It took more than several years to persuade governments to change their attitude towards collaborative,
evidence-based governance with strong ICT enablement: a decade which included a worldwide economic
crisis, radical changes in the socioeconomic landscape imposed not only by wars, but also of the rise and
development of countries with huge manpower and natural resources. Public unrest, very low turnover in
democratic activities and a growing lack of trust in governments and their policies are currently
characterising societies and countries of our world.
In parallel, the world has become increasingly interconnected, complex and fast-evolving, making the effects
of individual behaviour and of policy choices much less predictable. We are increasingly dealing with highly
improbable events and “wicked problems”, which are often characterized as Black Swans since they appear
very rarely, with extreme impact and very limited predictability - at least with the tools deployed. Moreover,
within the recent financial crisis we experience the failure of governments to predict or drive even more
obvious and important societal goals: public sector income, unemployment, growth, standard of living are
more and more becoming “wicked problems” themselves, than deterministically sought-for targets.
The paradox is that at the same time, the amount of data available to governments for making sense of the
socio-economic environment has increased exponentially, either provided through sensors and the Internet
of Things, or through crowdsourced citizens’ ideas and criticism posted on social media.
Within this framework, the European Commission has decided to launch the CROSSROAD project within the
FP7 programme, aiming at building a consensus-driven Research Roadmap to consolidate and advance
research in a new, yet highly fragmented, domain and to provide strategic directions for the future of
research in ICT for Governance and Policy Modelling. The main goal of the CROSSROAD project has been to
drive the identification of emerging technologies, new governance models and novel application scenarios in
the field of governance and policy modelling, leading to the structuring of a beyond the state-of-the-art
research agenda, fully embraced by research and practice communities, as comprehensively presented in
This book is a result of the collaborative effort of several internationally renowned policy scientists, complex
system theorists, governance researchers, economists, management science and ICT experts, under the
guidance of the CROSSROAD team.
Seville, Athens, Brussels, Lausanne and Samos Island have been welcoming venues for this group, offering
opportunities for highly innovative and productive brainstorming. But, clearly, the on-line deliberation toolset
deployed by CROASSROAD was the key differentiating factor, engaging several hundred researchers, public
sector decision-makers, industry representatives and citizens.
May we all remember this collective experience in the times to come, a little proud that we tried the difficult
road: not to just “do the things right”, but to make an attempt towards “doing the right things” for ICT-enabled
Governance and evidence-based decision making.