The GovLab Index: Collective Intelligence

By Hannah Pierce and Audrie Pirkl

Please find below the next installment in The GovLab Index series inspired by the Harper’s Index. Following the 2017 Collective Intelligence Conference, this installment highlights outcomes, impacts and trends related to efforts to tap into collective intelligence toward solving public problems. We begin with a selection of statistics across the Collective Intelligence universe and follow with a sector-specific breakdown of the current state of play. We encourage readers to contribute to our own collective intelligence. If there are figures that should be shared here, please contact us at [email protected]

The Collective Intelligence Universe

  • Amount of money that Reykjavik’s Better Neighbourhoods program has provided each year to crowdsourced citizen projects since 2012: € 2 million (Citizens Foundation)
  • Number of U.S. government challenges that people are currently participating in to submit their community solutions: 778 (
  • Percent of U.S. arts organizations used social media to crowdsource ideas in 2013, from programming decisions to seminar scheduling details: 52% (Pew Research)
  • Number of Wikipedia members who have contributed to a page in the last 30 days: over 120,000 (Wikipedia Page Statistics)
  • Number of languages that the multinational crowdsourced Letters for Black Lives has been translated into: 23 (Letters for Black Lives)
  • Number of comments in a Reddit thread that established a more comprehensive timeline of the theater shooting in Aurora than the media: 1272 (Reddit)
  • Number of physicians that are members of SERMO, a platform to crowdsource medical research: 800,000 (SERMO)
  • Number of citizen scientist projects registered on SciStarter: over 1,500 (Collective Intelligence 2017 Plenary Talk: Darlene Cavalier)
  • Entrants to NASA’s 2009 TopCoder Challenge: over 1,800 (NASA)


  • Number of submissions for Block Holm (a digital platform that allows citizens to build “Minecraft” ideas on vacant city lots) within the first six months: over 10,000 (OpenLearn)
  • Number of people engaged to The Participatory Budgeting Project in the U.S.: over 300,000. (Participatory Budgeting Project)
    • Amount of money allocated to community projects through this initiative: $238,000,000


  • Percentage of Internet-using adults with chronic health conditions that have gone online within the US to connect with others suffering from similar conditions: 23% (Pew Research)
  • Number of posts to Patient Opinion, a UK based platform for patients to provide anonymous feedback to healthcare providers: over 120,000 (Nesta)
    • Percent of NHS health trusts utilizing the posts to improve services in 2015: 90%
    • Stories posted per month: nearly 1,000 (The Guardian)
  • Number of tumors reported to the English National Cancer Registration each year: over 300,000 (Gov.UK)
  • Number of users of an open source artificial pancreas system: 310 (Collective Intelligence 2017 Plenary Talk: Dana Lewis)


  • Number of submissions from 40 countries to the 2017 Open (Government) Contracting Innovation Challenge: 88 (The Open Data Institute)
  • Public-service complaints received each day via Indonesian digital platform Lapor!: over 500 (McKinsey & Company)
  • Number of registered users of Unicef Uganda’s weekly, SMS poll U-Report: 356,468 (U-Report)
  • Number of reports regarding government corruption in India submitted to IPaidaBribe since 2011: over 140,000 (IPaidaBribe)


  • Reviews posted since Yelp’s creation in 2009: 121 million reviews (Statista)
  • Percent of Americans in 2016 who trust online customer reviews as much as personal recommendations: 84% (BrightLocal)
  • Number of companies and their subsidiaries mapped through the OpenCorporates platform: 60 million (Omidyar Network)

Crisis Response

Public Safety

  • Number of sexual harassment reports submitted to from 50 cities in India and Nepal to SafeCity, a crowdsourcing site and mobile app: over 4,000 (SafeCity)
  • Number of people that used Facebook’s Safety Check, a feature that is being used in a new disaster mapping project, in the first 24 hours after the terror attacks in Paris: 4.1 million (Facebook)