What is CAPS?
The 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””).
The objective is to create awareness of problems and possible solutions requesting collective efforts, enabling new forms of social innovation.
The 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.
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. Concrete examples of technical functionalities include:
• Getting facts/evidence from citizens for better decision making (at personal or institutional level) (e.g. Wikirate: Enabling citizens to rate companies on their corporate social responsibility).
• Driving sustainable behaviours and lifestyles (e.g. DecarboNet: Empowering citizens and assessing the impact of social media on their awareness of environmental issues.
• Developing alternative collaborative approaches to problem solving (e.g. Cap4access: Collectively removing barriers to inclusion).