Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation: a Horizon 2020 call with a good fit to Edgeryders community interests

Info on the call

Official home page Deadline: April 14th 2015

Specific Challenge: The challenge is to harness the collaborative power of ICT networks (networks of people, of knowledge, of sensors) to create collective and individual awareness about the multiple sustainability threats which our society is facing nowadays at social, environmental and political levels. The resulting collective intelligence will lead to better informed decision-making processes and empower citizens, through participation and interaction, to adopt more sustainable individual and collective behaviours and lifestyles.

The challenge includes the deployment at larger scales of digital social platforms for multi-disciplinary groups developing innovative solutions to societal challenges.

I think this call might be relevant to Edgeryders. Though it is probably unwieldy, as European funding in general, it could also be a better fit to Edgeryders than other calls.

Why it is relevant

I can see at least two strands of Edgeryders activity fitting well here.

One: the future of care in the hands of hackers/ HackCare Manifesto. Many of us worry about the drift emerging from the clash between Europe’s cash-strapped health and social care system and the Internet of Things. Since the IoT is profit-driven and large corporates-dominated, we run a very serious risk of ending up in a system of “care by artifacts”. Worse, these artifacts would be proprietary, untransparent, impossible to open and hack; and suppliers of these artifacts have a strong business incentive to sell not the product, but the service – it stabilizes the revenue. This, in turn, makes them more money if we never really heal, and stay dependent on paying the subscription fee to be well. I am not even looking at privacy issues, insurance companies getting involved, big data crunching resulting in people getting excluded from the system etc. This scenario is downright dystopian – we could call it “running Windows in your body”.

At the Future of care session at LOTE4, we all agreed we can do better than that. We envisioned a system of “care by a community of hackers, armed with cheap, open source tools”. This scenario is not a return to the country doctor: you still get to enlist sensors and algorithms to alert you if an anomaly comes up. But you do not delude yourself: benefits do not come from the artifacts, but from the community that builds, programs and deploys them, and that you can be a part of. Imagine a hackerspace for medicine, where doctors, technologists, and patients come together to design and deploy the system that best serves their local community; it would be resilient, and it would be trustable, because (a) it would be open source and (b) everyone is a patient sooner or later, so the doctors and the technologists themselves use what they build. We are seeing moves in this direction: there are already small companies that build medical sensors for Arduino, and Arduino has decided to fight the Internet of Things, trying to build an open source version of it.

Two: OpenEthnographer. The discussion at LOTE4 shows how richly textured the problem is, and how important it is that all voices are heard. This looks like a job for OpenEthnographer: an open massive online ethnography on health/social care in the age of the Internet of Things is likely to lead to important insights; and, crucially, to people with skills and drive discovering each other and just going for it, deploying prototypes. I think this stuff is prototypable: there is no need to go out and build an entire health care system. For example, @LucasG could partner up with some biohacker and the local community of 7,000 insuline-dependent patients in the Canary Islands to figure out if they can make insuline locally, instead of importing it  from Germany. It is one problem, well defined, with a clear local dimension, and the local community stands a chance to solve it.

Why it is a good fit

  1. Edgeryders has some track record in the collective intelligence space. We are marginally involved in the first CAPS (there was a pre-Horizon 2020 Collective Awareness Platforms program) call, as an external partner to the CATALYST consortium (to be announced); we have the OpenEthnographer project going; and everything we did from the Council of Europe days on has always been about nurturing and deploying collective intelligence.
  2. CAPS2 is going to depart from CAPS1 in that it is going to insist on funding projects that are (1) not too technology-driven; (2) are proposed by consortia that have at least two non-technology partners; (3) are proposed by "real communities with real people". I know this because the CAPS2 programme manager, Fabrizio Sestini, announced it in his speech at the launch of the call.
  3. Fabrizio himself is good people, and I believe he is running this thing with high integrity. Some edgeryders will remember him at LOTE2, helping us to figure out why is it so difficult for public sector organizations to work with informal networks like Edgeryders. That memorable conversation was one of the things that led to establishing a corporate vehicle for the Edgeryders community.

What we could do and what we need to do it

We could mount a project of type A (Collective awareness pilots for bottom-up participatory innovation paradigms) with two dimensions.

  1. Technological dimension: annotation of content on the web as conducive to collective intelligence. Part of this is our vision of Massive Open Online Ethnography, and this is what Edgeryders would do in the consortium. But other people care about other things, from OKFN with to argument mapping etcetera. "Web annotation" might be the unifying theme.
  2. Social sustainability dimension: we focus on a problem, like health and social care, that we think collective intelligence might address through the tools provided.

In this way, we could fund both the further development of OpenEthnographer and a large scale ethnography of the health care vs. the Internet of Things problem space. We could even prototype solutions, and do ethnography on those too!

Type A projects are large: typically 0.5 to 2 million EUR. To realize this vision, we need to be a in a consortium with a couple of important universities, one of which should be the lead partner. One of them could be a computer science department (for the tech stuff); the other one an anthropology or social sciences department (for the ethno stuff).

Alternatively (or additionally?), we could build projects of type B (Multidisciplinary research on collective awareness platforms – Internet Science) or C (Digital Social Platforms). B is interesting to us because it investigates things like “motivations and incentives for online collaboration, the impact of extended awareness and peer pressure in driving more sustainable behaviours, defining online reputation mechanisms, and facilitating policy and technological developments addressing identity, anonymity, ethics, (user-centric) privacy preservation, monitoring of network neutrality, non-discriminatory access, collective governance (including Internet governance), new economic and value creation models beyond GDP, quality requirements for user-generated knowledge, visualisation of social interactions and trends”.

C is interesting because of the focus on the international dimension. Both B and C projects are expected to request “small contributions”, that in this context means 2-4 million EUR (!) – source, p. 23. Projects of type A and B (but not C) have the requirement of having two non-ICT partners in the consortia. I don’t know much of these types of projects, but presumably we would need to be a part of a consortium with two or three very solid universities in the lead.

If you have any opinion or useful advice, let @Noemi know – she will attend the CAPS2 networking event in Brusselson December 16th.

1 Like

Thanks for the summary, reaching out now

Sent out a few enquiries.

Some background reading materials to ref. for eg. Terminology

CAPS Background Documentation

Thanks to @dante for sharing.

Let’s team up.

The TransforMap community is also investigating ICT-10-2015.

Please find our resources at .

We’re likely to send a call for collaborations on Wednesday. If you dig through the links, you will see that Edgeryders is already considered. @alberto and @nadia, also watch that space for updates later today concerning a drafting sprint tomorrow evening.

As for now it’s about finding a consortium, but I believe we all have some ideas of Work Packages and Deliverables already. Which we all should IMHO openly talk about until say February. Before the actual application writing procedure can take place.

Please note the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research is offering cooperation.

@noemi I’m glad to read someone from the community will be in Bruxelles. Would you need any further questions or opinions in preperation of tomorrow?

In the end: Thanks for tweeting.

1 Like


Sure, @almereyda, thanks for reaching out. Can I ask you what organization you are representing in this thread? What is that org good at, and how would that be deployed? Your Edgeryders profile is empty, and on Trello I can only see a thread on making a project, but – quite reasonably – nothing on the group that is having that discussion.


Can I ask you what organization you are representing in this thread?

For speaking about the H2020 process of TransforMap, it is supported by several institutions. Its lesser a networked project but an emerging Open Value Network itself. With all the ambiguities connected to such an effort.

Right now I’m submitting impulses to the process that derive from my own research*, but can later bind my work for this case within the legal framework of the id22: Institute for Creative Sustainability [1].

They were the ones who initially brought me into contact with the networked societies [2].

* Further readings for later at [3], [4], [5] and [6].

What is that org good at, and how would that be deployed?

Coming from a cohousing and participatory city development background, our work was always heavily based on ICT and their aid in reaching out to a vast diversity of ever changing partners.

Main initiatives here are experimentcity and CoHousing Cultures. Additional on site programmes are the EXPERIMENTDAYS and also Creative Sustainability TOURS.

In my opinion our skillset can be used to orchestrate [7] the partners while we are especially good at interacting with organized networks of different types of organizations [8], too.

Providing the infrastructures for them then turned out to render online collaboration my primary research topic in the last years. In which we constantly kept on reviewing and adapting our online practices.

Now, mostly run on their infrastructure, tries to return something to the communities of practice by providing basic and free online services.

Coming from there, I’m happy to work on the practical ethics of online collaboration [9].


  1. id22:
  2. id22: + TransforMap
  3. about experimentcity, 2012
  4. Public Space Invaders, 2012 with quatorze from Paris
  5. Volunteered Geographic Information, 2012-2014 in context of the Berliner Gartenkarte
  6. geosemantik programmation, 2013
  7. orchestration and gardening, 2014
  8. organization and agenda, 2014
  9. personal roadmap, 2014

Sorry another time for providing too many links again, it’s a bad habit that overstains people regularly. But so much has been said already. And I want to provide proper contexts.

So not a legal org?

Hi almereyda, I’m a bit confused, reading on it seems to me that TransforMap is the project you guys want to apply with, a loose network of networks, a federation of platforms, not incorporated (?)

Platform is a broad term.

Yes and no. Our will to cooperate comes from the TransforMap field. But we’re backed with several institutions in the background that just need to be aligned.

Also it’s not said that we want to apply with TransforMap only. It turned out that it alone can not hold for a whole application, but can fit on the work package or deliverable scale. In the thread you will find two proposals to be taken as blueprints by Gualter and me that focus more on the CAPS idea. But as things keep on moving quickly, I’m only consecutively finding the time to shape my proposal with more details than the existing consortium draft.

The next few weeks will bring enlightenment in that area, at least.

But you’re right with your broad understanding of “platform” - therefore I don’t aim for yet-another-django-drupal-experiment, but a well designed “Open App Ecosystem” so to say, that fosters interoperable and federated cooperation. So we rather define well designed vocabularies of cooperation and implement them in different “platforms” (in the meaning of “concrete websites”) to show the strengths of the distributed approach.

Please still allow me some time until I’ve brought my federated wiki about Horizon 2020 into a more understandable shape (scroll with cursor keys ← →). The comment on Trello from Nov 18 at 16:27 should give hints on how to understand it.

As stated above, I will update the card with actual developments later today.

My notes from CAPS infoday in Brussels

Some key aspects outlined in the intro and panels regarding this call:

-having real communities as test beds, that we already know. Ideally they would be formal partners in the project, but there’s an option to include them later, which opens the door to informal groups as well. My feeling was that projects and ideas used the word “platform” in an attempt to imply “communities” participating, yet it is obviously not the same. Building platforms is not a guarantee, and this is where ER has leverage and a real opportunity I think.

-openness to projects putting forward economic models beyond the GDP; an interesting example of what would not really qualify is the Living Labs; apparently they’re a narrow interpretation of CAPS, focused mainly on product development prior to commercial release and therefore not answering the issue of sustainability

-multidisciplinarity from the design phase - the criteria of involving non-ICT partners in a consortium refers to all the stages of the project; it should not be misunderstood as simply applying a tech tool for collective intelligence in various disciplines.

On looking for partners:

In a conversation I had with someone at p2p value ( it became clear that these events are a pretty long shot from getting you to finding your partners. Her experience with the p2p project (already funded) was of years previously working together and knowing what expectations were. If you gotta start somewhere, lower budget projects are the way to go to test partnerships.

This is mostly what I got out of the event, it was interesting but informative on a basic level… @almereyda you were watching the stream weren’t you? anything you found new as to the nature of the call?

1 Like

Insightful …

… but I must admit I’m not sure I got everything right. I would need them to be translated into our context.

I feel your notes should be inserted (at least as side notes) in Alberto’s initialization text.


I’m in Brussels with Ludovic Dubost and this evening we’ll be hanging around, anyone in Brussels who wants to meet up? @Nadia ? @Thomas_Goorden ?

If I may…

Hi @cjd, Nadia and Alberto are away on holidays until the end of Jan.,


What a shame, @cjd, we are in Addis Ababa! Next time, hopefully.

This worked as expected

Just a quick note: we did receive some proposals to be involved in this call. I am counting three right now, besides the one we promoted ourselves. Good to know.