Next open idea: Participatory Research

Provide technology and communications tools to allow crowdsourcing of research and data collection.

Today’s crowdsourcing efforts tend to be systems where the public can come to a site and help solve problems or contribute computer time per SETI@home or the World Community Grid.

In many cases, the help that is needed in in data collection. Whether researching broadband access prices in communities around the country, collecting water quality samples worldwide or monitoring political media buying, there is a need for technology to allow public data collection, storage and analysis.

Many organizations cannot afford the wide-scale data collection required to fully understand and communicate issues. Small organizations trying to do research and communicate their impact to the public benefit. Society as a whole benefits from the resulting research.

First steps are to identify an issue to pilot – e.g. communications research. Partner with organizations in that sector along with groups like the World Community Grid. Develop prototype technology platform

Measures of success: compare pre- and post-program research from selected organizations, data set sizes, etc.

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