The 2nd International Conference on Internet Science in May – Brussels

Following the 1st and very successful conference held in April 2013 in Brussels, The Network of Excellence in Internet Science (EINS) initiative, supported by the European Commission, holds its 2nd International Conference on Internet Science from May 27 to 29, 2015 at Flagey in Brussels, Belgium.

This 2015 edition, coordinated by Roger Torrenti (CEO, Sigma Orionis) will involve an open and productive dialogue among scholars and practitioners about three main multidisciplinary topics:

  • Internet and society (Internet and political participation, Internet of things and society, Virtual communities and behavioural patterns…),
  • Internet and governance (Internet governance and evolution, Internet solutions for Sustainability, Social sciences and ethics for Internet use…),
  • Internet and innovation (Collective intelligence for innovative solutions, New collaborative markets analytics, intellectual property and the commons…).

call for papers enables researchers to submit their publications on the conference main topics. Accepted papers will be presented at the conference and published by Springer in the Lecture Notes in Computer Science (LNCS) series. The submission deadline is 20 February 2015.

Through their work together, the EINS partners aim at strengthening scientific and technological excellence by developing an integrated and interdisciplinary scientific understanding of Internet networks and their co-evolution with society

The objective of EINS and this conference is to foster studies and experiments between all disciplines studying Internet systems from any technological or humanistic perspective, and which in turn are being transformed by continuous advances in Internet functionality.

For more details and registration, please visit the 2nd International Conference on Internet Science website.

The power of open innovation systems

A great article from Mark Klein and Gregorio Convertino was released in the latest issue of Communications of the ACM (Association for Computing Machinery) dealing particularly with collective intelligence.

Asking huge crowds to contribute to an organization’s strategy helps it to understand more efficiently the needs of a targeted group who will also feel implicated. This process is innovating as giant consultations – on none-constitutional topics – are quite new and is made possible thanks to technological innovation as gathering so many ideas (up to more than 150,000 contributors) requires the use of powerful internet platforms.

Main results and trends of this topic have been underlined by Mark Klein and Gregorio Convertino such as the following four main potential expectations of collective intelligence: « The long tail », « Idea synergy », « Many eyes » and « Wisdom of the crowd ». All of them are particularly targeting how thinking collectively can be superior to any other kind of intelligence.

Having regards to these established facts, Mark Klein and Gregorio Convertino are explaining the challenges that open innovation systems are facing and are proposing some way to overcome these barriers.


The abstract of the article is available for free on Communications of the ACM’s website.

Masters of Networks 3: designing the future of online debate

Back in the day, the emergence of the global Internet was saluted with joy and hope by lovers of democracy. Many activists saw an opportunity for an electronic agora, endowed with always-on operations mode and total recall, that would finally deliver an Athenian-style participatory democracy at the planetary scale, and win power to the collective intelligence of people. It turned out things were not so simple. Online communities have been around for at least 30 years: some of them led interesting, deep debates, and even built amazing things like Wikipedia or OpenStreetMap; others, not so much. A large-scale participatory democracy is very far from being realized.

Masters of Networks 3: communities is an event that tries to learn from the experience of 30 years of online debate. Why is debate fruitful and creative in some contexts, sterile and conflictual in others? Are there reliable tests for a debate’s good health? Can we predict how conversations will evolve? We will tackle these questions starting from a key idea: any conversation, both on- and offline, is a network of interactions across humans, i.e. a social network. In the course of the CATALYST project, Wikitalia and its partners have built Edgesense, a simple software for real-time, interactive network analysis of online communities (video demoexample).

Masters of Networks 3: communities is a two-day hackathon for network scientists, active members of online communities and people interested in participatory democracy to get together, discuss these themes and make sense of what we already know about them. We will visualize and analize the networks of several online communities, using the deep knowledge of its active members and moderators as our guiding star; our goal is figuring out what a “healthy” conversation network looks like, and if we can tell them apart from the networks of “sick” conversations (too conflictual, superficial, polarized etc.).

Masters of Networks 2: communities happens in Rome on 10-11 March 2015. Several scientists, developers and community managers from the CATALYST project will attend, but we have set aside about ten places to allow any interested person to participate. In particular, if you are running an online community and would like to visualize and analyze its interaction network, we can probably help – get in touch and we will see what we can do. Participation is free, but registration is necessary – go here to register. The working language will be English.

I will be there. I think this is a central issue; I tried to argue as much in the video below

Alberto Cottica (Wikitalia)


impacto 2014

CATALYST presented at Impacto 2014 in Sao Paulo

On December 8th, the Impacto 2014 event took place in Sao Paulo, Brazil.

More than celebrating the future of business, this event celebrated the innovators, the developers, the go-getters and the impactful. Its goal is to recognize the businesses and professionals that make a difference, that business can make vital and meaningful contributions to their community, no matter their size.

Lee-Sean Huang from Purpose, had there the perfect opportunity to present to the audience the CATALYST project as being a series of tools to scale discussions, in the context of “how prospectives brings inspiration”.




And the winners of the Open Call are…

Due to the large number of submissions, judging the proposals took us longer than expected, but finally we have come to a decision!

The winners of the CATALYST Open Call for Collaboration are:

We are looking forward to starting the collaboration with these organisations’ community and would like to thank once again all applicants for having expressed their interest in our project.

Stay tuned, more information to come!

debates debatehub

Help us test CATALYST tools today: join the debates and tell us more about your experience with DebateHub

The CATALYST Consortium has begun alpha testing of the DebateHub, a collective intelligence platform for group ideation, discussion, and debate. DebateHub also includes cutting edge tools to help community managers (visualize and understand the social dynamics and argument balance of a given debate or deliberation.

Purpose and the Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute have partnered with a several communities who have begun experimenting with DebateHub. These communities include Wisdom Hackers, a group of artists, activists, and entrepreneurs building an “incubator” for philosophy and wisdom into the discource of contemporary living, as well as the alumni association of the Interative Telecommunications Program (ITP) at New York University. CATAYST consortium partner Purpose is also using DebateHub as a transparent and inclusive place to plan its spring campaign and upcoming testbed, in which the organisation plan to use DebateHub as a platform for hosting a large scale public discussion about imagining the future of European identity.

We need your help to improve DebateHub. Please give DebateHub a try and give us your feedback by filling out the short survey below, which takes approximately 5 minutes to complete.

Thanks in advance for your help. We look forward to your input in our iterative design process and product development.


Join the debates now

We need you! Answer the survey and help us to improve DebateHub


Objects as results from graph queries using an ORM and generated semantic-relational binding

Marc-Antoine Parent, Collective Intelligence R&D manager at Imagination for People (CATALYST consortium’s partner), published a poster and an explanation paper entitled “Objects as results from graph queries using an ORM and generated semantic-relational binding” on the occasion of the 13th International Semantic Web Conference that took place in Trentino, Italy, from October 19 to 23, 2014. CATALYST and more specifically Assembl are the concrete examples chosen by Mr. Parent to image his theory. CATALYST is a project funded by the European Commission that aims to create a real ecosystem of tools from pre-existing development, which required a full interoperability. All technical partners decided to use Linked Data to get to this point. This poster and its related article will also guide you through solutions for proxies to data storage and generated semantic-relational binding for Assembl.

The poster is available from here and the whole related-article is available from here.


CATALYST latest deliverables are now available

Two new documents are online in the Reports & Deliverables page.

In June 2014, CATALYST invited the project’s community partners to introduce a series of specific testing tools in real-world settings. The goal was to test each specific technology developed by the different parties over a period of three months (until month 12 – September 2014). These tests consist in involving genuine participants in conversations and debates on pertinent topics and issues to foster discussion and allow each tool to be tested on an on-going basis.

Get an insight look at what happened and at the derived evaluation of CATALYST’s tools usability and usefulness!

5th consortium meeting

5th consortium meeting: towards the second year of activities

On October 7-8, 2014, the fifth CATALYST consortium meeting took place in Brussels, respectively at the the iMinds and the Provence-Alpes-Côte d’Azur Representation Office premises. Fifteen representatives from the 8 partners institutions participated in this meeting, which marked important milestones in the development of the project.

Over the two-days, a large space has been reserved for partners to present the status and progress of their work since the last official gathering held right after the first project event. It was a key and necessary opportunity to clarify open actions, discuss current issues and plan for the year ahead.

More specifically, after 12 months of activities, the project is now entering its second phase, closing the first round of community tesbeds and thus opening the way for technical partners to readjust and adapt their tools according to the feedback received from the communities themselves. Through the mutual agreement of the project’s way forward, CATALYST is now well settled to enter the second period of activities.

More information to come! So, stay connected or subscribe to our forthcoming newsletter for additional insights

common good workshop

The Collective Intelligence for the Common Good Workshop: a real success

Organised by the The Open University’s Knowledge Media Institute in its London campus on September 28-29, 2014,  the Collective Intelligence for the Common Good Workshop has been attendeed by  31 participants coming from all over Europe and beyond.

Featuring the CATALYST project and chaired by Douglas Schuler (Evergreen State College & The Public Sphere Project), Anna de Liddo (Open University, UK), Fiorella de Cindio (Universita di Milano, Italy), Mark klein (MIT, US) and Simon Buckingham Shum (University of Technology Sydney, Australia), the two- day event was composed of 17 presentations, answering the following open questions:

  • In what ways have the contexts for collective intelligence for the common good changed? And how might they change in the future?
  • What examples of collective intelligence for the common good historically and currently do we see? Why do they demonstrate collective intelligence for the common good? What might we see in the future?
  • What new socio-technological systems are currently being developed now to promote collective intelligence for the common good? What’s their significance? What problems or challenges are they facing? Where might they go in the future? What obstacles or challenges are these new systems intending to address? How might these systems / approaches be instrumental in addressing significant real world problems?
  • Researchers and activists focus on various aspects of collective intelligence such as sensing, deliberation, memory, focus, etc.
  • How might these diverse approaches and systems be linked to each other – and how?
  • What methodological approaches are relevant?
  • How do disparate perspectives, disciplines, and attitudes relate to collective intelligence for the common good?
  • How might these systems / approaches be instrumental in addressing significant real world problems?
  • What roles do “ordinary” people – citizens with or without legal rights – play in designing and developing these approaches?
  • Who are the stakeholders and what roles are they assuming in relation to collective intelligence for the common good? What roles might they assume in the future?
  • What has been, is currently, and what could be, the relation of the citizen to citizenship? of citizens to associations? of citizens to citizens?
  • How do face-to-face and other “real-life” encounters integrate with online communication and other uses?
  • What can we do to work with “proof of concept” models to ensure that systems get developed and maintained that are built on the findings?
  • How do we go about developing the necessary diverse set of partners and how might we work together?


Discover the CI4CG speakers

Ci4 cg madness from Anna De Liddo)


With deep discussions and sharing of ideas, the workshop greatly succeeded in opening a path for the establishment of an Open Research and Action Community Network, aiming at creating synergies and thus allowing joint-work with practitioners and researchers from all relevant fields.

The CATALYST consortium was proud to be part of such an important meeting and invites you to stay tuned to discover some pictures of this event in the photo gallery!

Finally, access the complete programme and participants’ list by clicking here and go on Twitter (#CI4CG) for additional insights!