Decisions 2.0: The Power of Collective Intelligence

Information markets, wikis and other applications that tap into the collective intelligence of groups have recently  generated tremendous interest. But what’s the reality behind the hype. The wide availability of Web 2.0 applications has led to the increasing emergence of professional amateurs: From ornithologists to photographers, people who previously had the passion but no tools are now empowered with technology that enables them to perform at the same level as professionals. The bottom line is this: For many problems that a company faces, there is  potentially a solution out there, far outside of the traditional places that managers might search, within or outside  the organization. The trick, though, is to develop the right tool for locating that source and then tapping into it.  Indeed, although a success like Wikipedia might look simple on the surface, that superficial simplicity belies a complex underlying mechanism for harnessing the power of collective intelligence. Consequently, any company that is developing a Decisions 2.0 application would do well to understand some fundamental issues, such as the balance between diversity and expertise, and the distinction between decentralized and distributed decision making. After all, without such basic knowledge, a business could easily end up tapping into a crowd’s madness — and not its wisdom.

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About Giorgio Bertini

Research Professor. Founder Director at Learning Change Project - Research on society, culture, art, neuroscience, cognition, critical thinking, intelligence, creativity, autopoiesis, self-organization, rhizomes, complexity, systems, networks, leadership, sustainability, thinkers, futures ++
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