About the project
The goal of the Climate CoLab is to harness the collective intelligence of thousands of people from all around the world to address global climate change.
Inspired by systems like Wikipedia and Linux, the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence has developed this on-line forum where citizens create, analyze, and select detailed proposals for what to do about climate change.
Anyone can join the Climate CoLab community and participate. Community members are invited to submit and comment on proposals outlining what they think should be done about climate change. In some contests, computerized simulation models project the environmental and economic outcomes of the proposed actions proposed. Experts evaluate the entries and pick finalists, and then both experts and community members select the most promising proposals. For more, see CoLab contests.
Activity to date
As of August 2013, more than 70,000 people from all over the world have visited the Climate CoLab, and over 6,000 have registered as members. Our 2012-2013 contests received 374 entries, and we have an active social media following: over 5,100 Facebook likes and more than 5,900 Twitter followers.
The CoLab's 2011 contest addressed the topic: How should the 21st century economy evolve bearing in mind the risks of climate change? Winning proposals came from teams with members in the US, Nigeria, India, and Australia. In January 2012, representatives of the winning teams presented their ideas in briefings at the United Nations in New York and the US Congress in Washington, DC. For more see History of the Climate CoLab.
New approach for 2012-2013
In 2012-13, the Climate CoLab divided the overall problem of climate change into many different sub-problems, like how to reduce emissions from electric power generation in the largest emitting countries or how city governments can adapt to climate change.
For each key sub-problem, we engaged experts in the area to advise proposal authors. After the contests end, the winning proposals will be presented to people and organizations who could actually implement them.
In future, community members will develop integrated proposals that bring together elements from many different sub-problems into overall solutions for entire countries, regions, or the whole world.
By constructively engaging a broad range of scientists, policy makers, business people, investors, and concerned citizens, we hope the Climate CoLab will help to develop, and gain support for, climate change plans that are better than any that would have otherwise been developed.