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 ») in order to create awareness of problems and possible solutions requesting collective efforts, enabling new forms of social innovation.
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, in a grassroots manner.
Be the change you wish to see in the world
The vision behind this initiative is that individuals can collectively save the planet if they are given the opportunity to act socially, based on trusted information. The key is enabling access to trusted knowledge about the state of the environment, the actions underway in our Communities to improve that situation, and the impact of our own actions.
The distributed situational awareness enabled by 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. These platforms are collective tools of social innovation, to design new visions of sustainable societies and environmentally sound solutions.
Concrete examples of technical functionalities would include:
- Accessing real-time and easily understandable information on resource consumption
- Comparing individual lifestyles against some ecological / environmental benchmark
- Defining and accessing complex environmental models and simulations
- Promoting sustainable and collaborative consumption, as a basis for an effective Low-Carbon economy