We are a R&D team of researchers and developers from the Knowledge Media Institute of the Open University (UK) specialised in technologies for Collective Intelligence and Online Deliberation Technologies.

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We believe that groups that discuss better act smarter, but the discussion media that we use today are flawed. Hence, new socio-technical spaces for conversational interactions are urgently needed and can revolutionise how we think and act collectively and collaboratively as a society.

Our Design Ethos

We are interaction design researchers and follow Frayling’s concept of conducting “research through design”:

  • We focus on making artifacts intended to transform the world from the current state to a preferred state
  • We engage wicked problems (in which stakeholders have conflicting goals, values, priorities and believes)
  • We aim to have a significant impact on the world (Zimmerman et al 2007).

Our Team Members

Anna De Liddo Photo
Anna De Liddo
Lead Researcher and UX Designer
Senior Research Fellow in Collective Intelligence Infrastructures and leads the Knowledge Media Institute’s IDea Group.
Lucas Anastasiou Photo
Lucas Anastasiou
PhD Research Student
MSc Computer Science. Expertise in Information Retrieval, Database Engineering, Search Engine, Text Mining.
Riccardo Pala Photo
Riccardo Pala
Web Developer
Over 15 year’s experience in the Industry sector. Extensive knowledge of the most recent technologies for front and back-end Web development.
Alberto Ardito Photo
Alberto Ardito
External Consultant
MSc Computer Engineer. Advanced skills in web technologies, interface design, user experience and computer vision.

Track Record

We pride ourself to be world leaders in developing Online Deliberation systems, otherwise known as large-scale argumentation systems. Our works on argumentation-based collaborative decision making technologies (Iandoli 2014, 2016) have been successfully tested in large-scale online deliberation experiments. These works have been agenda setting in the Computer Supported Cooperative Work (CSCW) community to define a roadmap for future research on collective intelligence (De Liddo and Buckingham Shum 2010, Convertino 2015, Schuler 2018).

In the last 10 years we have devised a suit of discourse-based technologies which have been used by over 13K people, in 20 countries, and by 120 community groups in contexts such as health, education, market research and public policy.

To mention a few:

Cohere Logo
A visual tool to create, connect and share ideas online, worked as our first argumentation based CI demonstrator, it has attracted a community of over 6000 users, and has been used and integrated with other tools by different research communities.
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Evidence Hub Logo
The Evidence Hub
A collaborative knowledge building tool, has been taken up by more than 14 communities of professionals in the health, urban planning and education sectors.
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LiteMap Logo
An online collaborative mapping and argumentation tool, since its first launch in 2015, has been used in 13 different countries, by 60 community groups, who built over 500 Maps to confirm an emerging public and education impact.
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Debate Hub Logo
An online deliberation and collaborative decision-making platform, has already being tested with 6 different external users’ communities in the social innovation sector (OuiShare, Wisdom Hacker, DS&NY, CSPC, UTOPIA, I4P) and two Urban Community Networks.
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Democratic Reflection Logo
Democratic Reflection
An audience feedback crowd-sourcing tool, allows the audience of a live event to instantly express their views. The tool was developed in the political communication context but it is based on a method that is domain agnostic and can be applied to gathering citizen feedback to any live event.
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Some of our newly developed tools for discussion-based online campaigning (see debatehub.net) and for live engagement in televised election debates (see democraticreflection.org), have shown promising results in terms of usability and simplicity of user interaction (De Liddo et al. 2017, Pluss and De Liddo 2018). In previous research, we also developed several visualisation services (cidashboard.net) which have been only partially been deployed and tested, with good results in term of usability and explicability.  We will build on this expertise and successful designs to develop new accessible interfaces for large scale decentralised deliberation.


If you are interested in the bcause project please use the contact form below to get in touch

Knowledge Media Institute
The Open University
Walton Hall
Milton Keynes
United Kingdom

+44 (0)1908 653591

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