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 Hallin of 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
  • vTaiwan: Deliberative Policy-making during COVID-19 (tbd), Taiwan, Dr Helen K. Liu, National Taiwan University, Associate Professor
  • Lawmakers across borders: members of parliaments unlock the potential of national parliaments’ collective intelligence, EU, Verena Ringler, European Commons, Director
  • Mobilizing collective intelligence and cultural diversity to reach Sustainable Development Goals (from global innovation labs to collective intelligence infrastructures for sustainable development), Global, Catherine Jacquet, Deloitte, Change management and social innovation – Unleash Facilitator & Dr Mamello Thinyane, United Nations University institute in Macau, Principal Research Fellow
  • Collective Leadership: Experiments in Scotland’s Public Services, UK / Scotland, Keira Oliver, Scottish Government, Researcher
  • Mobilizing Collective Intelligence for a Geographical Region: Lessons from Co-Intelligence Wallonia, Belgium, Pierre Portevin,, Author, trainer, coach, facilitator
  • The “Agora Energiewende” – How to facilitate the convergence of conflicting constellations of interests, Germany, Dr Lars Grotewold, Mercator Stiftung, Director Centre for Climate Change
  • Collective intelligence for conflict prevention, Colombia, Diana Dajer, Policéntrico, Founder
  • A platform for collective action: Sager der Samler in Aarhus, Denmark, Paul Natorp, Sager der Samler, Co-founder of Citizen Change
  • Have we lost the innovation spirit? How one telegram forever changed public policy in Australia, city of Playford, Luis Lafosse, Designer in public sector, board member with the Australian Institute of Urban Studies – South Australia
  • Challenging Received Wisdom and Spreading Innovation: Lessons from the Youth Justice Board, 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
  • How a new European Commissioner introduced successful collaborative decision-making methods, EU, Elke Esders, Social Innovation Consultant with a focus on citizen initiatives; founder of, with 23 years as a former Political Adviser at the European Parliament. Professional Coach, Group Facilitator and Health Educationalist.
  • Regulatory Gaming – the case of Macon (USA), USA, Dr Gianluca Sgueo, NYU, NYU Global Media Seminar Professor
  • The Pandemic Supermind: Using Collective Intelligence to Assess the Future, Chile, Annalyn Bachmann, MIT’s Center for Collective Intelligence, Research Affiliate at the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
  • Mobilizing collective intelligence for adapting to climate change in the Arctic: The case of monitoring Svalbard’s and Greenland’s environment by expedition cruises, Denmark, Dr Gitte Kragh, Aarhus University, Postdoc Researcher
  • The Icelandic Case: The world’s first crowdsourced constitution rises from the ashes, 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, CNRS, Centre d’Etudes de l’Inde et de l’Asie du Sud (CNRS-EHESS), Paris, Senior Research Fellow
  • School Participatory Budgeting: Creating Collaborative Young Communities, Czech Republic, Ankitha Cheerakathil, Institute H21-India, Executive Director
  • Reinventing Local Government Through Collective Intelligence and Artificial Intelligence: How a Danish Municipality Harnessed Citizen Insights, 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
  • Creating a ‘Voice’ of Collective Change Through Simple Mobile Phones, India, Dr Aaditeshwar Seth, Gram Vaani, Indian Institute of Technology Delhi, Associate Professor
  • 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
  • Beyond the Open Call: Smarter Crowdsourcing and Covid-19, Anirudh Dinesh Research Fellow – NYU GovLab
  • Mediating for A Smarter Dialogue: A Swedish Protest, Bernard Leroux, Mediator at Dialogues AB, in partnership with the Swedish Association for Municipalities and Regions
  • The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, striving to build an universal agreement on the science of climate change, Kari De Pryck, Sciences Po Paris
  • Political Bots: How Artificial Intelligence may facilitate the interaction between citizens and Lawmakers, Cristiano Ferri
  • The Knowledge Society and Tacit Knowledge / Collective Intuitive judgments for policymaking, Denmark, Dr Carina Antonia Hallin, Collective Intelligence Research Group (former Collective Intelligence Unit), IT University of Copenhagen, Head & Naima Lipka, Idem, Former Research Assistant
  • The power of stories for systemic change, Columbus, Ohio, U.S., Mary Alice Arthur
  • Rwanda’s national internet policy, i4Policy Foundation, Jon Stever and Eva Sow Ebion
  • Collective Intelligence towards African Futures, Passy Amayo Ogolla, African Network Weaver at the School of International Futures and a Program Manager at the Society for International Development and Julie Jenson Bennett, Co-Director of The Generation Poetry Project


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