When a group of individuals sit down to think of ways to solve a problem, they are using what is called collective intelligence. Collective intelligence is a when groups of people come together to share ideas and experiences. By sharing their individual thoughts, they can learn from one another and see things in a different perspective.
One possible flaw of collective intelligence is groupthink. Groupthink is a term where there are no individual thoughts, they all see things the same way and don’t question it. This is something that can become extremely dangerous. An extreme example of groupthink is the nazi movement. But if groupthink is avoided, collective intelligence can prove to be very beneficial to everyone.
Why does collective intelligence even matter? It is a very important tool that we must take advantage of. For example, if I were to go and cut down a tree, thought the only way to achieve this was to use my axe, it would take me an extremely long time to achieve this. But if I were to talk to my neighbors about what I was planning on doing, they may have other ideas such as using a saw or an electrical saw. This is a very very basic example of collective intelligence, but you get the idea. Without their input, I am stuck with using only my knowledge, and wouldn’t get very far in achieving things.
With the new millennium, and as new technologies are introduced our spectrum of collective intelligence is expanded. We are no longer restricted by our physical locations. We can now communicate with individuals in Guam, Tahiti, and even people down the street. Those in high positions can communicate with blue collar workers and so on. There is no longer any reason to prevent individuals from communicating from one another.
I think that this is such an amazing and fascinating thing to be in the middle of. I think that large companies and governments should really take advantage of this. What if BP put a poll on their website, asking for ideas of how to stop the oil spill? Would farmer joe have the answer to solve the problem? The amazing thing is that he probably would. The one thing that people need to realize is it cannot hurt giving or taking suggestions. You may have the idea that could kick start an amazing chain reaction.