Cross-fertilizing CI and civic intelligence

I know it’s a short notice but I’ve received the news only last night. The opportunity it represents for the cross-fertilization of the “collective intelligence” and the “civic intelligence” phenomena is just too important to not try to alert you all about it.
According to Doug Schuler, one of the thought leaders of civic intelligence, “Society often develops intelligent responses to collective problems often through citizen activism. At the same time, our innumerable problems may be outpacing our ability to address them and the ideas, tactics and technologies that we need may not be adequate… Civic intelligence goes beyond the individual and focuses on the collective and distributed nature of intelligence.” excerpt from Civic Intelligence pattern
It seems that the civic intelligence initiatives, such as A Pattern Language Project, could benefit from the significant work that has been done on the field of collective intelligence, and vice versa.
Here’s an opportunity to engage the dialogue. The Journal of Human Centred Systems will have a special issue on Exploring Civic Intelligence: Descriptions & Prescriptions. Due date for submission of extended abstracts (1000 words) is August 13, 2004. Details of the Call for Papers are here. If some of you reading this blog are also interested in CI applied to civic matters, then this maybe the perfect opportunity to collaborate on a paper that can feed and cross-polinate those fields.

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1 Response to Cross-fertilizing CI and civic intelligence

  1. George –
    Thanks for the notice about Exploring Civic Intelligence: Descriptions & Prescriptions. I will submit a proposal along the lines of the following thoughts.
    My working thesis is: “Community precedes cooperation.” Cooperation always involves working across boundaries, be they political, organizational, cultural, familial – or individual.
    This perspective has emerged from my 30 years work promoting regional cooperation among local governments.
    The paradigm: “Think globally, act locally” was innovative in its time. In 2004, the local scale is often too small to address current needs and opportunities.
    “Think local planet, act regionally,” is my candidate paradigm. That “regional communities” are organized and now act both to avoid tragedy in the commons and gain benefits—is largely UNKNOWN and INVISIBLE.
    The purpose of my weekly “Regional Community News” is to MAKE VISIBLE analysis and actions at multi-jurisdictional regional scales through links to current news coverage.
    Regions that work – e.g. are functional as a multi-jurisdictional regional community have DNA: it is geographically Defined; has a common Name and its Alignment is inclusive of smaller communities and participatory in larger regional ommunities.
    This is a consequence of underlying “bridging” social capital observed by Robert Putnam. It is community intelligence based on experience.
    Regional intelligence can be cultivated to build regional communities. My recommendation:
    “Acknowledge boundaries. Work across them. Think local planet, act regionally.”
    Local is singular, but regional is always plural – there are many choices of how to draw boundaries. That’s why a DNA building approach is useful. Still, any and all regions are within the framework of our local planet.
    Read and search prior issues at:
    Looking for others to explore this perspective. Please check the website.


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