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Collective Intelligence in Crises

Activity: Talk or presentation typesInvited talk


As software is becoming ‘everyware’, it is embedded not only in the rhythms of everyday life, but also in the disruptions of the exceptional. In a 21st ‘Century of disasters’, people enact new forms of digital urbanism. With 6.8 billion mobile subscribers worldwide and double-digit growth, they have become generators of big data, documenting their lives in intimate detail, and they engage in practices of social collective intelligence, which can be highly valuable during crises. The most commonly encountered stories of such innovative use of IT in crises celebrate its potential to increase the efficiency of disaster response. But there are also critical voices, highlighting detrimental effects of surveillance, ‘qualculation’ or automation, and the noise and rumours arising from social media. This presentation is motivated by the fact that such binary framings fail to adequately open up the ambiguities of socio-technical transformations for analysis. To study the disruptive dynamics of digital urbanism in crises, I have joined design teams who produce ICT architectures for more interoperability and information sharing in disaster response. This presentation discusses examples and new approaches to responsible interdisciplinary social research and innovation.


TitleLecture Series on Design in Digital Societies
LocationKassel University
Country/TerritoryUnited Kingdom
Degree of recognitionInternational event