Smarter Together


© Photo Sager der Samler

Smarter Together: 30 Case Studies on Collective Intelligence’s Potential to Help Government is an unprecedented academic collaborative book that will provide policy makers, activists and academics an easy-to-read yet highly informed set of case studies.


It will:

  • Inspire, by showcasing how societal issues can be addressed more effectively.

  • Inform 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.

  • Equip readers, by providing them with key tips and tools, references to go further, as well as background material on a related website.

In the long run, the aim of this book is to:

  • Incentivize the public sector to think and act collectively by engaging with citizens, the private sector, the academic sector, CSO’s, and all relevant actors that can contribute to smarter policies.

  • Restore trust in government by strengthening the legitimacy of process, output and emotions which are the key components for this trust, as stated in our equation explained below.

  • Help policy makers think systemically, considering how to tap into collective wisdom in their decision-making process and being more open to creative ways of governing.

  • Provide teaching material and opportunities to meet with, inspire and train civil servants and policy makers.

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.

Each case study will be relatively brief (10,000 characters), and will consist 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: 

  • The Youth Justice Board, or how to spread innovation across a country – Lord Jonathan Oates, Member of the House of Lords & Stephen Boucher, Founder of Dreamocracy, Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, ULB and CIFE
  • We need to talk! Members of parliaments unlock the potential of national parliaments’ collective intelligence – Verena Ringler, Founder of European Commons
  • Troubled Youth: Turning Problem Makers Into Problem Solvers – Tim Switalski, Director of Leadership Development, Buffalo State College
  • Iceland’s Case – Crowdsourcing the Constitution, Take 2 – Elisa Lironi, Senior Manager, European Citizen Action Service
  • Systems thinking at the top of the European Commission – Elke Esders, Executive Consultant, Politics Reinvented
  • The “Leader” is dead. Long live collective leadership – experiments in Scotland to tackle complex problems in unknowing times – Keira Oliver, Principal Social Researcher, Scottish Government
  • Mobilizing a whole region’s collective intelligence? The merits and limits of Co-Intelligence Wallonia – Pierre Portevin, Auteur and Collective Intelligence Practitioner 
  • The “Agora Energiewende”: How conflicting constellations of interests converge – Dr. Lars Grotewold, Director Centre for Climate Change, Mercator Stiftung
  • Collective intelligence for conflict prevention – Diana Dajer, Social Entrepreneur
  • Common food for the common good? The case of Helmut Kohl – Dr. Knut Bergmann, Head of Communications, Institut der Deutschen Wirtschaft 
  • Regulatory Gaming – the case of Macon (USA) – Dr. Gianluca Sgueo, Research Associate, Universidade de Coimbra
  • Sager der Samler: building the interface between the micro and the macro to bring social innovation to scale – Paul Natorp, Activists and Co-Founder of Citizen Change (Sager der Samler)
  • Health Care provision Sweden – Bernard Leroux, Co-Founder of Dialogues AB
  • Unleash – An international innovation experience  – Catherine Jacquet, Director, Deloitte & Mamello Thinyane, Principal Research Fellow, UN University
  • The Democratization of Policy: A Case Study of Online Crowdsourcing Cancer Legislation in Chile – Annalyn Bachmann, Research Affiliate, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
  • Deliberative Polling: Opinions when the people are thinking – Prof. James Fishkin, Stanford University
  • Government challenges, and how a telegram sparked innovation 100 years ago – Luis Lafosse, Strategic Research and Analysis Officer, City of Playford & Jen St Jack, Consulting Partner, Jack Jensen
  • School participatory budgeting – Ankitha Cheerakathil, Executive Director, India of Institute H21
  • CI/AI study in the Slagelse Municipality / Project “Citizen crowdsourcing: An investigation of opportunities and challenges of using collective intelligence in policy-making”Carina Antonia Hallin, Collective Intelligence Research Group, IT University of Copenhagen, Research Affiliate, MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
  • “Zero unemployment”: A small French town shows how to act boldly outside the box – Stephen Boucher, Founder of Dreamocracy, Visiting Professor at Science Po, ULB and CIFE 
  • Hearing the marginalized – the jan sunwai in India – Dr. Stéphanie Tawa Lama-Rewal, Senior Research Fellow, Centre for South Asian Studies 
  • An Eagle Watches Over Us: The Role of Youth in Community Change – David Baum, Conversation Architect
  • Overcoming fake news: Graam Vani mobilises participatory media in rural India – Dr. Aaditeshwar Seth, Co-Founder of Gram Vaani Community Media
  • Forum Theatre Brazil – Stephen Boucher, Founder of Dreamocracy, Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, ULB and CIFE
  • Reinventing lobbying and overcoming resistance through gamification – Stephen Boucher, Founder of Dreamocracy, Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, ULB and CIFE
  • The Critical Ecosystem Partnership Fund: how biodiversity actors successfully managed to put their heads together – Jean-Philippe Palasi, Co-Founder of INDRI 
  • The importance of values – Uffe Elbaek, MP of The Danish Parliament for the Alternative Party & Stephen Boucher, Founder of Dreamocracy, Visiting Professor at Sciences Po, ULB and CIFE
  • Accelerator Labs as a new approach to accelerating development – Victor Ladele, Head of Exploration, UNDP Accelerator Lab for the Pacific
  • Tackling humanity’s most complex challenge: how thousands of scientists inform policy makers – Renate Christ, Former Secretary of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change
  • Appreciative Inquiry for public policy (Sustainable Cleveland story) – Prof. Ronald Fry, Benedictine University, Co-creator of the Appreciative Inquiry (AI) theory and method & Daniel Jérôme, Founder of Integral Togetherness

Interested ? Contact