities are linked to identify issues of concern and prioritizing them.
Solution identification This stage cycle is dedicated to finding diverse ideas to tackle a problem.
Citizen engagement opportunities are linked to formulate, deliberate upon, and propose innovative approaches to solving a given problem.
Drafting This stage is dedicated to drafting a solution. The goal might be reaching the final text of a law or policy, or it might be prototyping and testing an innovative solution.
Citizen engagement opportunities are linked to collaboratively writing, commenting on, and documenting draft legislations, policies or innovative solutions.
Decision Making This stage is dedicated to approving a proposed text of a law or policy, or a prototype solution.
Citizen engagement opportunities are linked to support initiatives and vote between options.
Implementation This stage is dedicated to putting a law or policy into action or to bringing a solution into practice.
Citizen engagement opportunities are linked to refine the action plan for the delivery of a legislation, policy or innovative solution.
Assessment This stage is dedicated to conducting evaluations to determine if a law, policy or innovative solution was effective in achieving its goals.
Citizen engagement opportunities are linked to monitor the outcomes and evaluate the impact on the overall well-being of the


5. Technological maturity 

Three levels of technological maturity reflect how mature the CI-tools are with regards to use, how long they have been used, and whether the tools have been evaluated.  

Levels Description
High Tools that have been used for >5 years in several different cases or have been evaluated.
Medium Tools that have been applied in a few cases, are used <5 years, have not been evaluated.
Low Tools that are novel or using new technology in an experimental way.


6. References

CrowdLaw (n.d.) The CrowdLaw Taxonomy https://catalog.crowd.law/about.html#catalog (13.09.2021) 

De Crescenzo, V., Botella-Carrubi, D., & Rodríguez García, M. (2021). Civic crowdfunding: A new opportunity for local governments. Journal of Business Research, 123, 580–587. 

IAP2 (2018). IAP2 Spectrum of Public Participation. From https://iap2.org.au/wpcontent/uploads/2020/01/2018_IAP2_Spectrum.pdf (13.09.2021) 

Mulgan, G. (2018). Big Mind. How Collective Intelligence Can Change Our World. Princeton University Press, Princeton and Oxford. 

Russell, S. and Norvig, P. (2002). Artificial Intelligence: A Modern Approach. Prentice Hall. 

Stratos Innovation Group (2016). Co-design: A Powerful Force for Creativity and Collaboration  https://medium.com/@thestratosgroup/co-design-a-powerful-force-for-creativity-and-collaboration-bed1e0f13d46 (07.10.2021) 

Trebon K. (2014). Six Tips for Measuring Success in Challenge Competitions. Digital.gov. https://digital.gov/2014/03/20/six-tips-for-measuring-success-in-challenge-competitions/  

Tan Y, Shi Y and Coello Coello CA (eds) (2014) Advances in Swarm Intelligence: 5th International Conference ICSI 2014, Hefei, China, October 17-20, 2014 Proceedings, Part II. Springer. 

Zheng Z, Xie S, Dai H-N, et al. (2020) An overview on smart contracts: Challenges, advances and platforms. Future Generation Computer Systems 105: 475–491.