CATALYST: Meet the Team

A fitness tracker for online communities and conversations? What is CATALYST all about? Meet the team and discover why we are so passionate about it!

Online communities have been playing an increasingly important role in supporting grassroots initiatives in the area of social innovation and sustainability. However, as such platforms go larger and larger, it is more and more difficult for community managers to ensure efficient debates among citizens, i.e. to ensure collective ideation, decision and action.

Major community networks and leading research institutes have teamed up to tackle this issue with the support of the European Commission’s research funding programme. Over 2 years, through the CATALYST project, they will develop and test collective intelligence tools and make them available, as open source solutions, to any interested communities.

Use cases planned in the short term should demonstrate how CATALYST developments can boost local initiatives in the area of social innovation, increase awareness on new sustainable lifestyles, support eGovernance efforts of European cities and even empower citizens and the civil society in debating emerging issues for the new European Constitution.

Help us test CATALYST

We have partnered with the Wisdom Hackers community to test DebateHub, part of the CATALYST suite of open source tools. Join us in a collective ideation, discussion, and debate of ways to maintain the festival spirit, how to think outside the cubicle and activate the thinking body, and much more.

Music credit for CATALYST video: “Daybreak” by Baja Snake/HEPNOVA

Imagine the future of organised civil society and help design the future of online debate

On 23rd June, Euclid Network and Purpose will be launching the first online discussion on the future of civil society, and we would like you to take part. The subject for this initial debate will be:

“How could civil society organisations attract more people to work and volunteer with them?”

At this stage, all we ask you to do is to click here to let us know you want to take part in the debate, and we will then contact you on Monday 23rd with a link to your debate.

The aim behind these debates is not only to gather a wide range of views on organised civil society, but to also test how new online deliberation technologies can support more robust debates and discussions than traditional platforms. In particular you will be involved in the testing of DebateHub, an innovative online debating tool developed by the Open University, which uses the Internet to harness collective intelligence.

As the tool is still in the testing stage we will be splitting participants into different testing groups, and we will present different groups with different user interfaces for online discussion. For this reason you may know someone else who is participating, but you might not be involved in the same debate group, and may not use the same debate tool.

Regardless of which test group you are in, all contributions to the debates will contribute to a unique collective picture and will be synthesized and incorporated into a report on “Imagining the Future of Civil Society”, to be published by Euclid, Purpose and the Open University. All contributors to the debates will be recognised as co-authors of the report.

In summary as a participant:

  • you will be contributing to the debate of important Civil Society issues,
  • you will help the research and development of innovative technologies for public deliberation,
  • you will be listed as co-author of a publicly available report on “Imagining the Future of Civil Society”.

We look forward to hearing from you, and please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

Thanks and kind regards,

Stephen J Barnett, Euclid Network
Lee-Sean Huang, Purpose
Anna De Liddo, The Open University

Freedom Vs Security: The Struggle for Balance

Freedom Vs Security: The Struggle for Balance, the debate textbook I authored and edited with Nicholas DiBiase of Hepnova, is now available on Amazon. Special thanks to Jon Rodis and Kristopher Hartley provided additional research and editing support.


The Presidential Debate: I HAVE A BRACELET so I should be president

I watched the Obama-McCain debate tonight, while chatting on AIM with my ITP classmates.  Rather amusing indeed, the best part was when both candidates compared their accessories collection.

“I HAVE A BRACELET TOO!”  Are bracelets from military families the new yellow ribbons or flag pins?

Show your patriotism with an “I HAVE A BRACELET” T-shirtBuying stuff is patriotic too.

More on the bracelet battle from Reuters.

And from Michelle Malkin of all people.