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 review and evaluate the proposals, and both experts and community members select the most promising proposals. For more, see How the CoLab works.
Activity to date
As of late 2012, more than 40,000 people from all over the world have visited the Climate CoLab, and over 4,000 have registered as members. The community's most recent annual contest, in 2011, 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 is dividing 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, experts in the area will advise community members as they develop proposals. After the contests end, the winning proposals will be presented to people and organizations who could actually implement them.
In later contests, 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.