The MIT Deliberatorium: Open Innovation and Deliberation

“Upon this gifted age, in its dark hour,
Rains from the sky a meteoric shower
Of facts…they lie unquestioned, uncombined.

Wisdom enough to leech us of our ill
Is daily spun; but there exists no loom
To weave it into fabric…”

Edna St Vincent Millay, From Huntsman, What Quarry? (1939)

The Deliberatorium is a technology designed to help large numbers of people, distributed in space and time, combine their insights to find well-founded solutions for such complex multi-stakeholder multi-disciplinary ("wicked") problems as sustainability, climate change policy, complex product design, and so on.

See this video for a 10 minute introduction to the concepts underlying the Deliberatorium, and follow this link to access the system itself.

A read-only map viewer, which can be embedded in any web site, is also available:

Selected Publications

An Embarrassment of Riches. Communications of the ACM, Vol. 57 No. 11, Pages 40-42

video presentation (4 minutes) of the European Union-funded CATALYST project, which is applying our work on metrics for guiding open innovation.

video presentation on the Deliberatorium (20 minutes) given at the 2012 Epistemic Democracy Workshop at Yale University

Enabling Deliberations in a Political Party Using Large-Scale Argumentation: A Preliminary Report. Proceedings of the 10th International Conference on the Design of Cooperative Systems.

The Bag of Lemons: High-Speed Idea Filtering for Open Innovation. CCI Working Paper, 2014.

How to Harvest Collective Wisdom on Complex Problems: An Introduction to the MIT Deliberatorium. CCI working paper, 2011.

Enabling Large-Scale Deliberation Using Attention-Mediation Metrics. Journal of Computer-Supported Cooperative Work. 21(4):449-473.

Supporting Collaborative Deliberation Using a Large-Scale Argumentation System: The MIT Collaboratorium. Proceedings of: Directions and Implications of Advanced Computing; Conference on Online Deliberation (DIAC-2008/OD2008). 2008.

Harnessing Collective Intelligence to Address Global Climate Change. Innovations Journal, 2007. 2(3): p. 15-26.

See articles about the Deliberatorium in:


Marco Cioffi, Bain Consulting
Gregorio Convertino, Xerox Research
Cristina Garcia, Fluminense Federal University, Brazil
Ali Gurkan, Ecole Central Paris
Luca Iandoli, University of Naples, Italy
Hajo Reijers, Eindhoven University of Technology, Netherlands
Paolo Spada, Harvard
Catherine Spence, Intel
Michael Winikoff, University of Otago, New Zealand