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ICTeCollective - Harnessing ICT-enabled collective social behaviour

Coord inated by Aalto-Korkeakoulusaatio, Findland
7th Framework programme
2009 - 2012
EU contribution of 1.9M€
The last decades have seen a tremendous change of society as a whole, driven by Information and Communication Technologies (ICT). The dynamics of building and strengthening social relationships have evolved through the use of ICT, and new ICT-mediated groups and communities have emerged. Individuals, communities, society, and ICT have become deeply intertwined in a dynamic feedback process. The fundamental challenge for future social ICT is overcoming the acute lack of understanding of the driving forces and mechanisms of this complex system of interactions. The project aims to develop systematic exploration, understanding, and modelling of systems where ICT is entangled with social structures. Currently, there is no general understanding, either at the individual or collective level, of how ICT-mediated social interactions and patterns of influence work. In particular, there is a critical gap in our understanding of how different levels of social behaviour are related to each other. Moreover, the existing knowledge in this area is highly fragmented between different scientific disciplines such as social psychology, computer science, and complexity science. A major goal of ICTeCollective is to bridge this gap, by using multi-level and multi-scale approaches to understand ICT mediated social dynamics at a societal level in relation to micro- and meso-scale processes. This goal will be achieved by carrying out original experiments on the impact of ICT on human behaviour, analysing ICT-generated large, unique, and time-stamped datasets, constructing and investigating models and building up a more general theoretical framework. This interdisciplinary approach of ICTeCollective will produce new insight and integrate the fragmented knowledge of different scientific disciplines concerning social aspects and consequences of ICT into a coherent form, which is amenable to be used in policy-making decisions and of benefit to the industry.