The Routledge Handbook of Collective Intelligence for Democracy and Governance


© Photo Sager der Samler

The Routledge Handbook of Collective Intelligence for Democracy and Governance is an unprecedented collaborative academic book that will provide policy makers, students and civil society with a highly readable, diverse and informed set of theoretical background material and case studies that illustrate how theories of collective intelligence can be mobilized in practice to develop more effective policies and strengthen democratic frameworks.

It is edited by Stephen Boucher of Dreamocracy, with Pr. Carina Antonia Hallinof the IT University of Copenhagen and Dr. Lex Paulson of the School of Collective Intelligence.

The Routledge Handbook of Collective Intelligence for Democracy and Governance will:

  • Inspire by showcasing how societal issues can be addressed more effectively
  • Examine critically the potential for new forms of governance to increase the ability of public authorities to harness collective intelligence and thus help public authorities
  • Broaden readers’ understanding of collective intelligence, sharing the latest social science insights and a systematic review of relevant literature
  • Equip readers by providing them with key tips and tools, references to study further and background references, thus helping them tap into collective wisdom in their decision-making process through creative governance practices;
  • Incentivize public servants and others contributing to policy making to think and act in more collaborative ways with citizens, the private sector, academia, CSO’s, and all relevant stakeholders that can contribute to smarter policies;
  • Provide teaching material and opportunities to inspire and train policy makers, civil servants, students, and activists.

We know that, when public actors with a stake in the future of democracy have the right tools, when they learn from past experience, when they are inspired by examples from diverse contexts around the world, and see that collective intelligence can help govern more effectively, they are more willing to take on new challenges, involve a greater diversity of actors, embrace complexity, and be more creative.

The Timeline

The Routledge Handbook of Collective Intelligence for Democracy and Governance will be published in winter 2021.

The format

The handbook will consist of 10 sections, with introductory chapters by renowned academics and some 30 brief case studies from around the world consisting of 3 parts.

1. A real-life story (recent or not) in which people in leadership positions applied specific collective intelligence methodologies to overcome public challenges. Written 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; and providing practical dos & don’ts, where possible illustrated with infographics.


Selected case studies

  • An Eagle Watches Over Us: The Role of Youth in Community Change, USA, David Baum, David Baum & Associates, Author/Consultant
  • The importance of values – The Alternative in Denmark, Denmark, Uffe Elbaek, Frie Gronne, Danish MP
  • How digital democracy helped successfully manage the Covid crisis in Taiwan (tbd), Taiwan, Dr Helen K. Liu, National Taiwan University, Associate Professor
  • We need to talk! Members of parliaments unlock the potential of national parliaments’ collective intelligence, EU, Verena Ringler, European Commons, Director
  • Unleash – Mobilizing collective intelligence and cultural diversity to reach Sustainable Development Goals, Global, Catherine Jacquet, Deloitte, Change management and social innovation – Unleash Facilitator & Dr Mamello Thinyane, International Telecommunications Union, Principal Research Fellow
  • The “Leader” is dead. Long live collective leadership – experiments in Scotland to tackle complex problems in unknowing times, UK / Scotland, Keira Oliver, Scottish Government, Researcher
  • Mobilizing a whole region’s collective intelligence? The merits and limits of Co-Intelligence Wallonia, Belgium, Pierre Portevin,, Author, trainer, coach, facilitator
  • The “Agora Energiewende” – How conflicting constellations of interests converge, Germany, Dr Lars Grotewold, Mercator Stiftung, Director Centre for Climate Change
  • Collective intelligence for conflict prevention, Colombia, Diana Dajer, Policéntrico, Founder
  • Sager der Samler: building the interface between the micro and the macro to bring social innovation to scale, Denmark, Paul Natorp, Sager der Samler, Co-founder of Citizen Change
  • Government challenges, and how a telegram sparked innovation 100 years ago, Australia, Luis Lafosse, City of Playford, Designer in public sector
    & Jen St Jack, Jack Jensen, Consulting Partner
  • The Youth Justice Board, or how to spread innovation across a country, UK, Lord Jonathan Oates, UK House of Lords, Member of the House of Lords
    & Stephen Boucher, Founder of Dreamocracy, Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, ULB and CIFE
  • Troubled Youth: Turning Problem Makers Into Problem Solvers, USA, Tim Switalski, Center for Certification in Creativity, M.S., President of Darwin Associates, co-founder of CREA Conference, founding partner of the Center for Certification in Creativity
  • Common food for the common good? The case of Helmut Kohl, Germany, Dr Knut Bergmann, Berlin branch office of the Cologne Institute for Economic Research, Head of communication
  • Appreciative Inquiry for public policy (Sustainable Cleveland story), USA, Dr Ronald Fry, Benedictine University, Professor
  • How to be a successful EU Commissioner – as a newcomer, EU, Elke Esders, Politics Reinvented, Executive Consultant, Coach – Group Facilitator
  • Regulatory Gaming – the case of Macon (USA), USA, Dr Gianluca Sgueo, NYU, NYU Global Media Seminar Professor
  • The Democratization of Policy: A Case Study of Online Crowdsourcing Cancer Legislation in Chile, Chile, Annalyn Bachmann, MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
  • Future studies: 3 cases under discussion, in Asia, South America, Africa from the School of International Futures, Asia / South America / Africa, Cat Tully, School of International Futures, Founder
  • Mobilizing Citizen science insights to enlighten policy makers, Denmark, Dr Gitte Kragh, Aarhus University, Postdoc Researcher
  • Tackling humanity’s most complex challenge: how thousands of scientists inform policy makers, Global, Dr Renate Christ, IPCC, Former, Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Iceland’s Case – Crowdsourcing the Constitution, Take 2, Iceland, Elisa Lironi, ECAS, Senior Manager European Democracy
  • Deliberative Polling: Opinions when the people are thinking, tbd, Dr James Fishkin, Stanford University, Jannet M. Peck Professor of International Communication and Professor by courtesy of political science
  • Hearing the marginalized – the jan sunwai in India, India, Dr Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal, CNRS, Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CNRS-EHESS), Paris, Senior Research Fellow
  • Youth Engagement in Governance: School Participatory Budgeting in the Czech Republic, Czech Republic, Ankitha Cheerakathil, Institute H21-India, Executive Director
  • CI/AI study in the Slagelse Municipality & Project “Citizen crowdsourcing: An investigation of opportunities and challenges of using collective intelligence in policy-making”, Denmark, Dr Carina Antonia Hallin, Collective Intelligence Research Group (former Collective Intelligence Unit), IT University of Copenhagen, Head & Naima Lipka, Idem, Former Research Assistant
  • “Zero unemployment”: A small French town shows how to act boldly outside the box, France, Stephen Boucher, Dreamocracy, Founder
  • Accelerator Labs as a new approach to accelerating development, Global, Dr Victor Ladele, UNDP Accelerator Lab (for the Pacific Region), Head of Exploration
  • Policy labs and policy diffusion – Supporting Madagascar’s reforestation through a collaboration platform, Madagascar, Jean-Philippe Palasi, INDRI, Executive Director
  • Overcoming Fake News: Graam Vani mobilises participatory media in rural India, India, Dr Aaditeshwar Seth, Gram Vaani, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Associate Professor
  • Superminds in service to democracy: a case study from 2040, Global, Prof Thomas Malone, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence, Professor & Founding Director
  • Managing big data and large amounts of citizen insights for policy makers thanks to NLP, Global, Dr Carina Antonia Hallin, Collective Intelligence Research Group (former Collective Intelligence Unit), IT University of Copenhagen, Head


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