Assembl OECD test

OECD testing period: a successful discussion thanks to Assembl

CATALYST partner Imagination for People has now been accompanying for six weeks the OECD, one of CATALYST Open Call winners, in its testing period with Assembl, one of the five tools developed within CATALYST. Over the last one-and-a-half month, Wikiprogress website, an OECD-hosted open source collaborative site for sharing information on the measurement of well-being, progress and sustainability, has been using using Assembl on the topic of youth well-being.

This testing period is already a success as more than 2000 people, from all continents, visited the discussion website and added more than 500 contributions. These inputs from the community members of the OECD proved to be extremely qualitative and well organized thanks to Assembl.

There are only four days left to participate to this great experience on the discussion on youth well-being’s website. The discussion is opened to everyone in the World will be closed by Friday May 15th. Have your say before!

More info is available on and on Twitter (@Wikiprogress)


CATALYST Final Event

CATALYST Final Event: meet us at CAPS2015

CATALYST will organize its final event within CAPS2015, the second edition of the annual event on Collective Awareness Platform for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS), on July 7-8, 2015 in Brussels. CAPS2015 theme is ‘Networked Social Responsibility’ and CATALYST partners will bring on stage their lessons-learned and experience in the implementation of collective intelligence tools within online communities. The three sessions organized by CATALYST will consist in a roundtable, a workshop and interactive demos. The sessions are introduced below as well as on CAPS2015 website.

  • Harnessing the Power of Collective Intelligence: Technologies and Communities

Taking the form of a round table, this session will explain how to efficiently manage an online community, make sense of scattered conversation and move from deliberation to action. The CATALYST project built an entire ecosystem of collective intelligence open source tools to improve the quality and density of online conversation and deliberation. Integrating the tools within existing communities sparked a reflection around how to best build technologies at the service of the end-users and make them evolve further with a continuous feedback loop.

During this session, CATALYST partners will present the lessons-learned with the support of representatives from the testing communities (including Ashoka, OuiShare, Loomio and EdgeRyders).

  • Which Future for Collective Intelligence Processes and Solutions?

The past decade has seen the emergence of hundreds of innovative and powerful collective intelligence (CI) technologies and platforms, ranging from wikis to prediction markets, from social media mining to open source software development, from web forums to crowdsourcing platforms, and from argumentation systems to serious games for protein folding.

These tools have the potential to transform almost all aspects of our society in profound and positive ways, allowing us to work together to solve complex problems more effectively, drawing together human communities, and empowering the previously disenfranchised. The most important barrier to continuing progress in this realm is a two-folded one: on one side very few people have a clear sense of which tools to use for which purposes, or of how they should be used; on the other, many of these tools are abstract solutions because they have been developed without implying the ultimate users, and consequently do not satisfy or interpret correctly their needs. In this workshop animated by CATALYST partner attendees will be invited to join the debate about the future of collective intelligence developments.

  • Interactive Demos

This demo session will be interactive as participants will be able to get a demonstration of the whole ecosystem of tools developed within CATALYST through the “user journey” defined within the project. It is a new inclusive way to discover how the use of the tools can be articulated to improve the quality and the density of online debates and deliberations.


The whole preview of CAPS2015 programme is available on the event website and also include a workshop about Networks for Good, animated by Lee-Sean Huang, Strategist & Designer at Purpose Europe, and member of CATALYST consortium. The event is free but pre-registration is compulsory.


Follow CAPS2015 on Twitter @CAPS2020eu (use hashtag #CAPS15eu).

CHI2015 SIG panel on Online Deliberative Processes and Technologies: join the discussion on Deliberatorium

A Special Interest Group (SIG) on online deliberative processes and technologies is gathering today, April 22, 2015 at the CHI2015 conference, to think collectively on the definition and organization of research and design for online deliberative processes and technologies. Two organizers of this meeting among seven are members of CATALYST consortium. Both Mark Klein from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT), and Anna De Liddo from the Open University will bring to the discussion insights from CATALYST and enrich the SIG perspective with the experience gathered in developing and testing with communities the project Collective Intelligence tools.

The main expected outcomes include “more rigorous definitions of the topics under scrutiny in relation to existing theories, methods, and technologies; a mapping of the space of design problems and promising solutions relevant to researchers and practitioners developing online deliberation technologies, and the identification of horizontal challenges; and the strategies to approach them, when studying and designing online deliberation.”

If you were not able to attend this SIG, you can still join the organizer’s discussion on Delibatorium following this link:

The full description of this SIG on online deliberative processes and technologies is available here ( and CHI2015 website can be accessed from here (

Testing CATALYST tools: an interview with Simon Tegg from Loomio

We interviewed Simon Tegg to understand his implication as software developer in the testing of CATALYST tools following Loomio’s successful application to the open-call.


Simon is a software developer at Loomio and Enspiral Craftwork. “At Loomio, we use online discussion and decision-making to manage the Loomio Workers Cooperative internally and engage with our community – using Loomio to build Loomio. The Loomio community has 700 people who we ask for advice on feature development and strategic direction”, he said. He further explained that these hundreds of members of Loomio community “are from all over the world and active in thousands of online communities”.


We then asked Simon about the reasons that pushed Loomio to apply to CATALYST open-call. He detailed his answer into two parts firstly explaining that “Collective intelligence is the idea that the intelligence of a group has the potential to be greater than any one group member and this was one of the main inspirations behind Loomio. He pointed out that the Loomio team experiences this every week in their own use of Loomio. “Someone will bring up a point that we had never thought of or put into words what we were thinking but didn’t know how to say and we’ll weave these points into the decision”, he said to support his statement.


Simon also mentioned that he and his community are now working on Assembl and Litemap as both tools “have taken approaches more explicitly geared towards large-scale collective intelligence. Our main interest in the CATALYST open call is as a shared learning project. We may incorporate any learnings into Loomio’s future development”, he claimed.


He continued explaining Loomio’s expectations from the use of CATALYST collective intelligence tools as “[They] know from [their] own experience that providing syntheses and ‘temperature checks’ at various stages can help groups move towards shared understanding. Assembl provides features for synthesising debates in a structured way. Loomio hopes to quantitatively test the impact these acts of facilitation has on the quality and comprehensiveness of discussion. The team is also intrigued by the impact that visualising the structure of the debate and presenting it back to participants will have as in the case of Litemap.”


Discover more interviews of CATALYST open-call winners such as the videos of Noemi Salantiu (EdgeRyders) and Carlos Rossique (AutoConsulta Ciudadana) on CATALYST YouTube channel and do not forget to subscribe for all live updates!

Testing CATALYST tools: an interview with Luca Iandoli from the University of Naples

We interviewed Luca Iandoli, an associate professor of Engineering Management at the School of Engineering of the University of Naples Federico II, to understand his implication in the testing of CATALYST tools following the University of Naples successful application to the open-call. Luca Iandoli is also a visiting professor at the School of Systems and Enterprises of the Stevens Institute of Technologies (Hoboken, NJ, USA) and a former Fulbright Visiting Scholar at the MIT Centre for Collective Intelligence. “In the last years I have focused my research work on collective intelligence and online collaboration. The fundamental question that I believe underlies most of my research work is: How can we design improve socio-technical systems in a way that individual action can be aggregated so that the collective system behaves in a more intelligent way?”, he precised.


Luca also shared with us information about his community, and what CATALYST tools can bring to it. “I have a large class of 150 engineering management students attending an introductory course in Economics and Management. A class is an obvious place for social learning and community emergence. The group is based in Naples, Italy and students are aged 21 to 23”. Luca also told us that he planned to use CATALYST tools to support extra lecture discussions and debate among students and in particular to help them to refine their argumentation skills. He supported his previous statement that “in more traditional engineering courses there is less room for debate and discussion because students are exposed to well known quantitative models and “unquestionable” design approaches. In Social Sciences instead, and in Economics in particular, theories and models tend to be more controversial and less amenable to strong quantitative modelling while the complexity of social systems can be much higher than the one of engineering systems. So I expect that following up the lectures and the theories with critical discussion will help students to learn better and provide them with an opportunity to improve their argumentation skills.”  


We then asked him why he applied to CATALYST; he said in reply that he would like “to access a network of people and resource in the field of social learning enabled by online technologies”. As for the core content of his proposal, it was related to the experimentation of CATALYST tools in educational application.


Luca chose Debate Hub for the experiment. He expects to learn more about the actual impact of these technologies on students learning and on how to improve the design of these platforms in order to get better outcomes. “I also expect to be able to share my ideas and the evaluation outcomes with the CATALYST network and engage into fruitful conversation and knowledge exchange”, he added.


Discover more interviews of CATALYST open-call winners such as the videos of Noemi Salantiu (EdgeRyders) and Carlos Rossique (AutoConsulta Ciudadana) on CATALYST YouTube channel and do not forget to subscribe for all live updates!

Consortium Meeting

6th CATALYST consortium meeting

On March 12-13, 2015, the sixth CATALYST consortium meeting took place in Rome at the Hotel Capo d’Africa. The meeting was preceded by the Masters of Network 3 hackathon (March 10-11) organized by Wikitalia (member of CATALYST), which saw the participation of most of the project partners. A great overview of the outcomes is available on Edgeryders’ (one of CATALYST open-call winner) website and on Twitter using the hashtag #MoN3.

Thirteen people representing the seven partners were present at this two-day consortium gathering where all major topics were discussed from administrative management of the project to technical issues through outreach activities. Since the last consortium meeting, which was held in October 2014, the testbeds with the open-call winners (Edgeryders, Ahoka, OuiShare, the University of Naples, CHEST, Autoconsulta Ciudadana, Loomio and the OECD) have started. This meeting was a great opportunity to present where each test is standing and to get all partners’ collective help to solve potential issues or adapt tools according to communities’ feedback.

Only six months are left before the end of CATALYST and the project has to be considered in its final phase. This meeting was thus a key moment to adjust technical and conceptual details in order to deliver in September 2015 the project’s open-source ecosystem of tools and a set of lessons learned.

Final results of CATALYST will be presented at CAPS2015 (July 7-8, 2015) but you can subscribe to our newsletter in order not to miss any milestone of the project. Stay tuned!

Large-Scale Ideation & Deliberation : Tools and Studies in Organizations

The activities performed within CATALYST provide technical partners with inputs to contribute to research on Collective Intelligence. In an article published in the Journal of Social Media Organizations (JSMO) on March 12th, 2015, Gregorio Convertino, Adam Weterski, Anna De Liddo (Open University, CATALYST’s partner) and Paloma Diaz are introducing the concepts of large-scale ideation & deliberation. The interest for this topic is explained as well as the events that led to this batch of articles. This paper is a necessary preamble to the four research articles also published in the Volume 2, Number 1 of this issue of the JSMO. The first is entitled “Five design principles for crowd-sourcing policymaking: Assessing the case of crowd-sourced off-road traffic law in Finland” and reports on a pioneering case study where crowdsourcing was applied to the law-reform process by including citizens. The second paper, “LiquidFeedback in Large-Scale Civic Contexts: Framing Multiple Styles of Online Participation”, reports on the case studies of two communities of citizens who used LiquidFeedback open-source platform to make large-scale deliberations. The third paper, “Understanding the Roles of Artifacts in Democratic Deliberation from Citizen’s Initiative review”, focuses on an ethnographic study of a community that practices democratic deliberation. The last contribution, entitled “A Roadmap for open Innovation Systems” emphasizes on the future developments of large-scale ideation and deliberation and is more detailed in another news available here.


The whole article is available here.


Gregorio Convertino, Adam Weterski, Anna De Liddo, Paloma Diaz

Large-Scale Ideation & Deliberation : Tools and Studies in Organizations

Journal of Social Media

volume 1, number 2


Open Innovation System

A Roadmap for Open Innovation Systems

As part of their involvement in CATALYST, partners participate to research papers on Collective Intelligence based on the experience they gathered. A scientific article on open innovation systems written by Mark Klein (MIT / University of Zurich, CATALYST’s consortium partner) and Gregorio Convertino was released on March 12th, 2015, in the special issue of the Journal of Social Media for Organizations, Volume 1, number 2, dedicated to large-scale ideation and deliberation. Open innovation systems are directly related to collective intelligence as they allow the harvesting of the participation of potentially thousands of individuals. If this access to collective intelligence can be a real advantage, it may also be difficult to canalize such a high level of participation and to get the best possible result of crowd-thinking. The article goes through the main challenges facing open innovation systems and gives answers on the ways the research community can move forward on this important topic. Semi-formalized structures, micro-tasks, attention mediation, etc., all these concepts are solutions to challenges such as idea filtering, idea evaluation or even coverage comprehension.


The whole article is available here.


Mark Klein, Gregorio Convertino

A Roadmap for Open Innovation Systems

Journal of Social Media

volume 1, number 2



Next stop: Costa Rica – CATALYST at the FORWARD/STORY Workshop in May

FORWARD/STORY (Forward Slash Story) is an invite-only 4 days residential lab, starting from May 15-18, 2015, in Costa Rica.


The Forward/Story is a special lab for writers and designers, who work in uncharted territories to share their journey, techniques, socialize, collaborate, and solve problems. Five core challenges that storytellers face will be explored in a collaborative environment.


A special advisor at Purpose – CATALYST‘s partner, Lee-Sean Huang is one of selected storytellers. He will take CATALYST on board to the FORWARD/STORY workshop.


Find out more information about the workshop and participants at, or follow on Twitter: @fwdstory




Transformative storytelling

Bring CATALYST across the ocean to Mexico City – A workshop on Transformative Storytelling

Strengthen your storytelling skills with Lee-Sean Huang,  a founding member of the design practice at Purpose, one of CATALYST’s partners.  As a part of the workshop, he will be talking about Catalyst’s Collective Intelligence Tools.


The workshop will be organized on Friday, 6th March 2015 at 9:30 am at Smart Impact/ Jardín de Innovación (an innovation Accelerator), Sonora 123. Esquina Parque España, Ciudad de México.


Find out more information about the workshop at, and/or contact information at


Stop by Smart Impact if you happen to be in Mexico City!… Nos Vemos en Mexico City!