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About the project

Objective

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 Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) Center for Collective Intelligence has developed this crowdsourcing platform where citizens work with experts and each other to create, analyze, and select detailed proposals for what to do about climate change.

Approach

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 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 April 2015, over 300,000 people have visited the Climate CoLab, representing every country in the world, and over 30,000 have registered as members.  The CoLab community also includes 7,000 Facebook likes and 20,000 Twitter followers.  To learn more about the Climate CoLab community, click here.

In both 2013 and 2014, the Climate CoLab ran 18 contests on a range of topics, from how to reduce emissions from electric power generation to how city governments can adapt to changes brought on by climate change.  In those two rounds of contests, over 950 proposals were submitted, and the 64 winning teams came from Australia, China, India, Japan, Kenya, Mexico, Nicaragua, South Africa, Tanzania, the United States, Venezuela, and other countries.  The winners presented their proposals before potential implementers at MIT's Crowd & Climate conference, held in November 2013 and November 2014.

In previous years, 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.

In future contests, community members will develop integrated proposals that bring together elements from many different sub-areas into overall proposed solutions for the whole world.

Outcome

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.