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Collective Intelligence In Organizations: Toward a Research Agenda

ACM Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW 2010)

6 February 2010
Savannah, Georgia, USA



A new generation of web tools is penetrating organizations after successful adoption within the consumer domain (e.g., social networking; sharing of photos, videos, tags, or bookmarks; wiki-based editing). These tools and the collaborative processes they support on the large scale are often referred to as Collective Intelligence (CI).

This workshop, co-organized by PARC, XRCE, IBM Research, and University of Milano-Bicocca, will focus on CI tools for collaboration in work-related settings, especially for task forces now increasingly common in industry and government. The workshop is aimed at refining the problem; summarizing pioneering work on CI in general (i.e., exemplars of practices and tools); presenting specific design requirements, CI tools, and/or new methods; and ultimately developing a research agenda that specifically addresses the problem of supporting CI among knowledge workers in organizations.

Information For Workshop Attendees

1. Before the Workshop

You will get an invitation via email: register and use the private wiki: http://ciorg.wikispaces.com

Please read the other participants' position statements before the workshop [see right sidebar or wiki] to ensure familiarity with the experiences and goals of other attendees -- especially because only 6 of the 18 position papers will be presented. Since two discussants will also be paired to each presented paper, discussants will need to be prepared to ask a question of the presenter during the Q&A portion.

2. Workshop Schedule

Section 1 (9:00 - 10:30)

  • Introductions, followed by two invited talks by: (1) David Millen, IBM Research; and (2) Josh Richau, Jive Software.

Break (10:30 - 11:00)

Section 2 (11:00-1:00)

  • Short presentations (10 minutes + 5 for questions) of 6 position papers, which were chosen because they offer a wide range of different topics and perspectives that we expect will broaden the workshop group discussion
  • Designated discussants will pose questions to presenters as part of each presentation

Lunch and Posters/Demos (1:00-2:00)

  • Participants (labeled with a *) will give a 3-5 minutes preview of their paper using the poster

Section 3 (2:00 - 4:00)

  • Brainstorming to outline the key discussion topics for the day; participants will divide into small groups, moderated by the attending workshop organizers and invited speakers, and sketch a proposed research agenda [see Workshop Themes and Design Questions below for potential topics]

Break (4:00-4:30)

Section 4 (4:30-6:00)

  • Reconvene to summarize directions identified during the breakout discussions, survey key research, outline a research agenda with specific tasks for the group, check interest in publication plans and re-edition of the workshop, and regroup

Dinner (TBD)

Workshop Themes & Design Questions

  1. Empirical studies of work practices in organizations, e.g., case studies of taskforces illustrating practices and design requirements
  2. Designs of new software tools or proof-of-concept prototypes supporting CI in task forces, communities, or in-depth evaluations of tools already deployed that support CI in organization
  3. Theoretical contributions on collective intelligence, crowdsourcing, and community-based learning in organizations, which can directly inform design and research
  4. Cases of multidisciplinarity research showing the interplay between field studies, analysis of requirements, and development of CI tools
Design Questions
  1. What are the information sharing processes that constitute the context to the various activities and what features of CI tools that can capture these?
  2. What are available traces from previous activities and how they be exploited for the current activity?
  3. What is the degree of domain modeling that the tools need to support to leverage content created and shared?
  4. What visualizations and abstractions can help to monitor and make sense of the activities of others?
  5. How do organizational mechanisms such as trust, motivation/incentives, attribution, traceability of information and activity flows; how can they be 'designed in' (modeled or accounted for in) the CI tools?
  6. What mix of research methods, such field studies and logs analysis, are suitable for CI research and design?


Invited Speakers

  • David Millen, IBM Research

David R. Millen is a research manager in the Collaborative User Experience group at IBM T J Watson Research in Cambridge, MA. His group develops new social software applications, and explores the social, business, and technological implications of these new tools through field studies with small teams and communities. David's current research interests include understanding how individuals and small groups use the Internet and other emerging communications technologies: especially usage patterns, the various roles people play and social networks in computer-mediated communication. Recent projects include Activity Explorer, Dogear social bookmarking service, Cattail personal file sharing and the Beehive social networking application.

  • Josh Richau, Jive Software

Josh Richau is a Director of Strategic Initiatives at Jive Software working from Boulder, CO. Previously at HP via acquisition, Josh has spent most of his career building enterprise software for collaboration as both a technical and functional architect for workflow, project management and portfolio management applications. At Jive, he is heading an initiative to help combat the “noise problem” that occurs as community users share, generate, and aggregate more activity within the system. He is looking at speeding information consumption, improving filtering, and using recommender technology to help users find content they will find interesting.

Participants [attendees in bold]
  • Lester J. Holtzblatt, Laurie E. Damianos, Daniel Weiss
  • Ana Cristina B Garcia, Adriana S. Vivacqua, Thiago Cortat Tavares,
  • Tara Matthews, Steve Whittaker, Thomas Moran, Meng Yang
  • Federico Cabitza, Carla Simone
  • Les Nelson, Rowan Nairn, Ed H. Chi
  • Mark S. Ackerman
  • Daniel Olguín Olguín, Alex (Sandy) Pentland, Taemie Kim
  • Marcos R. S. Borges, Adriana S. Vivacqua
  • Jacki O’Neill, Antonietta Grasso (remote)*
  • Dorrit Billman, Michael Feary
  • Tomasso Colombino, Antonietta Grasso, David Martin
  • Anna De Liddo, Simon Buckingham Shum
  • Michael Muller, David R. Millen, N. Sadat Shami
  • Rosario Sica, Norman Lewis
  • Giorgio De Michelis, Marco Loregian
  • Convertino, Kairam, Chi, Grasso, Pirolli, Tanya Stricker, Eduardo Bascaran
  • Peter Tolmie (remote)*
  • Tadd Hogg (remote)*

Gregorio Convertino is a research scientist at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center) in its Augmented Social Cognition team, which investigates and designs social and collaborative tools for enterprises/ consumers.

Antonietta Grasso is a research manager at the Xerox Research Centre Europe. Her Work Practice Technology group informs the design of tools in support of cross-organizational teams through field studies.

Joan DiMicco is a research scientist at IBM Research working within the Center for Social Software. Her research interests include social networks, visualizations, and collaboration technologies.

Giorgio De Michelis teaches Theoretical Computer Science and Interaction Design at the University of Milano, Bicocca. In 2008 he created a startup aiming to build a novel operating system for workstations, embodying a situated language-action perspective.

Ed Chi is a senior research scientist and area manager of the Augmented Social Cognition team at PARC (Palo Alto Research Center).


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