Civic Intelligence Cases Survey: Foundations and Resources

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If you have information about projects or organizations that demonstrate civic intelligence, please consider making it available on the online civic intelligence knowledge repository vis this survey. For more information about this project, please read on.

We are living in an era of widespread social innovation. With the goals of better understanding and improving this type of collective intelligence — what we call civic intelligence — we have developed a short survey that aims to capture some of its broad contours. This is the beginning of the construction of a knowledge base that will contain a diverse collection of campaigns, projects, enterprises, and events that demonstrate some degree of civic intelligence. Our plan is to go more in-depth in a follow-up survey; if you're available we'd like you to continue working with us.

Thanks for contributing!

What is Civic Intelligence?
Civic intelligence, like other forms of collective intelligence, organizes, mobilizes, and improves shared thinking and action in the face of shared challenges. Civic intelligence, however, specifically addresses challenges with a civic dimension with approaches that are themselves civic.

When Do Campaigns or Other Activities or Organizations Exhibit Civic Intelligence?
An organization (or any group of people) exhibits civic intelligence when it addresses civic issues or problems intelligently. This sometimes means responding quickly and efficiently and sometimes it means responding in new ways. An organization that exhibits civic intelligence is expected to learn — and teach — over time. Due to its civic, outward orientation, civic intelligence also assists other people and groups in their ability to effectively mobilize. This includes training, establishing partnerships and coalitions, developing online collaborative tools and media products, and creating new institutions.

What Sort of Information are We Looking for?
In general we are interested in any effort that is intended to address shared problems collectively and intelligently. Some examples are listed below. Please note that this list is not exhaustive. If you think you have a good example, you probably do!

  • Organizing workshops or conferences where people develop skills or learn new knowledge
  • Developing software that improves civic engagement (e.g. collaboration, information sharing, deliberation)
  • Developing new incentives and making resources (such as information) available for people who are doing this work
  • Increasing public consciousness about public problems
  • Developing new ways to think about public problems or to address new challenges
  • Hosting public demonstrations or otherwise organizing public venues
  • Starting schools or other new institutions devoted to addressing public problems
  • Developing policy that improves civic intelligence in a region or among a community
  • Developing collaborative and other participatory techniques to create actionable knowledge

Why Open Up This Project?
We are developing this project in a participatory way for three reasons: (1) it's in keeping with project orientation, goals and themes; (2) it's the only way to realistically gather this information given the fundamental limitations on resources; and (3) the information that we gather at earlier stages can influence the directions that we may go into in the future.

Who Should Contribute to the Online Resource?
We encourage anybody who has information about activities that exhibit and/or improve civic intelligence and organizations that are performing those activities to contribute. If you have some of this information, thank you for making it available.

Please contact us if you have any questions or comments!

General Information
All the information provided on this survey will be available online. It may be necessary in future rounds to keep at least some of the survey input private.