Climate CoLab Competition Winners Present at UN, Congress

“As examples like Wikipedia and Linux show, it’s now possible to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people around the world to work closely together at a scale that was never possible before in human history.”

That’s Thomas Malone, director of the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and “principal investigator” of the Climate CoLab, a project of CCI.

In a new post, Malone provides an update on the goings on of Climate CoLab.

Last fall, Climate CoLab hosted a global competition for proposals on the question of what international climate agreements the world community should make. Anyone could submit ideas (over 13,000 visitors from 131 countries have been to the site).

“One of the finalist proposals came from a team at Tsinghua University in Beijing; another came from a software developer in North Carolina who had no prior professional connection to this issue,” writes Malone. “The winning ‘Popular Choice’ proposal suggested a creative kind of negotiation between neighboring countries in the Northern and Southern hemispheres that I haven’t heard proposed anywhere else.”

Climate CoLab then arranged for the winners to present their ideas in briefings last December at both the United Nations and the U.S. Congress.

Malone posted his update at the new MIT Sloan Experts site, which pulls together commentary on current business issues. Recent posts include Stuart Krusell on collective action in Egypt and Brenda Gonzalez-Hermosillo on the European debt crisis.

For quick background on the research and data supporting the use of collective intelligence for collaborative deliberation on climate change (and, more generally, how to enable large-scale collaboration for complex problems), see the overview “A New Way to Collaborate” from the Spring 2008 issue of MIT Sloan Management Review.