Digital Agenda for Europe
A Europe 2020 Initiative

Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation

Collective Awareness Platforms, or how to use networks to connect citizens and ideas for social innovation, leveraging on collective intelligence and action to address sustainability challenges.
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"Be the change you wish to see in the world". (Mahatma Gandhi)

The Collective Awareness Platforms for Sustainability and Social Innovation (CAPS) are ICT systems leveraging the emerging "network effect" by combining:

  • open online social media,
  • distributed knowledge creation, and
  • data from real environments ("Internet of Things").

The objective is to create awareness of problems and possible solutions requesting collective efforts, enabling new forms of social innovation.

The Collective Awareness Platforms are expected to support environmentally aware, grassroots processes and practices to share knowledge, to achieve changes in lifestyle, production and consumption patterns, and to set up more participatory democratic processes. 
Although there is consensus about the global span of the sustainability problems that are affecting our current society, including the economic models and the environment, there is little awareness of the role that each and every one of us can play to ease such problems.

What for?

Such platforms can have very concrete impacts, for instance in empowering and motivating citizens to make informed decisions as consumers, or in fostering collective environmentally-savvy behavioural changes and a more direct democratic participation. Concrete examples of technical functionalities include:

  • Getting facts/evidence from citizens for better decision making (at personal or institutional level) (e.g. Wikirate: Enabling citizens to rate companies on their corporate social responsibility).
  • Driving sustainable behaviours and lifestyles (e.g. Decarbonet: Raising collective awareness about environmental challenges.
  • Developing alternative collaborative approaches to problem solving (e.g. Cap4access: Collectively removing barriers to inclusion).

How to build platforms for Collective Awareness and Action?

To implement this vision, a second call for proposals was launched in 2014 with a total budget of 36 million euro.
To find out about the projects that have been funded under the first call, please check the ongoing projects.

Additional information can be found at the following sites:

Last updated on 13/03/2015