Collective Awareness Platforms
= Collective Awareness Platforms for Social Innovation and Sustainable Social Changes (CAPS) are ICT systems leveraging the emerging "network effect" by combining open online social media, distributed knowledge creation and data from real environments (Internet of Things), in order to create new forms of social innovation.
"They are expected to support environmentally aware, grassroots processes and practices to share knowledge, to achieve changes in lifestyle, production and consumption patterns, and to set up more participatory democratic processes.
Our vision is that individuals can collectively "save the planet" if they are given the opportunity to act socially, based on trusted information. The key is enabling access to trusted knowledge about the state of the environment, the actions underway in our Communities to improve that situation, and the impact of our own actions. The extended awareness can be enabled by ICT technologies, for instance by exploiting paradigms from both Wikipedia and Facebook to develop decentralised and federated social networks, interfaced in real-time to the environment through networks of sensors, participated and owned by any single citizen, both in terms of access and content creation. These "Platforms for Collective Awareness and Action" will support environmentally aware, grassroots processes and practices to share knowledge, to achieve changes in lifestyle, production and consumption patterns, and to set up more participatory democratic processes.
The distributed situational awareness enabled by such platforms can then have concrete impacts, for instance in empowering (and motivating) citizens to make informed decisions and consumer choices, in real time, fostering collective environmentally-savvy behavioural changes and a more direct democratic participation. These platforms would be collective tools of social innovation, to design new visions of sustainable societies and environmentally sound solutions.
Concrete examples of technical functionalities would include:
- accessing real-time and easily understandable information on resource consumption
- comparing individual lifestyles against some ecological / environmental benchmark
- defining and accessing complex environmental models and simulations
Ultimately, these platforms will enable dialogues and discussions in the civil society to collectively orchestrate the most appropriate actions in a truly democratic, informed and non-mediated manner.
How to build platforms for Collective Awareness and Action?
As a first step investigating this vision, DG Information Society and Media launches a broad consultation openly including citizens and stakeholders. This could lead to the definition of multidisciplinary research priorities for the last call of FP7 and for FP8." (http://ec.europa.eu/information_society/activities/collectiveawareness/index_en.htm)