Collective Intelligence in the Insurance Industry
The emerging field of collective intelligence asks how people and computers can be connected in new ways that allow organizations to act more intelligently than they have before. The perspective of collective intelligence can help insurers to think about their business in creative new ways and drive improvements in core activities like risk assessment, designing insurance instruments and underwriting practices, enhancing organizational efficiency, an even improving investment management. This new research consortium will focus in two primary areas:

New products/services and new modes of customer interaction
With the Web, insurers can now interact directly with customers, and customers can interact with each other. This development has the potential to transform the industry’s product-centric, inside-out perspective to a customer-centric outside-in one. With big data now enabling new forms of intelligent decision making, insurers can also better assess risks and optimize underwriting processes. At the same time, insurance companies themselves can now more easily connect with their customers through mobile apps and social networking platforms which allows them to optimize pricing and demand-based selling of their products.

New ways of organizing across the insurance value chain
The Web enables insurers to interact with their providers in more flexible and virtual value chains. Knowledge work can now be broken down into miniscule pieces, which allows the atomization of information-intensive value chains into granular pieces of electronic services that can be sourced at the level of single tasks (hyperspecialization) in areas like claims management or IT.

Consortium approach
Industry consortia are a well-established structure by which the MIT Center for Collective Intelligence and the Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen conduct practice-oriented research. In such a setting, researchers and executives first develop a research agenda comprising areas of common interest, with the researchers’ perspective ensuring that the work will be innovative and broadly relevant, and the executives’ perspective ensuring that it will be practical and grounded. The researchers then undertake work on these jointly agreed-upon topics, with the idea that their findings can inform the future management practice of consortium companies. Member companies can define a custom research projects on a topic of choice.

MIT Center for Collective Intelligence
The Center for Collective Intelligence brings together faculty from across MIT to conduct research on how new communications technologies are changing the way people work together. This first-of-its-kind research effort draws on the strengths the Media Lab, the Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL), the Department of Brain and Cognitive Sciences, and the MIT Sloan School of Management. Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen The Business Engineering Institute St. Gallen offers a platform for developing innovative business solu-tions. It connects seven chairs of various universities with companies in order to solve practical problems. Efficient management of knowledge and transforma¬tion processes constitutes the basis of this form of collaboration between researchers and practitioners.