Why Collective Intelligence

What is collective intelligence

At its simplest, “collective intelligence” can be understood as the enhanced capacity that is created when people work together, often with the help of technology, to mobilize a wider range of information, ideas and insights. Collective intelligence (CI) emerges when these contributions are combined to become more than the sum of their parts.

Over centuries, every society has relied on collective intelligence to better understand and adapt to the natural world – sharing knowledge, culture and tools to better manage crops, combat diseases, anticipate weather patterns and much more besides.

Since the start of the digital age, however, the creation of collective intelligence has accelerated in speed and mushroomed in scale. Digital tools now help us to pool ideas in entirely new ways, generate and share new sources of data, and connect people across huge distances. Increasingly, artificial intelligence (AI) is being applied to help make sense from and use large volumes of data, while generative AI techniques are transforming the nature of content and knowledge generation.2

The process of collective intelligence design is now one of harnessing both the capabilities and insights of large, diverse groups of people, and the power of data and digital technologies to solve problems.

what is collective

It is likely that in the coming years, these tools will become increasingly integrated into collective intelligence initiatives for climate, particularly in the Global North, but this report does not cover AI applications in detail.