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New Paper On Water And Collective Intelligence

November 28, 2013

SAMI Associate Tony Diggle has just had a new paper published in foresight, the journal of futures studies, strategic thinking and policy, examining how collective intelligence initiatives can help address the challenge of water supply globally.

Collective Intelligence is a shared or group intelligence that emerges from the bottom up – the collaboration and competition of many individuals, and the paper commences with a review of the elements that might be desirable in a collective intelligence system. It then assesses water as an issue in global terms. It pays particular attention to the new set of World Water Scenarios currently being undertaken by the World Water Assessment Program of UNESCO and their latest World Water Development Report published in March, 2012. It considers the application of collective intelligence systems to the challenge of water provision with particular reference to a recent initiative led by the International Water Association (IWA), the IWA WaterWiki, which aims to be the online reference point for water, wastewater and environmental science and management issues. It examines potential future developments from a collective intelligence viewpoint.

It finds that it is increasingly recognised that the drivers that affect water provision are linked to the change drivers of other global issues. There is a need to deal with the inadequacies of currently available water data. Online collective intelligence systems make it easier to set practical goals and monitor progress and send, receive and act on the latest research and new information. Complementary collective intelligence systems in other areas are needed.

The paper is one of six papers making up a special issue of foresight on the Millennium Project and written by members of it. The Millennium Project ( is a geographically and institutionally dispersed think tank designed to provide a context for global thinking and improved understanding of global issues, opportunities, challenges and strategies.

The full citation for the paper is:

DIGGLE, Tony, “Water: how collective intelligence initiatives can address this challenge”, foresight, Emerald Group Publishing Limited, 2013, Vol. 15 No. 5, pp.342-353.

foresight may be accessed online at:

Reprints of the paper may be obtained by e-mailing:

Tony Diggle may be contacted at

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